From A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. I
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902

Francis Marion Smith

The record of Francis M. Smith contains an account of valiant service in the Civil War and of fidelity to duty in every walk of life.  He is numbered among the early settlers of Rice County, dating his residence from 1873.  He was born in Cass County, Illinois, January 30, 1841, and is the son of James Job Smith, one of the oldest and most honored citizens of Lyons.  The father was born in Cumberland County, Kentucky, on the 5th of January, 1813, and was a son of James Smith, whose birth occurred in Baltimore, Maryland in 1782.  The great grandfather of our subject was Samuel Smith, who removed to North Carolina about 1792, and therefore his son, James, was reared in that state.  After arriving at years of maturity he wedded Elizabeth Job, a native of North Carolina, and they became the parents of two children while residing in that state .  Subsequently they went to Kentucky, crossing the mountains on horseback.  They took up their abode in Cumberland County, that state, among the pioneer settlers, and aided in laying the foundation for the present prosperity and progress of that commonwealth.  They were the parents of nine children:  Samuel and Jane, who were born in North Carolina; Thomas; Levi; Ruth; James Job; John and William, who were born in Kentucky; and Elijah, who was born in Indiana, whither the family had previously removed.  After residing for a time in the Hoosier state they went to Morgan County, Illinois, subsequently to Cass County, Illinois and afterward to Madison County, Iowa, where James Smith and his wife spent their last days, both passing away when about seventy-three years of age.  They were members of the Methodist Episcopal church and were earnest and loyal Christian people, rearing their children in that faith and doing all in their power to promote the cause of Christianity among their fellow men.

James Job Smith was reared in Kentucky and Illinois, accompanying his parents on their removal to Morgan County, of the latter state, in 1829. In 1845 he became a resident of Cass County, Illinois, but was married in the former county, at the age of twenty-two years, to Miss Eve Miller, who was born in Indiana, a daughter of Henry Miller, one of the honored pioneer settlers of that state, arriving there at a period when all was wild, the work of improvement and civilization being scarcely begun.  The Indians still lived in the neighborhood, and he had to flee with his family to a block house to secure protection from the red men.  He had removed to Indiana from Pennsylvania and was of German lineage.  From the time of his first settlement in the Hoosier state until his death he aided in the work of the development and advancement there.  His wife was Hester Miller.

In 1845 James Job Smith removed to Cass County, Illinois, and in 1853 went to Mahaska County, Iowa, where he remained for a year, casting his lot with its pioneer settlers.  In 1873 he came to Rice County, Kansas, where he has since resided, and today is one of the venerable, honored and respected residents of this community.  Unto Mr. and Mrs. Smith were born six children: Elizabeth Ann, who died at the age of eighteen; J F, who was a soldier in the Fourth Iowa Infantry during the Civil War, and is now living in Lincoln township, Rice County; Francis M, who was a member of the same regiment; Isaac N, who, with his brothers, enlisted in the Fourth Iowa Infantry and is now living in Lyons; Elijah T, a resident of Douglas County, Kansas; William Thomas, who makes his home in Lyons; and Mrs. Mary J Summers, also of Lyons.  The mother of this family was called to her final rest April 2, 1896, at the age of eighty-five years. She was loved by all who knew her for her kindness of heart and mind, for she was a devoted wife and mother, a faithful friend and her generous and kindly spirit were recognized by all with whom she came in contact.  A noble Christian woman, she held membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, and her life was in harmony with her professions.  For sixty-two years she traveled life's journey by the side of her husband, and as time passed their mutual love and confidence increased.  Mr. Smith devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits throughout his active business career, and thus provided a comfortable support for his family.  Since the organization of the party he has been a stalwart Republican, and his sons are all of the same political faith.  For sixty year she has been a zealous member of the Methodist Episcopal church and for a half century has served as class leader.  He does all in his power to promote the work of the church in its various lines, and his upright life reflects credit upon the Christian teachings which he has so closely followed.

