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Biography of Jacob Smith

Jacob Smith, of Topeka, was one of the notable pioneers of Kansas. He lived in this state half a century. During this time he distinguished himself by a large degree of constructive enterprise in various business affairs. He was a pioneer merchant at Topeka, was also one of the early county officials, was a banker, was interested in the building of railroads and was throughout noted as a man of unusual sound judgment, of great foresight and discernment, and of absolute integrity. The record of his life as given in the following paragraphs is essentially a part of Kansas history. He was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, near Reading, June 24, 1829, and died at his home in Topeka, November 30, 1908. His parents and grandparents were natives of Pennsylvania, their families having come to this country from Leipsic, Germany, at a very early date. When he was two years old in 1831 his father, John Smith, and mother, Hannah Darsham, moved to Somerset, Perry County, Ohio. He received a good education in the country schools and one item of his early experience was clerking in the Boyden Store, where one of his classmates, Phil Sheridan, was also employed. Phil Sheridan later became the dashing cavalry leader and one of the most distinguished generals of the Civil war. In April, 1852, Jacob Smith married Jane K. Von Cannon, at Tiffin, Ohio. Their wedding journey was to Bluffton, Indiana, where they were to make their home, and there Mr. Smith set up in the mercantile business. His daughter, Ida, was born there in 1855. In 1857 Jacob Smith decided to...

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