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THE ERIE RECORD, 28 January 1916
Obituary of BEN J. SMITH
Remains Brought Back To "Old Home Town" For Burial In The Erie Cemetery. Deceased Was Prominent In The Affairs of This Town for Fifteen Years - Was Former Owner of The Erie Record.

Ben J. Smith, who for fifteen years prior to 1894, was one of Erie's prominent citizens, died at his home near Ava, Mo., on Monday, January 24, 1916.

His remains were brought back to the "old home town" Wednesday and burial was made in the Erie cemetery. Although a driving rain storm was in progress when the train with the remains arrived here, there was a large number of Mr. and Mrs. Smith's old friends at the Santa Fe depot, a part of whom accompanied their old friend to his last resting place.

The pall bearers, Will T. Allen, Geo. Gaston, A. H. Osborn, C. H. Eaton, J. T. Coles and Seth G. Wells were all members of the famous old Erie Division No. 16, of which the deceased was first lieutenant.

On March 28, 1854, Ben J. Smith was born at Philadelphia, Pa. When very young he came with his parents to Bloomington, Ind., and in 1879 arrived in Erie and continued to reside here until 1894.

He purchased The Erie Record the year he came here and owned the same until 1891 when the paper was sold to C. H. Harbaugh. During the last four years spent in Erie by Mr. Smith he was the local postmaster, and he also was a member of the Kansas legislature one term.

It was under the instructions of Ben J. Smith that Seth G. Wells, present editor and owner of The Record, learned the printer's trade. During the years spent in Erie, Ben J. Smith was one of the town's good and enterprising citizens.

He was always a worker for the better things of the community and was active in lodge and civic work.

On May 23, 1883, he was married to Miss Nettie Daniels of Erie, Kan., and to this union two children, Ira and Vera, were born. Ira died in infancy and Vera with her mother survive the deceased.

Ira is buried in the Erie cemetery and it is by his side that the father has been given final resting place.

In 1894 the Ben Smith family moved to Ava, Mo., and Mr. Smith purchased the Douglas County Herald, which paper he owned and edited until about four years ago when on account of failing health he disposed of his newspaper holdings and went to a farm he owns, located close to Ava, to engage in the farming and thoroughbred stock business.

Mr. Smith also served four terms as postmaster of Ava, Mo. He was living on his farm at the time of his death.

The Smiths have prospered in Missouri and are owners of considerable land and thoroughbred cattle and horses.

Funeral services were conducted at the M. E. church in Ava, on Tuesday by Rev. Needham, the deceased being an active member of the church at that place.

The remains accompanied by Mrs. Smith and Miss Vera and Mrs. Smith's brother, Allen Daniels, of Pawnee, Okla., were brought to Erie Wednesday and the services at the grave were in charge of Rev. T. A. Nichols, pastor of the Erie M. E. church.

Transcribed and Contributed by Shirley Brier

Last Updated:  Saturday, February 11, 2006 01:34:28

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