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Biography of John E. Smith (1843 to ____)
Daniel H. Weiskotten
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From: Smith, James H., 1880, History of Chenango and Madison Counties, New York. D. Mason & Co.. Syracuse, NY

John E. Smith
Facing Page 631

The original text includes an illustration of John E. Smith


        John E. Smith was born in Nelson, Madison county, New York, August 4, 1843, and is a son of James and Susan (Tackabery) Smith.  His mother died when he was but ten months, and his father when he was four years old.  The latter, as he was about to die, most solemnly and confidently charged Perry, his son by his first wife, (Susan being his second, ) with the care of his helpless little ones he was about to leave forever; and with truth it may be said the charge was faithfully
        When he was old enough John was sent to the district school, and as soon as he was able to, he assisted Perry on the farm, and continued to do so until he was eighteen, attending school winters.
        During the years 1861 and 1862 he attended the Academy at Cazenovia and at the close of his term there he returned to Nelson and worked on the old home farm summers and taught district school winters, three years.
        In 1866 he went to Albany and attended law school during the fall and winter, graduating there in the following May, at which time he had the decree of Bachelor of Laws conferred on him.  He was admitted to the Bar of the State at the General Term in the same month, and came to Morrisville and immediately commenced the practice of law.  He has proved an able and valuable acquisition to the bar of the county.
        On January 16, 1872, Mr. Smith was admitted to practice in the District and Circuit Courts of the United States, for the Northern District of New York.
        In the fall of 1877 the people of the county entrusted him with the office of District Attorney, the duties of which he entered upon January 1, 1878, and which have been performed by him in a manner highly honorable to himself and satisfactory to the people.
        Mr. Smith has met the barriers common to young attorneys in competition with older and more experienced lawyers, with the energy and integrity of purpose that carves out success in any calling of life; and holds to-day a most enviable position in his profession.  Endowed with fine natural abilities, and possessed of a peculiarly acute and logical mind, he is justly reputed for extensive learning and sound judgment.  With these qualifications as an advocate, his efforts are able and effective, while his arguments upon questions of law are remarkable for a style of reasoning at once forcible and convincing.  Of the personal appearance, and with refined and cordial manners, he is a favorite with his professional brethren and the public, by whom he is highly esteemed as an able lawyer and genial gentleman.
        Politically Mr. Smith is a Republican, and takes an active part in furthering the interests of the party.  He is the unrelenting foe of intemperance, doing everything in his power to check the growth of that mighty evil.
        If inheriting no wealth but an honest name, of conquering rough fortune by sheer pluck and resolute will, if working one's way through an academic and collegiate course of study by hard hand-work as well as hard head-work, and obtaining prominence in a chosen profession are marks of self-made men, then is the subject of our brief sketch such an one.
        On March 1, 1865, Mr. Smith married Mary E., daughter of Wells N. and Roxy L. Osborn, of the town of Smithfield, Madison county.  She was born November 9, 1816.  They have two children, viz: George Wells, born July 5, 1868, and Edwin Dudley, born March 25, 1877.