Ohio Biographies

Smith, Arthur & Wilmer

One of the successful business enterprises of Ironton is that conducted by Arthur and Wilmer Smith, under the firm style of Smith Brothers Company, furniture dealers. The brothers have experienced the vicissitudes which are liable to be encountered by every merchant, but have triumphed over their discouragements, and today are numbered among the successful men of the younger generation doing business in this flourishing city. They are sons of Cornelius and Amelia (Strother) Smith, the former born at Ironton, Ohio, in 1849, and the latter in Wayne County, Kentucky, in 1848. The father, who spent his life as a laborer at Ironton, was a mail carrier during the Civil War, his route lying between Ironton and Gwendolyn. There were seven children in the family, of whom three are deceased, the survivors being: Low D., Arthur, Wilmer and Elizabeth.

Arthur Smith was born at Ironton, Ohio, September 21, 1876, and received only ordinary educational advantages, attending the public schools until reaching the Seventh Grade. At that time, when but fourteen years of age, he took upon his young shoulders life's responsibilities, becoming a laborer in the old Star Mill, where he continued for five years. At the end of that time, with his brothers, Low D. and Wilmer, be embarked in the grocery business at Ironton, but after a business life of four and one-half years obstacles were met which could not be overcome and the venture failed. In 1900, nothing daunted, the brothers again engaged in the grocery business, and about one year later established a notion store on North Second Street, of which Arthur Smith had charge for six years. At this time Low D. Smith disposed of his interests to his brothers and retired from the firm, and the latter then closed out the grocery and notion stores and in 1910 embarked in the furniture business. Through able management and tireless industry, aided by the experience gained in their former ventures, the brothers have built up a prosperous business, which is constantly growing and attracting a representative patronage.

Arthur Smith is unmarried. He is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. and of the local lodge of the Knights of Pythias. His political views are those of the democratic party, and his religious connection is with the First Methodist Episcopal Church. He gives the major part of his attention to the duties of his business, but when he can lay aside its cares for a time is fond of travel and hunting and is also a baseball enthusiast. His acquaintance is large at Ironton and his friends numerous.

Wilmer Smith was born at Ironton, March 28, 1879, and like his brother only received ordinary educational advantages. When the Spanish-American War broke out he demonstrated his patriotism by enlisting in Company E. Seventh Regiment. Ohio Volunteer Infantry, with which organization he served as a private. Upon his return to civil life he joined his brothers in business, and his ability, resource, progressive ideas and energetic nature have done much to insure the success of the company of which he is a member. Like his brother, Mr. Smith is a member of the First Methodist Episcopal Church and a democrat in politics, and like him also is a "booster" for the best interests of his native place. He is generally popular, as testified by a wide circle of friends.

On May 30. 1900. Wilmer Smith was married at Ironton to Miss Anna Hill, daughter of Lawrence Hill, and three children have been born to this union: Thelma L., Richard W. and Ralph E.


From "A Standing History of the Hanging Rock Iron Region of Ohio" by Eugene B. Willard, Daniel W. Williams, George O. Newman and Charles B. Taylor.  Published by Lewis Publishing Company, 1916