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William H. Smith

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William H. Smith

Huntington County Volunteer (View posts)
Posted: 30 Sep 2000 6:00AM GMT
Classification: Biography
Edited: 23 Jun 2001 9:50AM GMT
Surnames: Smith, Bradshaw, Wildermuth, Borman, Fisher, Young, Wile
From Biographical Memoirs of Huntington county, 1901, pages 693-694

William H. Smith, ex-soldier and reputable citizen of Wayne township, Huntington county, Indiana, was born in Fairfield county, Ohio, November 19, 1841, and was one of six children, three boys and three girls, born to Loveless and Manda (Bradshaw) Smith. The family were of German descent, the father coming from Virginia and the mother from Pennsylvania stock. Two of the sons live in Ohio, as does one of the daughters, while one lives in Illinois and one in Arkansas. Loveless Smith was a farmer in Ohio, renting land which he cultivated, and remained in that state during his life.

William H. Smith worked on the farm during the summer and attended school during the winter months, continuing in this manner until his twenty-second year, obtaining a good education which has been largely added to in later years by observation and reading. On February, 22, 1864, he enlisted in Company B, Seventeenth Ohio Regiment, under Captain James T. Weakly, and went to Chattanooga, Tennessee, taking an active part in many of the most bitter and hotly contested battles of the Rebellion. Probably the most important and noteworthy engagements were those at Buzzards' Roost and Resaca, Georgia, which were fought on May 14, 1864, followed closely by the encounters at Allatoona, May 25, and at Kennesaw Mountain on May 31. They were in constant skirmishes, but it was not until June 27, of that year that the battle was fought at Atlanta, although that city did not surrender until September 1, at which time the decisive engagement at Jonesboro occurred. Following this came the battles at Murfreesboro on November 3, and at Black river on December 6. The march of General Sherman's troops, of which Mr. Smith was a member, was begun at Atlanta on November 13, 1864, and it was December 31 before they reached Savannah, having traveled the entire distance on foot, making from twenty to thirty miles each day. In 1865, the left wing under Gen. Slocum, in which Mr. Smith was a soldier, engaged the rebel forces at Bentonville on March 19, and had the satisfaction of defeating the enemy under General Jackson with heavy loss, and was present at the surrender of that commander at Durham's Station less than a month later. Another battle was fought at Goldsboro, North Carolina, on March 23, and at Smithfield on April 12; the troops marched at once on Raleigh where an engagement took place before they triumphantly entered the city on the day following. In these battles Mr. Smith was found in the thickest of the fight and that he did not lose his life was his good fortune, as he had some very close calls, one of them being at Resaca, when a bullet passed through his hat, close to his head. He received his discharge July 16, 1865, at Louisville, Kentucky, and returned to the home of his youth where he resumed his former occupation of farming.

On September 16, 1869, William H. Smith and Miss Emma J. Wildermuth were joined together in matrimony. Mrs. Smith has been well educated in the common branches and is a lady of clear perceptions. She was her mother's main assistance, remaining at home until her marriage and taking charge of a large share of the housework. Her parents, John and Sarah (Borman) Wildermuth, were of German descent, and early pioneers of Fairfield county, Ohio, coming to Huntington county, Indiana, in 1878, at which time the father purchased a half section of land in Wayne township, the premises still occupied by him. Ten children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, seven of whom are living, namely: Mary, who married Ira Fisher and resides in Marion; Lillie, who is the wife of Edward Young, a son of Dr. Young, and lives on a farm in Jefferson township; Ada, who married Earl Wile, and makes her home in Marion; Manda, born November 20, 1880, is an accomplished and agreeable young lady who still lives with her parents; Daniel, born August 25, 1883, is also at home and attends the country schools; John, who was born September 8, 1886; and Orpha, born May 30, 1889. Mr. Smith has been a very successful man in his farming operations and is ranked among the best agriculturists in the county. It was not until 1886 that he came to Indiana, locating at once in Huntington county on a tract of wild land which he cleared and improved, his latest effort in this direction being the erection of a fine home which is a pleasure to the family and a credit to the community. Mr. Smith is a stock-raiser of established reputation, dealing largely in hogs, which he raises and sells in large numbers, and in this way much of his money has been made.

He has always supported the Republican ticket but has never been an aspirant for office taking no part in political discussion. He is a man of unquestioned integrity and a zealous member of the Methodist Episcopal church at Pleasant Plain, serving as steward, trustee and class leader in the church and superintendent of the Sunday-school, and is ever ready and willing to help along the cause of Christianity in any way in his power. The world would be infinitely better off did it contain more men like William H. Smith.

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