John W. Smith

     Capt. John W. Smith, an enterprising planter of James County , and resident of the Fourth Civil District, is a native of Tennessee , and was born in Hamilton County near Harrison , June 2, 1834. He is the son of Rev. Noah R. and Fidily (Umbargo) Smith. The father was of English, and the mother of Dutch descent. The father was a native of Virginia, born in that State about 1810, and died in McDonald County, Mo., in February, 1876. The mother was one year older than the father, but the land of her nativity is not known. She died in Bradley County, in August, 1865. The parents were married in Warren County, Tenn., in the latter part of 1832. Soon after their marriage they settled in Hamilton County , where they lived about four years, then removed to Cannon County , and remained one year; then came to Bradley County , and his home was in this county at the time of his death, in Missouri . He was a popular minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Our subject is the eldest of five children. He secured a good academical education in his youth in Bradley County , and, having selected farming for an occupation at an early age, he began the cultivation of the soil. In August, 1861, he purchased eighty acres of land near where he now lives. In 1865 he made a purchase of eighty acres more, and built the improvement he now occupies. In 1871 he made another purchase of 240 acres. Our subject has been a live, active man. He began life rather poor, but by industry, economy and close application to business, he has secured a fair competency. In the spring of 1862 he entered the Federal Army, and served thirteen months as a private. In July, 1863, he received a commission as captain of Company G, Fourth Tennessee Cavalry. He served with credit until May, 1864, at which time, on account of ill health, he was compelled to return home. He took part in numerous battles, and skirmishes. After the close of hostilities between the States, he resumed the peaceful occupation of the farm. Immediately after the war he served as a civil officer seven years - five as constable, and two years as deputy sheriff in what was then Hamilton County . On August 2, 1852, he married Miss Martha C. Bower, a native of Hamilton County , born in January, 1834. This union has resulted in the birth of nine children-six sons and three daughters- three of whom are dead-one son and two daughters. Our subject is a decided Republican, and was an old line Whig before the war. He is a worthy and consistent member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church; has been an elder in this church four years. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church (northern branch).

“Goodspeed’s History of East Tennessee,” James County , 1887.