William E. Smith

From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.

WILLIAM E. SMITH, deceased, was a native of London, England, born on the 31st of January, 1832. His parents, William and Amelia Smith, were also natives of that country . They had a family of five children, of whom our subject was the eldest. Charles is now en- gaged in merchandising in Avoca, Iowa; James makes his home near Oquawka; Susan is the wife of W. B. Rose; and George is also living in Oquawka.

In the common schools of his native land, William E. Smith acquired his education, living in that country until 1849, when, at the age of seventeen years, he bade adieu to the home and friends of his childhood, and boarded a westward- bound sailing-vessel. He landed at Quebec, Canada, and immediately afterwards made his way to Henderson County, Ill., where he located upon a farm. Here throughout his remaining years he carried on agricultural pursuits. He was a man of considerable mechanical genius, and invented a plow. The land which he purchased he transformed into rich and fertile fields, and in return for the care and cultivation which he be- stowed upon them they yielded to him a golden tribute. The boundaries of his farm he extended until it comprised three hundred acres of land.

On the 12th of April, 1859, Mr. Smith was united in marriage with Miss Susan A. Rauney, a native of Missouri. Their union was blessed with a family often children, eight of whom are yet living, namely: Emma M., wife of Albert Hawkins; Royal E.; Nathan W.; Esrom N.; Mary E.; Samuel J.; Araminta A., wife of H. F. Fair; and William E. Martha E. and George O. are deceased. The family is one of prominence in the community, its members being held in high regard. Mr. Smith held the office of Justice of the Peace for three years, and in his political views was a Democrat. He held membership with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and took an active interest in church and benevolent work. He won success in his business career by his well-directed efforts, and became the owner of a good home and fine farm. He was never prominently connected with public affairs, preferring to live a quiet and retired life, but he had the confidence and good will of all with whom he was brought in contact. His wife, who possessed many excellencies of character and was a most estimable lady, passed away on the 14th of April, 1889, and he was called to his final rest on the 15th of May following. Thus the worthy couple who had traveled life's journey together for thirty years were separated only a short time by the hand of death. They will long be remembered by many friends, and their memory will ever be green in the hearts of their children.