John D. Smith
Morris Co. Up


Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. II., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.

smithjohn.jpg (64920 bytes)

There is perhaps no one in Jefferson township more prominent in local political affairs than this gentleman, whose influence has been a leading factor in a number of campaigns. His well-known devotion to the welfare of the county has won him many supporters, and he has been honored with public office, wherein he has won the approval and commendation of both the Democratic and Republican parties. He is accounted one of the valued citizens of the community, and with pleasure we present the record of his life to our readers.

His grandfather, David SMITH, was born in Rockaway township in 1791, was a forge workman, and died in 1888. He married a Miss SHAWGER, by whom he had the following children:

  • David,
  • Stephen,
  • Joseph,
  • Levi,
  • William, and
  • Mary, who became the wife of Abram KERNS.

Joseph SMITH was the father of our subject, and his birth occurred in Jefferson township in 1820. He was a well known forgeman, and for many years was in the employ of Pardee & Company at Nolan's Point. He led a quiet and unassuming, but useful and honorable life, and died in 1871. His wife bore the maiden name of Sallie SERCH, and their children were

  • Ellen, wife of Peter O'BRIEN;
  • Susan,
  • Hester,
  • Theodore and
  • David, all deceased;
  • Laura, wife of Aaron MABEY;
  • Lizzie, wife of Arthur MITCHELL;
  • John D., and
  • Ruth, wife of Joseph PARLIMENT.

John D. SMITH was born at Milton, Jefferson township, Morris county, April 15, 1859, and upon entering his 'teens he quit the irksome task of trying to acquire an education in the district school, as it was then conducted at that place, and became a miner. He worked in the mines, mostly at Chester, until the gradual decrease in the price of ore rendered the further opera-tion of the mines at that point unprofitable. Therefore he turned his attention to farming, which he has since followed, being one of the leading farmers of this part of the state. He gives great attention to the rearing of Chester White and other fine breeds of hogs. He was married in November, 1880, to Maggie, daughter of Charles BERRY, and three children—

  • Joseph,
  • John D. and
  • Eva

--now brighten the home with their presence.

As an advocate of the Democracy Mr. SMITH first entered the political field, and his influence since that time has grown with each succeeding election, as he has shown his peculiar fitness for leadership in the affairs which concern the general welfare. In 1892 he was elected a member of the board of freeholders on the Democratic ticket, and in 1894 was re-elected by a good majority in a Republican township. While serving his second term he saw fit to differ with some of his Democratic brethren on a matter of considerable moment, and at the next election he accepted the Republican nomination for the office of freeholder, and was elected by a majority of a hundred more than was given him as a Democratic candidate, a fact which shows that his personal popularity was increasing together with the confidence reposed in him by his fellow-townsmen. On the board he served with efficiency on the road committee, and his support of the McAdam road work of the county and his interests in behalf of the employment of home labor have made him hosts of friends and have caused him to be regarded as the proper person to aid in the management of the county's affairs at this time. On the reorganization of the board in 1897 he was delegated by the Republican members to take the initiative in arranging the best possible terms with the Democrats, and did his work in a manner perfectly satisfactorily to his party, at the same time preserving harmony in the board. He is now the oldest member of the board. For eight months, in 1896, he was a member of the board of state fish wardens, and thus became well known throughout the state. For the present two-years term he is a member of the Republican county executive committee. His loyalty to the county's welfare is most marked, and his devotion to what he believes to be right is most commendable.

This biography was scanned and contributed by Catherine Smith DeMayo.


This page was last modified on:  01 January, 2014

Copyright 1999-2014 by Brianne Kelly-Bly, all rights reserved.