Joshua Smith, the grandfather of Guilford Smith, and a native of Lebanon, New London county, subsequently moved to Windham county, Connecticut, where he was both a weaver and a farmer, and in connection with his trade wove cloth for the soldiers during the war of 1812. His children were three sons, Chandler, Charles and Marvin, and five daughters, Myra, Lydia, Laura, Emily and Mary. Charles, of this number, was born in Windham, and early learned the trade of a millwright. In 1828 he began the manufacture of machinery at Stafford Hollow, in Tolland county, and two years later, having built a foundry at South Windham, removed to that point, where he is still interested as the senior member of the firm of Smith, Winchester & Co., conducting a successful business under his judicious management. He married Mary, daughter of Moses and Tabatha Abbe. Their children are a son, Guilford, and a daughter, Mary, wife of P. H. Woodward, of Hartford.
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Guilford Smith was born May 12th, 1839, in the town of Windham, where he pursued his preliminary studies, and completed his education at a school of higher grade in Ellington, Tolland county. Returning to Windham, he entered the office of Smith, Winchester & Co. as bookkeeper and draftsman, and early became so thoroughly identified with the business as to warrant his admission as a partner. Under his able supervision it greatly increased in proportions, and a demand for the products of the establishment was created in various parts of Europe, in Australia, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and nearly all parts of the United States. Machinery adapted to the manufacture of paper is here produced, Mr. Smith being exclusively at- the head of this large industry. The subject of this biography, though not in any sense a politician, nor aggressive in his identification with local affairs, is nevertheless a strong factor in the republican ranks, and wields in his unostentatious way no little influence in the county. In 1883 he was the representative of his town in the state house of representatives. He is president of the Windham Bank of Willimantic, and director of other banks and business enterprises. In religion he adheres to the Congregational church, to which his generous aid is given. Mr. Smith was, married December 16th, 1863, to Mary, daughter of Thomas Ramsdell, of Mansfield, Connecticut.