Lee County Biography


Eli C. Smith, principal of the south side public school, Dixon, was born in 1820, in Essex county, New York, and is the son of Almerin and Lois (Larrabee) Smith. His father was a farmer, and in 1833 was a member of the New York legislature. He died in Savannah, Illinois, in 1854. E. C. Smith was brought up and educated in the State of New York, and came to Illinois in 1850, locating first at Geneva, and after remaining there a year removed to Rock Island, where he resided for three years as principal of the Rock Island Seminary. In 1855 he came to Dixon and commenced his school-work in what was then known as the Dixon Collegiate Institute, now known as Rock River University, where he continued until the fall of 1857. He then engaged in the mercantile business, which he carried on until the fall of 1861, at which time he became principal of the south side Dixon school, which position he still fills. Mr. Smith is also manager and part proprietor of the Nachusa nursery, which was established in 1854 by J. T. Little, and purchased by Mr. Smith, in connection with hia brother, the Rev. Dr. Smith, of Chicago, in 1871. Dr. Smith is also editor of the " Standard," a religious journal of the Baptist denomination.

Mr. Smith was first married at Granville, Washington county. New York, on December 2, 1853, to Miss Eliza A. Mason, who died in October 1870, and left surviving two sons: Herbert O., born in September 1850, at Dixon, and who is now practicing medicine in Minnesota, and Edward T., born in Morrison, Illinois, July 26, 1861, and residing at Dixon. His second marriage occurred September 20, 1872 to Miss Seraphim F. Gardner, of Dixon, by whom he has three children: Kenneth G., aged seven years: Percy A., aged live, and Anna M., aged two years. In politics he is a member of the republican party, and belongs to tho Baptist church.

Transcribed by Christine Walters History of Lee County together with Biographical Matter, Statistics, Etc. Chicago by H.H. Hill and Company Publishers 1881

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