John Marcee Smith, a well-known farmer and live-stock dealer, of Center township, this county, is a native son of Hancok county, born on the farm on which he now lives, January 6, 1853, son of Abner and Martha (Griffith) Smith, the former also a native of this county and the latter of the state of Ohio.
Abner Smith was born on a pioneer farm in Center township, this county, August 31, 1831, and when five years old was bereft of his father by death. His youth therefore was marked by toil and he had little opportunity to secure an education. He became an expert woodchopper and when the railroad was pushed through this county he secured the contract to supply wood for the locomotives, which at that time used wood for fuel instead of coal. The railroad company paid him in land which he thus cleared of the forests and he thus became a landholder, obtaining a footing upon which his later success as a farmer was based. Abner Smith also secured the contract for grading the old National road through this section of the state and thus got a further start. On November 31, 1851, he married Martha Griffith, born in May 1829, whose parents came to this county from Ohio in 1830, and to this union two children were born, the subject of this sketch havng a sister, Margaret J., who married F. L. Broughhard, a prominent farmer of this county. Abner Smith was a Republican and his wife was an earnest member of the Methodist church, for many years being among the leaders of this congregation.
John M. Smith was reared on the home farm in Center township and has lived there all his life. He received his schooling in the district school in the neighborhood of his home and from boyhood was a valuable assistant to his father in the labors of the farm. He developed into an excellent farmer and has done well in his operations. In addition to general farming he long has been actively interested in the live-stock business and has been quite a successful dealer in that line. Mr. Smith is a Republican and gives earnest attention to local political affairs, but has never been a seeker after public office. He and his wife are members of the Methodist church and take a warm interest in the affairs of their church.
Mrs. Smith, whose maiden name was Eldora Hauk, was born in this county on September 30, 1860, daughter of James H. and Mary Jane (McAmel) Hauk, the former of whom was born in Ohio in 1824 and the latter in this county in 1829. James H. Hauk was but a boy when he came with his parents from Ohio to Hancock county and he grew up here on a farm and became a substantial and influential citizen. He was a Republican and a member of the Masonic order. He and his wife were the parents of nine children, of whom seven are still living, those besides Mrs. Smith being David F., Henry L., Anna,. Catherine, George O. and Charles H.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith are the parents of the following children: Hosia, Hazel, Herschell and Hallie. Hosia helps his father on the farm. Hazel married George Ashcraft and lives in this township. Herschell served three years in the navy and is at home. Hallie is also at home. All the children attended high school.
Mr. Smith feeds about one hundred and fifty or two hundred hogs a year and about sixty head of cattle. The beautiful home was erected before Mr. Smith bought the place, but the large barns and outbuildings were erected by him. He specializes in shorthorn cattle.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Pages 900-901.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI September 24, 2001.
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