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David Charles SMITH


Submitted by Karen Zach
History of Montgomery County, Indiana.

Indianapolis: AW Bowen, 1913. p. 861

Few can draw rules for their own guidance from the pages of Plutarch, but all are benefited by the delineation of those traits of character which find scope and exercise in the common walks of life, although in the aggregate more important for the welfare of the community than any meteoric public career, cannot from its very nature, figure in the public annals, though each locality's history should contain the names of those individuals who contribute to the success of the material affairs of a community and to its public stability, men who lead wholesome and exemplary lives which might be profitably studied by the oncoming generation. In such class must consistently appear the name of David Charles Smith, well known and progressive business man of Crawfordsville, and one of Montogmery County's most representative citizens, a man who leads a plain, industrious life, endeavoring to deal honestly with his fellow men and contribute somewhat to the general public good in an unobtrusive manner, for being a man who thinks along progressive lines, he naturally desires to see his community advance along material and civic lines, and, although a very busy man, he has never neglected his duty as a citizen, but has been one of the men who could be relied upon in the promulgation of such enterprises as make for the general good. Mr. Smith was born Oct 22, 1843, in Perrysville, Indiana and is a son of John Fredrick and Lydia Ann WATT SMith. The father was born in Frederick Co, Va. in Sept 1812 and was a son of David and Susan Hunsicker Smith. David Smith was a native of Va and there he continued to reside until 1832, when he made the journey to Indiana on horseback and here bought a farm and returned home, bringing his family here in the fall of 1833, making this trip in wagons, which required some time owing to the fact that the only roads in many places were unbroken trails and it was exceedingly rough going all the way. Upon reaching Brownsburg, Mr. Smith was compelled to leave his wife and one daughter, in order to have horses enough to draw the wagons on to where he desired to settle. John F. Smith, the oldest son, drove the six-horse team. The place where they located was on a farm 2-1/2 miles south of Perrysville, and there, by hard work a good farm was developed from the wilderness and a comfortable home established and there David Smith and wife spent the rest of their lives. John F. Smith spent his boyhood days in Va, where he received a good, common school education, and among other things he learned surveying, and after coming to Indiana he followed this vocation in the summer and taught school in the winter, continuing thus for two years, then established a general store at Perrysville, which he conducted with great success for a period of about 33 years, enjoying an extensive trade with the people of the section for miles around. During this time he was also interested in the milling business and he shipped large quanities of grain to New Orleans in the flatboats. Mr. Smith often going along on the boat and returning on horseback. He also sold agricultural implements for many years and was a general business man, very successful in whatever he turned his attention to and one of the leading citizens of Perrysville in every respect. That town in those days was a great shipping point. Our subject has seen as many as 5 boats unloading there simultaneously. Hogs in large numbers were also butchered there and shipped to New Orleans, finding a ready market there. These various lines of business Mr. Smith carried on until 1885 when, having accumulated a competency, he retired. His death occurred in 1892, after a very active, successful, noble and praiseworthy life. He was one of the best known and most highly esteemed citizens of his county. Politically, he was a Whig, later a Republican and a Methodist. His wife, Lydia Ann WATT, was a native of Circleville, Ohio who came to Perrysville in 1834 with her parents, and here she and John F. Smith were married in 1835. She lived to a ripe old age, dying in 1894. She was the daughter of John and Judith Watt, both natives of Pa, from which state they came to Ohio and later to Indiana and here they spent the rest of their lives, living to very advanced ages. David C. Smith of this review, received a good common school education and before he could launch out on a business career the Civil War came on and he offered his services to his country, enlisting July 22, 1862, Co, Ky, 71st Indiana Volunteer Infantry, which regiment was afterwards known as the 6th Indian Cavalry. He served 3 years with much gallantry and credit, participating in a number of important campaigns and battles and on Aug 6, 1864, the Confederates took him prisoner and sent him to Andersonville. He was captured near Gainesville, Georgia while trying to get back from the Stoneman raid. Previous to that, when the regiment had only been in service 12 days, he was engaged at Richmond, Ky where over 1/2 the regiment was captured and paroled. For some time he did scout duty in Knoxville, Tenn, Ky, at Resacca, Cassville and Adairsville. he was in the Atlanta campaign, and was captured just before the fall of the city of Atlanta. Mr. Smith says words are inadequate in describing the horrors of Andersonville prison. There were 33,000 of the Union men there at one time. He was released April 29, 1865. He has also been in prison in Savannah, Millen, Blackshear and Thomasville. He was honorable discharged from the Federal service June 28, 1865. After his career in the army he returned to Indiana and, desiring to complete his education, he entered Abury (DePauw) University at Greencastle, where he remained one term then went to Poughkeepsie, NY and took a business course. He went to Mn in 1867 and there spent one winter, during which he canvassed the city of MInneapolis for a directory, then returned to Perrysville, IN and took his father's place in the store, continuing to engage in general merchandising until 1883, or for a period of 16 years during which time he enjoyed an extensive trade and got a good start in life. Then he came to Crawfordsville and engaged in the lumber business, purchased half interest in a lumber yard with J. W. Stroh, which they conducted for 2 years, when Mr. Smith bought out his partner, then engaged in business for himself until 1888, when the firm of Smith & Duckworth was started which has continued with uninterrupted success. They enjoy a very extensive trade with the surrounding country and carry a large and wells elected stock. Our subject has become one of the financially strong men of his town and county, and is deserving of much credit for what he has accomplished, having started at the bottom of the ladder. He is now advanced in years, but, having been a man of good habits he is hale and hearty. He is a man who is popular with the people owing to his honesty, obliging nature and unfailing courtesy. He is a member of McPherson Post, GAR, Crawfordsville; Masonic Order and Presbyterian. Mr. SMith has done more work for the LL Culver Union Hospital in Crawfordsville than any other man. On July 2, 1868, Mr. Smith was married to Caroline Sidney Evans, born in Ft. Co, Nov 13, 1841 and grew to womanhood and received her education in Indiana. Her parents were early settlers in that county and were well known there. She is a niece of General Evans, for whom Evansville was named. Her father, Jefferson Evans, was a prominent attorney and legislator. Two children have been born to M/M Smith: Anna Mary, wife of Frank P. McNutt, Crawfordsville; and Agnes Neely, wife of Francis S. COBB, Boston, MASS