WILLIAM SMITH, an old and esteemed farmer of Independence township, is a son of John Smith, who was born in 1786, in County Fermanagh, Ireland. He passed his youth in assisting his father on the home farm, and in early manhood was married to Jane Graham, who was born in 1786, daughter of William Graham. In 1818 John Smith, with his wife and infant son, William, sailed from Cork, Ireland, to find a home across the ocean. They landed in New York, and immediately proceeded to Independence township, Washington Co., Penn., where a brother of Mr. Smith had previously located near Buffalo Creek. For some time after his arrival in Independence township, Mr. Smith worked as a farm tenant, but this did not suit his energetic and ambitious disposition. In a few years he purchased the farm he had rented on arriving in Pennsylvania, and remained upon it until his death, which occurred in 1831. His widow continued to reside on the place, which was managed by her sons, until her death in 1835. The children born in America were as follows: John ( a farmer in Independence township), Jane (living on the old homestead with her brother John), Edward (who died at the old homestead in his twenty-first year) and Mary A. (widow of Paul Ralston, of Independence township).
William Smith (the eldest child of John Smith) was born December 22, 1817, in County Fermanagh, Ireland, being an infant when brought to America with his parents. He received a limited education at the rate schools, and losing his father when but a boy of fourteen years, a heavy burden of care necessarily fell upon him as the eldest son. The mother died but a few years later, yet still the brave boy struggled on, with no one to guide him and no assistance but that of the younger children; but they managed the farm successfully. On October 15, 1840, William Smith was married to Margaret Haggarty, who was born on April 3, 1818, daughter of James Haggarty, an elderly resident of Independence township, and a native of Ireland. After his marriage Mr. Smith entered mercantile business at Dunsfort, Penn., but soon returned to the farm, concluding that after all agriculture was the more desirable vocation, and continued to follow it until recent years. He is now living a semi-retired life in the pleasant home. On October 15, 1890, Mr. And Mrs. Smith celebrated their golden wedding, and were recipients of many gifts. In politics he was formerly a Whig; he cast his first vote for William H. Harrison, and has also voted for his grandson, Benjamin. Mr. Smith passes much of his time in reading various kinds of literature, with which his library is well filled. In religious connection he is second to the oldest member of the U. P. Church at Mt. Hope, in which he has been an elder over thirty years. He has always been an earnest worker and liberal contributor to the cause.
Text taken from page 565 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed June 1997 by Dorothy Elwood of Mulberry, FL as part of the Beers Project.
Published June 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
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