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Biography of Thomas Smith

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Thomas Smith, county assessor of Oneida county, and a leading merchant and farmer of Preston, was born in Brigham City, Utah, October 22, 1862, his parents being Samuel and Maria Smith, who were natives of England. In that land they embraced the faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and wishing to ally their interests with the colony of that belief resident in Utah, they crossed the Atlantic to America and settled in the Salt Lake region at an early period in its development. They located first at Cottonwood, and a little later at Brigham City, where the father was known as one of the prominent pioneers. He served as probate judge and mayor of the city for a number of years, and took an active part in public affairs. He was the father of about fifty children, was counselor to the president of Box Elder, and a man of much influence and ability. He departed this life in the seventieth year of his age, but the wife of his youth is still living, one of the honored pioneer women of Utah.

Their son, Thomas Smith, was educated in Brigham City and at twelve years of age began to earn his own living by working in the pioneer woolen factory of that part of the country. In 1882 he came to Cache valley, locating at what was then known as the Falls, but is now Riverdale, where for five years he engaged in ranching. In 1887 he came to Preston and accepted a clerkship in the large general mercantile store of William C. Parkinson & Company, continuing in that position until 1899. He acquired a complete knowledge of the business in all its departments, and for a number of years held the responsible position of chief clerk and acted as superintendent during the absence of the manager, who was often away on other business. In the fall of 1898 Mr. Smith was chosen by the Democratic Party as their candidate for county assessor and was elected to the office, which he is now capably filling, discharging his duties in a prompt and able manner. The assessed property of the county now amounts to two and quarter million dollars.

James Smith, the brother of our subject, established a general mercantile store in Preston in 1894, and in 1899 he was sent on a mission to England, at which time the firm of Smith Brothers was formed, Thomas Smith becoming a partner and stockholder in the enterprise. He now has the management of the business, for which his long experience as a salesman well fitted him. He has a wide acquaintance with the people in the county, is very popular, and as the result of his honorable dealing, his moderate prices and his uniform courtesy he is now receiving a liberal patronage from the public. In addition to his mercantile interests he owns a farm of one hundred acres near the city and a number of town lots, besides his residence property.

In 1882 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Smith and Miss Frances Van Nov, a native of Richmond, Utah. Their union has been blessed with six children, namely: Thomas W., Clement, Nettie, Lorane, Francis and Leora. They are all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, of which Mr. Smith is an elder. He is very popular as a citizen and businessman, and sustains a very enviable reputation for his unassailable integrity.

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