Francis M Smith, whose name introduces this review, was a lad of twelve years when the family removed to Iowa, and upon a farm in that state he was reared.  His education was acquired in the public schools and he was early trained to the work of the farm, assisting in its labors throughout the summer months, while in the winter season he pursued his studies. When the Civil War was inaugurated his patriotic spirit was aroused and in response to President Lincoln's call for three hundred thousand men he enlisted in July, 1861, becoming a member of the Fourth Iowa Infantry, under Colonel Granville M Dodge, and one of the most prominent statesmen that Iowa has produced.  He has been very prominent in the affairs of the nation, exercising strong influence in the national councils.  The captain of the company of which Mr Smith was a member was H J B Cummings.  Our subject participated in thirty battles, including engagements at Sugar Creek, Pea Ridge, the first attack on Vicksburg, the battles of Grand Gulf, Jonesboro, Chickasaw Bayou, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and the entire Atlanta campaign under General Sherman, including the celebrated march to the sea, which proved that the Rebel forces had been drawn to other quarters and were thus almost exhausted. He was also in the battle of Goldsboro, proceeded thence to Richmond and afterward participated in the grand review at Washington, DC, where "wave after wave of bayonet-crested blue" passed by the stand on which stood the president, who watched the return of the victorious army after the greatest war that history has ever known.  Mr. Smith was honorably discharged, with the rank of corporal in Louisville, Kentucky, and was paid off in Davenport, Iowa, after which he returned to his home in the Hawkeye state.

In 1866 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Smith and Miss Maggie Coultrap, of Deersville, Ohio, who died in Madison County, Iowa, April 2, 1873, leaving three children, of whom two yet survive, namely: The Reverend James O Smith, of the Methodist Episcopal church, now located in Arizona, and Reverend Earnest D Smith, who is pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church in Lowell, Indiana.  One son, Walter S, died in infancy.  On the 25th of October, 1877, Mr. Smith was again married, his second union being with Geneva B Enoch, a lady of culture and intelligence, who has indeed proved to her husband a good helpmate.  She was born in Ohio, but was reared and educated in Davis County, Iowa.  Her father, George Enoch, was born in Virginia and married Persis Cook, a native of Essex County, New York, and a daughter of Lewis Cook, who was born near Boston, Massachusetts.  The last named was a son of James and Persis (Newton) Cook.  Lewis Cook married Anna Peck, who was born in Massachusetts and was a daughter of Ebenezer Peck, of that city.  Mr. Enoch, the father of Mrs. Smith, died in Winfield, Kansas, at the age of ninety years.  He was the father of eleven children: Henry, who is living in Winfield; Mrs. Malinda Dodge; Mrs. Julia A Pierson, of Lyons; Mrs. Louise Kinny, of Appanoose County, Iowa; Mrs. Mary Montgomery, also of Iowa; Mrs. Smith, of Lyons ; Mrs. Clara Cook, of Ellsworth County, Kansas; Mrs. Eliza Vermilya, who died in Winfield, Kansas; and three who died in early childhood.  The mother of this family, is still living.  She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, to which her husband also belonged. She has reached the age of eighty-eight years and makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. Smith.

By the marriage of our subject and his wife five living children have been born: Arthur O, Enoch F, Maggie E, Leora B, and Geneva F.  They also lost one daughter, Nona B, who was fourth in order of birth and died at the age of thirteen years.  For many years the family resided in Lincoln township, upon the homestead farm which Mr Smith secured on coming to the county in 1873.  There he resided until 1893, when, in order to provide better educational advantages for his children, he removed to Winfield, Kansas, placing his children in the Southwest Kansas College, an institution under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal church.  In 1898, he returned to Rice County, locating in Lyons, where he now makes his home.  He is the owner of three hundred and twenty acres of valuable land, and the farm yields to him a good income.  In his political affiliations he is stalwart Republican, and is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, in which he has filled several offices.  He holds membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he is a steward, and he takes a deep interest in everything pertaining to educational, church and temperance work and to the improvement of the community along substantial lines of progress.  He has witnessed almost the entire growth and development of his community and is one of the honored pioneers of the county, who for twenty-eight years has been identified with its progress, and well deserves mention in this volume.