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Biography of F. Dumont Smith, F. Hon.

Posted By Dennis Partridge On In District of Columbia,Illinois,Kansas | No Comments

Hon. F. Dumont Smith. During his thirty years of membership in the Kansas bar, F. Dumont Smith has attained such distinction as to make him a well known figure in the life and activities of the state. Noted as an exceptionally well trained lawyer, he has also been prominent as a public speaker, editor and writer and has wielded an influence proportionate to his versatile abilities. For many years his home was in Kinsley, but he is now at Hutchinson.

He is a man of fortunate endowment and of fine American ancestry. He was born on a farm near Kewanee, Illinois, January 31, 1861, a son of Samuel M. and Elizabeth (Rose) Anderson Smith. His first American ancestor was Nathaniel Smith who came from Yorkshire, England, in 1640, and settled in the valley of the Connecticut near New London. The maternal grandfather Samuel Bowles Anderson, a native of Vermont, was the first surveyor-general of Michigan. He married Maria Willard, who was descended from Major Josiah Willard, who came from Bristol, England, and established the Willard family in America in 1631.

Samuel M. Smith, father of the Hutchinson lawyer, was born in Connecticut, while his wife was a native of New York. They were married in Michigan, moved from there to Illinois, and about 1877 settled in the State of Virginia in the valley of the Potomac below Mount Vernon. In 1884 they established their home at Washington, District of Columbia, and in 1888 went south to Florida, where Samuel M. Smith died in 1892. His widow passed away at the home of her son in Kansas in 1890. Samuel M. Smith was a farmer by occupation and was a man of unusual energy and ability. He was an eloquent speaker, and in the early politics of Illinois was at the head of the Grangers organization. His wife was also noted for her strong character and her ability as a writer of charming verse, much of which was set to music.

Thus it was in the atmosphere of books, culture, and high ideals that F. Dumont Smith was reared. After a high school education he entered the National University Law School at Washington, where he was graduated LL. B. in 1886. In June of that year he was admitted to the bar in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, and in the fall of that year, October, came out and identified himself permanently with the State of Kansas. He soon had a large and profitable practice at Kinsley, which was his home until 1908, when he removed to Hutchinson.

In 1893 Mr. Smith was mayor of Kinsley, and in 1900 was elected on the republican ticket to the State Senate and was re-elected in 1904. He was sent to the Senate by the Thirty-ninth Senatorial District, embracing sixteen counties. Senator Smith is a Knight Templar Mason, a member of the Mystic Shrine, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Woodmen of the World. He was reared in the faith of the Episcopal Church.

In May, 1888, at Washington, District of Columbia, after he had become established in practice in Kansas, he married Miss Florence Eustace, who was born at Dixon, Illinois. They have one son Eustace Dumont Smith, who graduated LL. B. in 1911 from the law school of the National University at Washington, District of Columbia, and is now his father’s partner in law practice at Hutchinson.

Mr. Smith has traveled extensively in his own country and abroad, is familiar with various European countries, China and Japan, and many of his observations of men, manners and affairs have been translated into charming prose. His best literary effort is considered “Blue Waters and Green.”


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