Henry Smith, is a man of upright, honest character, whose long and useful life has won him the esteem and confidence of all honest men and the respect of all good citizens. He began in life a poor boy, but by energy and perseverance, united with economy and good business qualifications, he has secured a competency and is now living in the enjoyment of the fruits of his early toil. His present home is situated on section 29, Walnut Township, Pickaway County, where, in addition to cultivating the soil, he is the proprietor of a machine shop.
The original of this sketch is a native of Fairfield County, this State, his birth occurring October 25, 1824. He is the son of John M. and Magdalena Smith, natives of Pennsylvania. The paternal great-grandfather was a native of Germany. John M. Smith came to this section in an early day, and here our subject was reared amid the pioneer scenes, whose hardships and privations have made a lasting impression upon his mind. Their pioneer home was located in the woods, and deer and wild animals were very plentiful, making it easy to provide the family larder with all kinds of choice meats.
Henry Smith began learning the trade of a blacksmith when in his sixteenth year, serving an apprenticeship of three years. He has since followed that occupation, which business he has found to be very profitable. He was married in 1844 to Miss Rebecca Crites, by whom he became the father of a family of ten children, seven of whom are living and are Sophia, Mrs. Francis Ward; Jacob; Paulina, the wife of John H. Ward; Jabez, Jerome, Samuel and John. On the death of his wife, Mr. Smith was a second time married, the lady of his choice being Mary Abbott. Our subject removed to his present location in 1844, where he opened up a blacksmith shop. He is considered an expert in that line, and rendered much useful service in "setting up" the first mowers and reapers introduced into the county. People living within six miles of Columbus brought their farm machinery to Mr. Smith to be repaired, knowing that the work would be done in a satisfactory manner. His blacksmith shop and outfit cost him $5,000, which he considers a judicious investment.
The education of our subject was limited to the district school, but being an apt pupil and eager to learn, he made the best of his opportunities, and is to-day thoroughly informed upon all topics of general interest. In politics, he is a sound Republican, always casting his vote in favor of the candidates of that party. He has taken an active interest in educational matters, and for twenty years has rendered effective service on the School Board. He is widely known in this section, and we are pleased to be able to place his sketch before our numerous readers as one of the representative citizens of the county who is self-made in the truest sense of that term.
From PORTRAIT & BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF FAYETTE, PICKAWAY AND MADISON COUNTIES, OHIO - Chapman Bros. [Chicago, 1892]