Pages 500-501, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




DAVID SMITH, whose remarkable influence as one of the early teachers of the county has been elsewhere noted, was born October 13, 1822, in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, of Scotch-Irish parentage. The following year his parents removed to Stark county, Ohio, and settled upon a tract of land where the city of Massilon now stands. David, the oldest of five brothers, lived and worked upon the farm and in his father's tannery until about his eighteenth year. Up to this time his educational advantages were very meager. The country was new, a tribe of Indians occupied a part of the county for several years, schools were short, poor and primitive, teachers poorly qualified and books scarce. His nineteenth year he spent in the Twinsburg Academy, taught by Rev. Samuel Bissell, at that time one of the largest and most popular schools in northern Ohio. The next two years he taught school and then entered Western Reserve—now Adelbert College—then located at Hudson, now at Cleveland, Ohio.


Here and at Jefferson College at Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania, he spent his time while not teaching till his graduation at Jefferson about the year 1847. He also received a diploma from Adelbert. Immediately after graduation he was called to the principalship of the Old Pisgat Academy, near Lexington, Kentucky. Two years after he entered the Western Theological Seminary at Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Completing his theological course he married Miss S. H. Clarke, a teacher at Northfield, Ohio, and immediately answered a call to take charge of the academy at Winchester, Tennessee. A year later he was called to the chair of mathematics in Burett College, Spencer, Tennessee. A few months after upon the death of the president he was chosen president of the college—about 1857. He held this position till the Civil war closed the college.

Leaving Spencer, Tennessee, in 1863, in troublesome times—times that tried northern men's souls—he settled in Olney, Illinois. Here he taught for a year, when he was called to take charge of the schools at Shawneetown, Illinois. In the year 1866 he resigned his position at Shawneetown and accepted the call to Geneva, Kansas, and the following year settled at Carlyle where he continued to teach until his death, April 10, 1878.

Professor Smith was of the old Puritan type, a stern disciplinarian, a rigid observer of the strictest religious rules,—a combination of teacher and preacher whose influence was wide and lasting. His memory will be revered as long as any still live who were the beneficaries[sic] of his training.

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