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Frank Smelser

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Frank Smelser

Posted: 31 Oct 2002 10:53PM GMT
Classification: Biography
Edited: 3 Nov 2002 10:26AM GMT
Surnames: Smelser, Sparks, Kindler, Goff
"History of Huntington County, Indiana"1914 By Frank S. Bash pg. 605-06

Frank Smelser. Among the prominent residents of Wayne township is Frank Smelser, general farmer and breeder of good livestock, who is numbered among the oldest residents of this section, having lived here upward of fifty-six years. He has therefore been a witness to much of its growth and development and as the years have passed by he has so directed his labors that success has resulted, and his methods are of interest to the business world. He has always based his business principles and actions upon the rules which govern strict and unswerving integrity and indefatigable energy, and the monument to his labors is the South Elkhorn Stock Farm, a tract of 192 acres located at Banquo, Indiana.

Mr. Smelser was born in Wayne township, Huntington county, Indiana, October 16, 1858, and is a son of Smith and Mary (Sparks) Smelser, the latter being a daughter of Elder John Sparks, a Baptist minister. Smith Smelser was born in Union county, Indiana, and was reared in Rush county, where he was married to Mary Sparks, who was born in that county, and in 1853 they made their way to Huntington county and settled on a farm in Wayne township. Through his maternal grandmother, Frank Smelser is connected with the famous Daniel Boone, whose niece she was. Smith Smelser passed the remaining years of his life in agricultural pursuits, became one of the substantial men of his community, and passed away in January, 1911, with the respect and esteem of all who knew him. He and his wife were the parents of six children, of whom five are still living: John, who is a resident of Banquo, Indiana; Frank; Albert, a resident of Michigan; Charles H., who is the owner of the old homestead place in Wayne township; and Dr. J. S. H., a practicing physician of Oklahoma. Smith Smelser was a democrat in his political views, but was never a seeker after personal preferment. He and his wife were devout members of the Baptist church and reared their children in that faith.

Frank Smelser was the third in order of birth of his parents’ children, and was reared on the home farm in Wayne township which his father had developed. He received a fair common school education and studied to some extent under the preceptorship of his father, who in addition to being a farmer was also engaged in teaching at various times. On January 11, 1880, Frank Smelser was married to Miss Bettie Kindler, who was born in 1856, in Fairfield, Ohio, and educated in the public schools of Ohio and Huntington county, Indiana, her father, Adam Kindler, having come to this state in 1870 and located in Wayne township on a farm. Mr. and Mrs. Smelser had one child, who died when four years old, and they have reared Goldie Smelser, the daughter of Charles H. Smelser, a brother of Frank. She was given good educational advantages and reared to useful womanhood, and August 25, 1906, was married to James L. Goff, who was born in Jefferson township, Huntington county, and is now engaged in farming. They have one daughter: Elizabeth J., who was born September 21, 1907.

Mr. Smelser is a democrat in his political views, and was elected township trustee of Wayne township, but declined to serve as he has never cared for public office, preferring to contribute to his community’s welfare rather as a public-spirited citizen than as an official. He has met with success as a general farmer, but has given the greater part of his attention to the raising of stock, and especially as a breeder of fast pacing horses. One of the animals now in his stable is "Lady Costes," a mare with a mark of 2:20. Mr. Smelser is a good business man, shrewd and far-seeing and ready to grasp every opportunity, but his transactions have been carried on in such an honorable manner that he has gained and maintained the respect and confidence of all with whom he has come into contact. His acquaintance is extensive and his friends are to be found all over this part of the county.

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