Joseph A. Schmith, one of the leading young merchants of Indiana, was born in Madison, Ind., December 16, 1853. His parents were Anthony and Rebecca (Sterling) Schmith. The father was born in Alsace in 1825, and died in November, 1867. The mother was also born in Alsace, in 1824, and is a resident of Franklin. The parents were married in Madison, Ind., in November, 1851. In August, 1865, the parents removed to Franklin. To them were born the following children: Joseph A., our subject; John H., born July 3, 1856; Frank A., October 6, 1858, and died May 27, 1860; Philip, March 31, 1861, and died November 30, 1877; Benedict, October 19, 1862; Mary L., June 17, 1867. Our subject was reared in Franklin, and attended the public schools of the place. He began clerking as soon as he left school, and continued at such until 1881, when he engaged in the grocery business for himself, being given the assistance of W. C. Wheat, who furnished the capital. He now owns the business in full, and has built up one of the leading grocery trades in Franklin.