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Below is a family biography from the book, History of Kentucky, Edition 1 by J. H. Battle, W. H. Perrin and G. C. Kniffin and published by F. A. Battey Publishing Company in 1885.  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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J. R. SMITH, one of the most enterprising and public-spirited citizens of Paducah, was born March 26, 1837, in Wadesboro, Ky. He commenced life in a business capacity, poor, but, full of energy and integrity, he succeeded in every enterprise that he engaged in. His career, up to this time, has been as brilliant and successful as that of any man who ever embarked in business in this country. He is now one of the most substantial and wealthy citizens of the city of Paducah. He moved to Paducah in 1870, and embarked in the wholesale grocery business, and still has a large and lucrative trade, which he made by his own business enterprise and industry. He is a nervous and impulsive man, and as is sometimes said of him, he is independent on all subjects and silent on none that are of interest to the community in which he lives. He is as generous as any man living; no one ever appealed to him in distress that went away without some substantial proof of his liberality and generosity. He has been elected time and again to the city council of Paducah, and has always been a busy factor in the city politics, opposing with all his ardent nature everything he believed to be injurious to the public welfare; and the people of his ward are always eager to endorse his manly and outspoken opposition to every species of legislation, that he believes to be opposed to the best interest of the city. He commenced his business life in 1852, with his brother, Joseph Smith, in Murray, Ky., and there he learned his business habits and traits of character, which have culminated in his making a fortune for himself and family. J. R. Smith is the fifth of a family of seven children, and his father and mother, Andrew and Eliza Smith, were old and respected citizens of Calloway County. His mother’s maiden name was Eliza Curd; she was the daughter of one of the old pioneers of that county. Mrs. Mary E. Smith, his wife, is a native of Louisiana, Pointe Coupee Parish, and her maiden , name was Mary E. Orr. She moved to Calloway, Ky., and there married J. R. Smith, the subject of this sketch, and by their marriage have two sons: James P. and Joseph H. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are both members of the Presbyterian Church and are always ready to do their whole duty as good and devout Christians. Mrs. Smith’s charity is proverbial and she is always to be found wherever there is suffering and distress. Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Smith will be found elsewhere in the volume.

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This family biography is one of 165 biographies included in the McCracken County, Kentucky section of the book, The History of Kentucky, Edition 1 published in 1885 by F. A. Battey Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: History of Kentucky, Edition 1

View additional McCracken County, Kentucky family biographies here: McCracken County, Kentucky Biographies

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