History of Smithfield Township

Extracted by Patricia Burger
from the
History of Jefferson county, Ohio
By J.H.S. Trainer and W.M. Trainer
Book # 977.169J768t was found at the Family History Library in Sacramento, CA
Pages 389, 390, 391

Smithfield Village

As early as 1800, Horton J. Howard and Abel Townsend entered section 11, on a part of which Smithfield is located. This land they sold out in small tracts to the following persons: James Garretson, forty-eight acres southwest corner, now owned by William Naylor; north of this Caleb Kirk, seventy-six acres, now owned by Mathias Ong and W.A. Judkins; still further north to Joel Hutton and Casparius Garretson, 100 acres, which at an early day passed into the hands of William and Samuel Naylor, now owned by the heirs of Thomas Wood, son of William Wood; and a fraction still further north, to William Wood, which passed into the hands of Benjamin Ladd and is now owned by Hugh Hammond. James Carr bought the east half of the northeast quarter, on which the town is located. There have been two additions made to the village since it was first laid off, both by the original proprietor, Mr. Carr. The first house built was a log cabin that stood on High street. The second house was built in 1804 by Mr. Griffith, opposite the site of Littenís Hotel. This was the first store in the village, kept by William Wood.

Sherman House. This is the oldest hotel in the township, and perhaps the oldest hotel, continuously used as such, in the country. In 1804 Josiah Glover, who came from Baltimore, hewed the logs and raised and covered the building that still forms a part of this house. Without completing this house he went back to Maryland, and remained there until 18089, when he returned to Smithfield, finished it and opened up a hotel, which he ran until 1820 when he leased it to Mr. Duvall for two years. At the expiration of the term of the lease Mr. Glover again resumed the business himself, which he continued until his death, about 1850. After Mr. Gloverís death, his son Cuthbert Glover, assumed control and continued the business until 1863, when he sold to John Gilmore, who conducted it until 1864, when he sold it to Jesse Litten, who took possession October 1st, of that year. Mr. Litten has continued the business ever since, and makes it an excellent house. This has had several additions made to it since it was first built in 1804, but the old log building is still an integral portion of the structure.

Some of the stores at an early date were those of William Matthews, Blackstone & Ladd and Finley B. McGrew.

Tanneries were among the first enterprises. The first tannery in Smithfield was started by a man names Moore, as early as 1804. Belford Griffith managed the establishment. It appears probable that Moore started it to give Griffith a start in business. It was on the west of town, in a field now owned by Dr. Bates. Not a vestige of it remains. Lewis Carey started the second one as early as 1809. It was located at the extreme east side of the village at the terminus of Tanner Street. It went down many years ago, and nothing remains to denote the place where it stood. The property is now owned by David Hayne. William Sharon, the father of Senator Sharon, put in operation the third tannery, about 1817. It was situated on the property now owned by William A. Judkins, at the south end of town. He continued the business until 1844, when he sold the stock and rented the yard for three years to George Lee, after which it went down. John Wood was the fourth to start a tan yard.

William Burrell, who located at Smithfield, in 1807, was the first doctor, and William Carr was the first blacksmith. Joel Klutter was the first shoemaker, and Isaac Wickersham constructed the first mill (a hand mill), in 1804, and in 1808, James Carr built a horse mill.

Pork Packing. The pork packing business was one of the earlier industries of the place. It was probably commenced as early as 1815, and soon became one of the principal money products of the farmer, and so continued for many years. It was a considerable item of trade as late as 1865; in fact there is still something done in the business. Benjamin W. Ladd was the first to engage in the business, and carrying it on with success, other parties were soon prompted to engage in it also, until finally all the merchants in the place were engaged in the pork trade.

The village was incorporated in 1832 and the incorporation act amended in 1833. It has quite a number of thriving business houses and an excellent and prosperous bank. The county fair is held at this place. The population at present is about 900.

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