John Galbraith


JOHN GALBRAITH, president of the First National Bank of Smithfield, O., has been a resident of Jefferson County all his life. He was born at Smithfield, January 6, 1839, and is a son of James and Jane (Mahaffey) Galbraith.

James Galbraith was born in Ireland and emigrated to American in early manhood, locating at Philadelphia in 1832. There he married Jane Mahaffey, also a native of Ireland, and in 1838 they came to Jefferson County, and settled at Smithfield, where he conducted a grocery store. He was born in 1806 and died in 1880, and his wife, born in 1812, died in 1896. They had six children: Robert, John, William, James M., Mary C. and Rebecca J. Of the above family both William and James M. served in the CIvil War.

After his school days were over, John Galbraith assisted his father in his store and in 1864, with his brother William, bought the father's interest and enlarged the business, adding a dry goods department and opening up a trade in wool. Later the eldest brother, RObert Galbraith, now deceased, bought the grocery and dry goods interests but John and James continued to handle wool until 1901, since which time John Galbraith has devoted his entire time to the affairs of the First National Bank. This bank was established in 1864 and in the following year when the present location was occupied, the capital stock was $100,000. At that time Joseph H. Cope was president, and C. D. Kaminsky was vice-president, and J.C. Scott cashier. William Vermillion succeded Mr. Scott, being cashier from 1865 to 1877. Mr. Kaminsky succeeded as president and H. S. Black became vice-president. Later, A. C. Noble became president and John Galbraith became president. The present officials of the bank are: John Galbraith, president; Charles McKinney, vice-president; J. H. Lowry, cashier, and T. B. Ewing, W. F. Lewis, M. B. Cole and William S. Purviance, making up the board of directors. This is deservedly regarded as one of the most stable financial institutions in Ohio.

In November, 1871, Mr. Galbraith was married to Miss Elizabeth Ewing, who was born in Smithfield Township, a daughter of William Ewing, one of the old pioneers of this section. They have had three children: Mary, who is the wife of J. H. Lowry, and has two sons, John and James Lowry; Anna, who died in childhood; and Zana, who is a teacher of music. Mr. Galbraith owns sixty-eight acres of fine land, fifty-one of which is situated one mile south of Smithfield. His home is on the eastern edge of Smithfield, and here Mr. Galbraith built his handsome residence in 1904. Although he cast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln, Mr. Galbraith has not been identified with the party he represented for some years, his present affiliation being with the Democrats. He has been too busy to accept many official positions but at times he has served as a member of Smithfield council. His position in financial circles is well established and his opinion on questions of this kind is frequently requested and his decisions accepted.

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