Chauncey Smith

From the Biographical Review, Volume XXXIII, located at the Durham Center Museum.
Transcribed by Celeste MacCormack


Chauncey Smith, of West Catskill, N. Y., dealer in coal, hay, straw, and grain, was born in Roxbury, Delaware County, this State, on July 25, 1847.  His parents were Jonas M. and Deborah (Kater) Smith, both natives of Roxbury. His paternal grandfather was David Smith, a native of Scotland. Immigrating to this country, David Smith settled in Roxbury, and there made his home many years, his death occurring at the advanced age of ninety-one. His wife, Jane More, also born in Scotland, died at the age of eighty-nine. She was the mother of a large family of children, of whom the only survivor is R. B. Smith, of Cortland, N. Y.

Jonas M. Smith was reared on a farm in Roxbury. He was educated in the public schools, and he subsequently taught school for a while. Going west as far as Illinois, he lived for a time in that State, and then returned to his native town and started a variety store, which he carried on until 1863.  Removing in that year to Ashland, Greene County, he engaged in farming, also devoting his energies to some extent to mercantile affairs.  Subsequently he came to Catskill, where he died at the age of seventy-five. He was a man of influence, and served as Town Supervisor for four terms, as well as in other positions of trust.  His wife died at the age of fifty-nine. All her four children are living.  They are: Chauncey, Mary, Nettie, and Addie.  Mary married William H. Tompkins, of Ashland. Nettie is now Mrs. Lewis, and Addie is Mrs. Wiers.

Chauncey Smith remained in his native town until he was seventeen years of age.  Going then to Ashland, he remained there thirteen years, and at the end of that time he came to Catskill, In 1877 he was engaged in the steamboat business at the Point, and from 1878 until 1892 he was in the flour and grain business.  For a part of this time, some nine years, he also carried on a mill.  He met with excellent success, but finally gave up all other business interests, and has since devoted himself to the his coal and grain business, which is one of the most prosperous enterprises in the town.  In 1898 he erected the building which he now uses. He had both wholesale and retail trade, and is known as a man thoroughly estimable and upright.

In 1870 Mr. Smith was united in marriage with Aravesta Lewis, who was born in Durham. Eight children have blessed this union; namely, Vernon M., Howard C., Raymond E., Clifford H.  Vernon M. Smith is on the real estate and insurance business in Iowa and Minnesota. He married Maud Jennings and has one son, Chauncey Joseph.  Howard C. is a dealer in horses, and resides in this town.  He married Carrie Crawford. Raymond and William are in school.

Mr. Smith is a Republican. He is a member of the Water Board and of the School Board, and a trustee in the Savings Bank. He was one of the organizers of the Catskill Rural Cemetery, and is one of its trustees.  He and his wife and three of their sons are members of the Methodist church.  Mr. Smith is a trustee of the church, and Mrs. Smith has been a teacher in the Sunday-school.  Both are earnestly interested in all efforts to promote the moral and spiritual growth of mankind.


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