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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


DANIEL SMITH, known to the commercial world as a cigar manufacturer and wholesale dealer in tobacco, is reckoned among the leading capitalists of Winchester. He was born in the village of Rautenhausen, Germany, Jan. 1, 1838 and came to America in Aug. 1854. His parents, Conrad and Christina (Walber) Schmidt, both died in the old country. They reared a large family of children, of whom Daniel, one brother John, and a sister, came to the United States. John now runs a large sheep ranch in Oregon, and the sister resides in Bloomington, Ill. Daniel Smith, who it will be observed, adopts the English spelling of the family name, was educated in the fatherland and there learned the trade of a shoemaker.

From New York, where he landed on coming to this country, our subject made his way to LaSalle, this State; arriving there in Sept. 1854, and with nothing for capital but a brave heart and good health he pursued his trade as a journeyman for six years, working at LaSalle, Bloomington, Davenport, St. Louis, Burlington and Jerseyville in the order named, thus becoming very nearly a professional tourist. During the great Pike's Peak excitement in 1860-1, he caught the "gold fever" and joined the disappointed throng which had painted on its banners, "Pike's Peak or Bust," and the conclusion is plausible that he was one of the multitude who was "busted", for we find him again at the shoemaker's bench in Jerseyville immediately succeeding that great retreat from the Rocky Mountains. In the spring fo 1862, associated with an acquaintance, Mr. Smith embarked in the manufacture of cigars at Jerseyville and from there he came to Winchester in Jan. 1863. Here he has since continued in that business.

Beginning life in America with nothing but his trade, and that not one of the most lucrative ones, Mr. Smith has by untiring perseverance and industry steadily risen step by step, so that he need never fear the proverbial wolf at the door. The meagre savings from his trade were wholly swallowed up in his attempt to find fortune at Pike's Peak, therefore his ample possessions consisting in farm lands, city property and money have been accumulated since that date, and principally if not entirely since coming to Winchester.

Mr. Smith is a member of the Lutheran Church and has been for the past six or seven years Treasurer of the local lodge of Odd Fellows. He was married in this county Dec. 28, 1863 to Mrs. Mina Sibert nee Diller, a native of Germany and has four sons and four daughters, George, Anna, Oscar, Edward, Nellie, Mabel, Lillie and Arthur.

1889 Index
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