Pages 363-364, 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.




JOHN H. SMITH is a well known merchant of Allen County, aiding in the successful conduct of a large enterprise in Savonburg where his labors have brought him prominence in connection with commercial pursuits. A native of the Hoosier State, his birth occurred in Dearborn County, Indiana, on the 17th of April, 1869, and he is a son of O. H. Smith who is represented elsewhere in this volume. His boyhood days were spent upon the home farm and from the time of early spring planting until the crops were harvested in the autumn he assisted in the work of the fields. In the winter months he was a student in the common schools and


thus his time was passed until his fifteenth year, when he left Indiana with his parents and came to Kansas. He continued under the parental roof until he was eighteen years of age when he became a student in the academy at Parsons, and later he completed his education in the Sedalia Business College, in which he was graduated with the class of 1890.

Mr. Smith taught school for two years and then entered the grocery and queensware business in St. Paul, Neosho County, in connection with a Mr. Post. This relationship was maintained for a short time and then Mr. Smith entered into partnership with his father, under the firm name of Smith & Son. They have since been associated in business and continued their enterprise in St. Paul until 1895 when they came to Savonburg, enlarging their field of operations by adding a stock of general merchandise. By the admission of the second son of the family the firm style has been changed to Smith & Sons. They carry a very large stock of merchandise which is displayed in two large storerooms and they also have a branch store at Elsmore under the control of Frank E. Smith, the youngest partner. Their business now amounts to forty or fifty thousand dollars annually and is constantly growing under the capital management of the partners, who are reliable business men.

Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Irene Blake on the 27th of December, 1896. She is a native of Bartholomew County, Indiana, and a daughter of Allen and Lettie Blake of that county, who came to Kansas with their family in 1878. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have one little daughter, Eva May, who is two years of age. He is a prominent church and Sabbath school worker and is superintendent of the M. H. Sunday School of Savonburg, which position he has held for the past five years. Mr. Smith is a member of the Odd Fellows society in Savonburg and has filled all the chairs in the order. He also belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America in which he has served as clerk for a number of years, and of the Royal Neighbors he is a representative. He is one of the prominent supporters of the Republican party in this portion of the State and a member of the county central committee. He keeps well informed on the issues of the day and is in hearty sympathy with the administration. He has entered upon a prosperous era in his business career, and although a young man he has already won success that would be creditable to one many years his senior. He is favorably located, his store being situated in the midst of a rich farming community. His genial manner, courteous and obliging disposition have gained him the respect of all with whom he is associated, have made him many friends and won him a liberal patronage.

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