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Carroll County Biographies

Mrs. Mary (Bartlett) Smith
Widow of William P. Smith

Mary J. (Bartlett) Smith, a highly esteemed resident of Salem Township, is the widow of William P. Smith, who was well known as an intelligent member of the farming community and as a prominent man in public life of this townsbip, he having been one of its ablest and most trusty civic officials. Mrs. Smith is a woman of more than ordinary capability and force of character, with, an aptitude for business, and with her son, an intelligent and progressive young farmer, is managing her farm with the best results.

She is derived from a sterling New England ancestry and is herself a native of that section of the country having been born in the pretty town of Meredith, among the New Hampshire hills, Sept. 5, 1828. Her parents, Joseph G. and Betsey Q. (Leavitt) Bartlett, were natives of the same town, and were there reared and married, established for themselves a home, in which they reared a family of six son and three daughters and in the fullness of time were gathered to their fathers at the close of useful and honorable lives. Our subject was the sixth child of the family, and grew to woman and man­hood, beneath the parental roof, and by inheritance and training acquired one of those strong New England natures which makes a noble material for wives and mothers. She remained with her father and mother until her marriage with Wil1iam P. Smith, which was solemnized at Meredith Nov. 8, 1853. Mr. Smith's father, Dr. Jeremiah Smith, was a native of the State, and a physician of some note in that part of it. He died in Manchester, N. H. His wife, whose maiden name was Charlotte Smith also a native of the Granite State, died in Meredith. Mr. Smith was the second child in their family of four children, and he was born in New Hampshire, Jan. 24, 1826. He passed his early life until he was seventeen years old in his native village, New Hampton, and at that age he went with his parents to the village of Meredith, and made his home there with them until his marriage. After that important event in his life, he established a home of his own in the same town and continued to reside there for some years. During those years he was engaged in business as a contractor in the construction of a portion of the Boston, Concord, & Montreal Railway, having charge of a number of men. He took great interest in his work and in consequence his arduous labors impaired his health. He was also employed as roadmaster on the same railway for two years. He was obliged to seek a change of climate in the hope of improving his health, and in 1860, with his wife and family, he came to Illinois, and locating in the southern southeastern corner of Salem Township, turned his atttention to the healthful occupation of tilling the soil. In a few years he had improved a fine farm of 160 acres and had erected thereon a good set of farm buildings, including a neat dwelling, and a large and substantially built barn. He made his home there during the remainder of his life, with the exception of five years in Lanark, whither he and his wife had re­moved with their children in order to give them better educational advantages, and partly for the improvement of his health. Mr. Smith died at his residence in Salem Township, Oct. 23, 1886, thus rounding out a life of sixty years that was an honor to himself, a credit to his community, and leaving a blessed memory, fondly cherished by his beloved wife and children. His was a singularly pure and upright character, overflowing with good­will toward all and he was ever an influence for good among his fello citizens. In religions belief he was in sympathy with the tenets of the Free Will Baptist Church, of which both he and his wife were members. In his early life he was a Democrat, but during the war be changed his Politics and became a staunch Republican. He was always much interested in the growth and prosperity of the township, which he promoted to a considerable extent while holding the offices of Justice of the Peace, Road Commissioner, and Township Assessor at various times. The happy wedded life of himself and wife was blessed to them by the birth of four children, of whom the following is recorded; Charles died when nineteen months old; Charlotte E., is the wife of H.S. Puterbaugh, of Lanark; Lenore L. is the wife of Worthen Plumer of Fair Haven Township; Wilbur H. is assisting his mother in the management of the farm.

Mrs. Smith is a very pleasant lady, possessing in a full masure those agreeable social and benevolent qualities that make a person so valued as a neighbor and friend.

Portrait & Biographical Pg 830

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