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Jay County Indiana Biographies


George H. SMITH, sales and office manager of the W. H. Hood Company, wholesale grocers at Portland, former president of the Portland Chamber of Commerce and long recognized as one of the most forceful figures in the commercial and industrial life of this community, is a native son of Jay county, a member of one of the county's pioneer families, and has lived here all his life. Mr. SMITH was born in Knox township on January 14, 1872, and is a son of Palmer J. and Jennie (WINTERS) SMITH, both of whom also were born in this county. Palmer J. SMITH, who was for years engaged in the retail grocery business in Portland and who is still living there, is a son of Cornelius and Elizabeth SMITH, pioneers of Jay county, and further and fitting mention of whom is made elsewhere in this work. For some years during the period of his young manhood. Palmer J. SMITH was engaged as a teacher in the schools of Jay county and then he became engaged in the grocery business, presently moving from Redkey, where he had started in business, to Portland, where he became one of the active factors in the commercial life of that city. He and his wife were the parents of four children, those besides the subject of this sketch being W. Lee SMITH, Hattie E. ,deceased, and Guy ,deceased. George H. SMITH received his schooling in the schools of Redkey and Portland, and as a young man became associated with his father in the retail grocery business in the latter city, the two doing business under the firm name of SMITH & Son. He continued thus engaged until 1916, when he disposed of his interest in that connection and became associated with the work of the Portland Forge and Foundry Company, going in as manager of that company's extensive plant. Not long afterward he was elected vice-president of the company and occupied that position, acting also as general manager of the concern, until he disposed of his interests in the company, and on January 1, 1922, entered upon his present duties as sales and office manager of the W. H. Hood Company. When the Portland Chamber of Commerce was organized in 1914, George H. SMITH was elected president of the organization and in that capacity served for two years. He also is the president of the fashionable Country Club, is an active member of the influential Rotary Club, is also affiliated with the local lodges of the Knights of Pythias, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and in his political views always has held with the Democratic party, one of the leaders of that party in Jay county.

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