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Biographical Sketch of John A. Smith

The subject of this sketch was born September 12, 1846, at Williamstown, Massachusetts, eldest son of Joseph Smith, of Vermont, a prominent mechanic of that State. John’s mother was a Miss Cope. John attended public school until he was seventeen years, after which he went to railroading, and from 1861 to 1867 continued that business, when he went west to the Cherokee Nation, and was appointed deputy marshal under Marshal Roots Sarber. He rode for the first court ever held in Fort Smith, serving during two terms of Marshal Buttons’ office. There are at present only two (including Mr. Smith) of the first deputies who survived the perils attached to the commission in those days. In 1874 Mr. Smith gave up his commission and opened a farm in Coowescowee district. In 1888 he opened a grocery business in Chelsea. April 15, 1873, he married Miss Susan Williams, daughter of L. B. Williams, a Cherokee by intermarriage in the Bigbee family. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have but one surviving child, Addie, born March 16, 1875. Mrs. Smith is a lady of refinement, gentle and kindly in disposition. Mr. Smith is above the middle height; a man of natural intelligence and good business qualifications. He is owner of 30 head of cattle, some mules, horses, and 160 acres in cultivation. His stock in trade is worth about $1,000, while he has a comfortable residence near Chelsea, at his farm, and several town lots.

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