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William M. Smith

 

 

WILLIAM M. SMITH, general manager of the Commercial Coal Mining Company of Pennsylvania, director and vice-president of the Cresson Foundry, Machine & Car Company at Cresson, and one of the organizers of the Auld Run Coal Company, of which he is treasurer, is one of the most progressive and enterprising men in Cambria county, Pennsylvania. He is a descendant of the early settlers of the state.

Daniel Smith, father of William M. Smith, was born on Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1814, where he was reared. Soon after his marriage he removed to Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, where he engaged in the lumber trade and later in farming. He resided there until his death, which occurred in 1876. Politically he was a Republican, and in religion a Presbyterian. He married Sarah Brutzman, and they had twelve children, of whom four are now living: Adam, resides in Twin Rocks, Cambria county, Pennsylvania; Charles, lives in Luzerne county, Pennsylvania; Melvina, married Lawrence Rogers and lives in Hastings, Cambria county, Pennsylvania; and William M., of whom later.


William M. Smith, son of Daniel and Sarah (Brutzman) Smith, was born in Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, November 4, 1850. He was reared at home and acquired his education in the public schools. As early as his eleventh year he went to work as a breaker boy in the mines at Plainsville, which was his home at the time. One year later, however, he went to work on the canal and followed this calling up to the fall of 1865, when he again took up work in the mines in Luzerne county. He now worked in the capacity of driver, and from this position he passed upward through the various grades, learning in detail and practically the different branches of the mining industry. In June, 1886, he went to the mountains as the superintendent of the Gallitzin Coal & Coke Company, which is located in Gallitzin, Cambria county, Pennsylvania. Two years later this company was absorbed by the Mitchell Coal & Coke Company, and Mr. Smith was made general superintendent of the new company, as well as of the Chest Creek Coal & Coke Company, he remaining in this capacity until the spring of 1901, when this company was absorbed by the Webster Coal & Coke Company, with whom Mr. Smith remained for three months as general superintendent. He resigned this position and came to Ebensburg to act as general superintendent of the Pennsylvania Coal & Coke Company, which company had been formed by Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Smith's former employer. Mr. Smith continued in this position until the beginning of 1903, resigning it to become one of the organizers of the Commercial Coal Mining Company, operating in Cambria and Bedford counties, one of the most successful organizations of its kind. He was made general manager of this company, which office he is still holding, being one of the best known coal operators in western Pennsylvania. He also has charge of the Big Bend Coal Mining Company at Twin Rocks, Cambria county. He has been one of the most prominent men in the development of the coal industry in this section of Pennsylvania, and has had charge of the construction and development of the following: The Chest Creek properties, at Hastings; the two properties at Bens Creek, Cambria; the sinking of the shaft at Beaverdale, on the South Fork: the shaft at Sonman, Cambria county; the Prospect shaft, at Houtzdale; the Beulah shaft in Clearfield county; the three openings at Moss creek, Cambria county; three openings at Black Lick, Cambria county; and the Slope Mines at the east end of the Gallitzin tunnel. He was one of the pioneers in the field of coal development in this county. In politics he is a Republican, and is a member of Valley Lodge, No. 499, Free and Accepted Masons, of Pittston, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Smith married, in 1870, Alice Dixon. daughter of John Dixon, at the time a resident of Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, but a native of England, as were his wife and daughter. Mr. and Mrs. Smith had nine children, of whom six are now living: 1. May, married Harry Greist, of Ebensburg, Pennsylvania. 2. William, lives at home. 3. John, at home. 4. Frank, at home. 5. Ethel, at home. 6. Ruth, at home. The family are attendants of the Presbyterian church.

(Source: Storey, Henry Wilson, History of Cambria County Pennsylvania, Vol. III, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1907, pp.407-409)

 

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