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Below is a family biography included in The History of Washington County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  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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James C. Smith was born in the Washington fraction of Iron County in 1850, of English, Scotch and German descent, and when seven years of age was taken to Kentucky, where he was reared. His father, Edmond F., was born in Garrard County, Ky., being of Virginia ancestry. The mother, Mary E. Myers, was a native of Kentucky, where she was reared and married. After living in Kentucky until about 1847 they came to Missouri and settled in the southern part of the Bellevue Valley. Both are interred in the graveyard north of Caledonia. The father was a farmer, a Democrat, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as was also his wife. The youngest of the four children born to this marriage was James C., who received his early education in Kentucky, and when about seventeen years of age came to Washington County, and attended the Bellevue Collegiate Institute. Returning to Kentucky he married Miss Glendora Sandusky, in 1872. She was born in Kentucky, as also were her parents. Her grandparents and great-grandparents came from Virginia and settled in Kentucky, ten miles southwest of Lexington, when that country was full of Indians. Upon one occasion the Indians made a high brush heap, in the shape of a horseshoe, across the path of Jacob Sodowski (the great-grandfather of Mrs. Smith), to catch him, but failed; as they gave the yell he ran over the brush; they never bothered him any more. Mrs. Smith, wife of the subject of this sketch, is a great-granddaughter of Jacob Sodowski. Mrs. Smith, her father and grandfather, were born and raised near where Jacob ran over the brush horseshoe. She was of Polish descent. The Sandusky’s used to spell their name Sodowski. The following seven children were born to Mr. Smith’s marriage: Ora G., Glennie J., Edmond E. and Willard S., now living; LauraI., Minnie Lu. and J. C., interred in the graveyard near the grandparents. In 1877 Mr. Smith and family came to this county, and located on the place known as the Caledonia stock farm, where they now reside, which consists of 300 acres. Mr. Smith is a No. 1 farmer, and has done more to improve the breed of horses, sheep and cattle here than any other man in the county. He has a herd of thirty registered short-horn cattle, a standard bred trotter, “Forrest Time” 8,923, which made his third mile on a St. Louis track in 2.35, after making a large season. Mr. Smith is a Democrat in politics, is a member of the A. O. U. W., and he and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

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This family biography is one of 138 biographies included in The History of Washington County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Washington County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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