Prof. Martin L. Smith
Among the prominent and successful educators of Pickaway County, selected for representation in this biographical work, we take pleasure in introducing to our readers Prof. Martin L. Smith, the well-known and popular Superintendent of the High and Public Schools of Ashville, with which he has been identified since the fall of 1882.
The Professor is a native of this county, his birthplace in Madison Township, and he was born March 26, 1854. He is descended from the early pioneer stock of this part of the State, his grandparents being among the first to settle in Madison Township, where his parents, Reuben and Eliza Smith, were also born. Our subject's father was a prosperous farmer and the son passed his boyhood days on a farm. He early displayed an aptitude for learning, and was given every advantage to obtain a liberal education, laying a solid foundation for it in the district school. At the age of sixteen, he began attending schools of a higher grade at Lithopolis, where he passed his school days for several terms, and he also had the benefit of several sessions at different Normals. At the age of seventeen, our subject entered upon his professional career by teaching in District No. 5, Madison Township, where he taught some ten years, and he also had charge of District No. 1 one year. He was then given the position of Superintendent of the Ashville schools, in which capacity he has since officiated, giving universal satisfaction to pupils and parents. The branches taught in the High School include mathematics, book-keeping, philosophy, general history, English literature and rhetoric, and such other studies as are usually pursued in such an institution in this State, languages, however, not being included. The Professor has three lady teachers under him, who earnestly cooperate with him in his work. He has been County Examiner for some five years with his other duties, has also served as Clerk of Madison Township for a time, and under Cleveland's administration he was Postmaster at Ashville.
Professor Smith is a close student, and keeps well abreast of the times in all things pertaining to his profession, to which he is devoted heart and soul, and to his energetic labors is largely due the present high status of the Ashville schools for thoroughness and efficiency, of which qualities the citizens of the place are justly proud. The Professor has been President of the Pickaway County Teachers' Institute four years, an honor not often conferred on one teacher so long. He has also assisted in conducting Normal Schools at Ashville, and he is always found in the lead in promoting the cause of education in his native county. He is well-known as the author, in conjunction with Prof. C. B. Shook, of a work entitled "The New Orthography," a manual containing nearly one hundred and fifty pages, designed for teachers and pupils in the schools, and which has attracted favorable notice among the educators of the country. While County Examiner, our subject took an active part in the meetings of the city and county examiners in the State. He has done much to broaden and elevate the religious and social interests of the city, and to his taste for music, and efforts in securing the organization of a band, is Ashville much indebted for its excellent cornet band, of which he is the leader. The Professor is a member of the Lutheran Church, and is active in the Sunday-school. He belongs to the Knights of Honor and the Knights of Pythias, and, politically, is a Democrat.
Prof. Smith was married April 15, 1880, to Miss Anna Fridley daughter of the late Joshua and Julia Fridley, formerly of Madison Township. Of the four children born to our subject and his wife three survive: Anna B., Ray F. and Marie. Professor and Mrs. Smith have a charming home, and as leaders in Ashville society they have many friends, attracted to them by their pleasant ways and truly courteous and friendly manners.
From PORTRAIT & BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF FAYETTE, PICKAWAY AND MADISON COUNTIES, OHIO - Chapman Bros. [Chicago, 1892]