Father R. J. Smith
As published in
"The City of Kenosha and Kenosha County Wisconsin: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement"
by Frank H. Lyman Vol. 2, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1916.
Father R. J. Smith, pastor of St. James Catholic church, was born on a farm in Lafayette county, Wisconsin, a son of John and Mary (Wood) Smith, both of whom were natives of Ireland and became early settlers of Wisconsin. The father arrived in this state in the year 1843 and the mother came a little later. He made his way to the lead mines of Wisconsin, where he was employed for a time and subsequently turned his attention to farming.
Reared under the parental roof, R. J. Smith supplemented his early educational training by study in St. Francis Seminary, from which he was graduated June 24, 1886. The same year he was ordained to the priesthood and was given charge of the Catholic Church at Gratiot, Wisconsin, where he remained for a year and a half. He afterward was assigned to educational work as a professor in St. Francis Seminary, in which he remained for seventeen years, teaching English literature, canon law and Greek. He was afterward chancellor for three years, from 1905 until 1908, with the archbishop of Milwaukee. In the latter years he came to Kenosha as pastor of St. James church and has been in charge here for eight years. His thorough acquaintance with all phases of ecclesiastical history and teaching has made him well qualified to promote the interests of Catholicism and his work is proving a patent force in that direction among the people of the community.
Typed by: Michelle Laycock