Robert M. Smith Biography
Source: Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi,
Volume II Chicago: The Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1891.
Robert M. Smith, planter, Mayersville, Miss. This branch of the Smith
family is the oldest now living in the county, the father, Robert M. Smith,
Sr., having settled here in 1845, and there is but one other family now
in the county who settled here at an earlier period. Robert M. Smith, Sr.,
was born in the blue grass regions of Kentucky, but came to Mississippi
in 1832, and was married in 1847 to Miss Margaret Pharr, a native of Tennessee.
Mrs. Smith went on a visit to Missouri and there, in the year 1848 Robert
M. Smith, Jr., was born. The elder Smith was a man of more than usual influence
in the community, was firm in his convictions and was sensitive of his
honor. Public offices were bestowed upon him on account of his intelligence,
tact and integrity, and these talents commanded for him the respect of
every citizen in public affairs. He served as magistrate for many years,
also held the office of treasurer of the county, was a member of the board
of county police, and was also a member of the levee board. He was not
in active service during the Civil war, but was provost marshal in Issaquena
county a portion of that time. He was a manager for twenty -seven years,
twelve years for William Cannon, and fifteen years for Stephen Duncan.
He commenced planting for himself in 1858, and during the war lost nearly
all his property, having to commence almost at the beginning in 1865. He
was unusually successful in that occupation, and at the time of his death
in 1877, he was one of the substantial men of the county. To his marriage
were born nine children, Robert M. being the son, La.; Mamie E., wife of
Will E. Collins, of Mayersville; Preston H., resides in Issaquena county;
Lee S., of Louisana; L.W. (died in July, 1890); Lurena, wife of James P.
Heath, of this county; and Hampton P. (deceased). The mother of these children
is still living. Mr. Smith was a member of the I.O.O.F. and the A.F. &
A.M. being a charter member of the old Preston lodge, the first in the
county. Robert M. Smith, Jr. was educated in Issaquena county, and at the
age of twenty-two started out to make his own way in life. His first venture
was in the mercantile business at Clover Hill, this county, where he remained
from 1867 to 1873, when he closed out and engaged in planting. In 1878
his father's estate demanded his attention and he took charge of this,
remaining thus employed until 1890. He has been twice married, first in
December, 1873, to Miss Linda Sibley, daughter of John T. Sibley, of New
Orleans, La. She died in July 1874 and on the 1st of January 1890, Mr.
Smith took for his second wife Miss. Emma Woodry, daughter of John Woodry,
of New Orleans, La. Both of her parents died when she was quite small.
Mr. Smith's first wife was a member of the Presbyterian church, but his
second wife is a Methodist, and Mr. Smith holds membership in the same
church. He is a member of the American Legion of Honor of Vicksburg, Miss.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith are the parents of one child, a son, Robert M., who
was born on the 13th of January 1891. The eldest son for three successive
generations has been named Robert M., this retaining the old family name.
Mr. Smith is the owner of seven hundred and eighty acres of land, with
five hundred acres under cultivation, on which are annually raised about
three hundred and fifty bales of cotton. He has one of the finest city
residences and owns considerable property besides. He is quite a popular
man in the county, and makes many warm friends wherever he goes. He is
extremely fond of hunting, and always keeps a number of fine dogs. His
complexion is quite fair and he is about five feet eight inches in height,
and weighing about two hundred and twenty pounds.