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Below is a family biography included in The History of Maries County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Judge John H. Smith, county judge of the Second District of Maries County, was born in Franklin County, Mo., in 1836, and is a son of Dr. Joshua F. and Jane (Smith) Smith. The parents are natives of Charlotte County, Va. The father was born in 1804 and the mother in 1803. Dr. Joshua F. Smith was a son of William Smith, who was a soldier in the War of 1812. The former commenced the practice of medicine when young. He married in 1826, and in 1832 immigrated to Franklin County, Mo., locating eight miles east of Washington, where he was actively engaged in the practice of his chosen profession the remainder of his life. He was one of the pioneer physicians of Franklin County, and built up a large and lucrative practice. He served as justice of the peace a few years, being appointed by Gov. Dunkin, and at one time owned over 800 acres of land. He died in 1877. His wife died in 1854, the mother of five children, only two of whom are now living, viz.: Paulina F., widow of James A. Mealer, of Franklin County, and Hon. John H., subject of this sketch. The latter was reared to the pursuit of farming, and in 1854, attacked by the California fever, he, in company with five others, left home and friends and started for the “Golden Gate’’ to obtain a share of the hidden wealth. He worked in the gold mines until 1858, the following year taught school, and in 1859 returned to his home in Franklin County, Mo., via the Isthmus of Panama. At the out break of the war his sympathies were with the South, and during Price’s raid through Missouri, in 1864, he was captured and taken to Alton, Ill., where he was retained three months and pardoned by President Lincoln. Mr. Smith was a member of Shaw’s Battalion, and was connected with the commissary department. After the war he located near his old home and resumed farming. Judge Smith resided in Franklin County until August, 1884, when he purchased 240 acres of land in Dry Creek Township, Maries County, and removed thereto. In 1886 he was elected justice of the peace of his township, which office he still fills, and in November, 1888, he was elected judge of the Second District of Maries County on the Democratic ticket. In December, 1860, Judge Smith married Melissa A. Stoner, who was born in Franklin County, Mo., in 1837, and is a daughter of Isaac Stoner. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have long been consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The Judge is a prominent citizen of Maries County, and is highly esteemed by all who know him.

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This family biography is one of 37 biographies included in The History of Maries County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Maries County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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