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John Smith

Submitted by: JP Smith

Delaware County

John, the eldest son and second child, was born 9-23-1799, in the town of Manchester, Bennington Co., Vt., and until twenty-one years of age, was engaged in the usual duties of farm life at the home of his parents, attending the common schools during the winter. After attaining his majority, he engaged his services to various farmers, saving his earnings with a view to purchase a farm. At the age of twenty-two years, he accepted employment in the salt works at Kanawha Salt Licks W. Va. Where he earned from $25 to $30 per month, and, at the close of his engagement, had saved a sum of money with which he purchased eighty acres of land in Muskingum county, Ohio.

January 5, 1820, he was united in marriage with Miss Harriet A Preston, the faithful wife whose presence has been spared by a kind Providence to cheer the declining years of his life. Her parents were Horace and Patty Preston. Her father was a farmer and millwright in Luzerne Co., Penn., where their daughter Harriet, was born January 6, 1808. The parents moved to Washington Co, Ohio, in 1816, where the father was engaged in the erection of mills and also in the pursuit of farming, until his decease in 1828.

In December 1829, having disposed of his property in Ohio, Mr. Smith started out upon his journey to Indiana, with his family and all his household goods in a wagon drawn by three horses. The two eldest children of his family accompanied him to the home in the wilderness.

During the winter of 1829-30 he left his family at Smithfield, in this county, and in the meantime purchased a forty acre lot in Liberty Township, upon which a cabin had been erected and a small clearing made. Subsequently, he entered an eighty acre tract adjoining and in April 1830, moved his family to the farm, which was yet to be cleared and improved. In this labor he spent the best years of his life, and cultivated his farm until about fifteen years ago when he purchased his present residence on the Burlington Pike, just outside of the corporate limits of Muncie.

In the pursuit of his calling in life, he has always manifested an industrious nature, and the profits from his labors have accumulated year by year, notwithstanding the lavish hand with which he has over contributed to the support of all enterprises designed to promote the interests of his county, until, in the gloaming of life he possessed a competence in earthly goods.

As a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, both himself and his estimable wife have lead lives exemplary of the faith they profess: and the noble, generous natures of each have endeared them to all with whom they have been associated in life.

To crown the happiness of their wedded life there have been 15 children. Caroline and Lucettta, both of whom were born in Ohio and came with their parents to this county: Martha, Louisa, William H, George W, Mary, Benjamin F, Elvira, Daniel, Sarah, Edward, John, Emily and Eliza J who were born in Delaware Co. From Helm's History of Delaware County, IN, pages 230-231.

At 67, John turned the farm over to son, B. Frank Smith, in 1866, the same year the railroad opened through Delaware County. "John and Harriet Smith had sixteen children. I distinctly recall my grandmother saying that she was one of sixteen children. We lived in the same house as my grandparents for twelve years so I knew her well."

From Fred Graham, 7/2004.