Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 58] who resides in the borough of Mahoningtown, is the supervisor of sub-division No. 1, of the E. & A. Division of the Pennsylvania Co.'s lines. He is one of those highly respected men, who have made their own way; he commenced on the lowest round of railroad work, and has risen to his present position by his own energy and grit, supplemented with an unusual gift of being able to make the most of prevailing conditions. His services are valuable because eminently practical, for his knowledge of the work he supervises is intimate, for it was all gained in the hard school of experience.

His father, John W. Smith, was born near the villages of Rockford and Clinton coal mines, Dec. 8, 1823, and died at the age of sixty-three; he was a painter by trade in early life, and was honored by his fellow-citizens with all the offices in the township, so great was their respect and trust in him. He was a member of the M. E. Church, and of the following societies and organizations: F. & A. M.; I. O. O. F.; and Senior Order of American Mechanics. He was a son of Joseph and Margaret (Showalter) Smith, the latter a daughter of Jacob Showalter. The former was a son of William Smith, and was born in Lancaster Co., Pa. He was a blacksmith by trade, and owned and operated a farm at the same time that he carried on his trade; his death took place when he was aged about seventy-seven years. Our subject's mother, Nancy (Foster) Smith, was a daughter of Forgus and Elizabeth (Yoho) Foster. Forgus Foster was a farmer by occupation and served through the War of the Rebellion, dying at the age of seventy-seven. His wife was a daughter of Lawrence Yoho, a farmer, who lived to be seventy years of age. Our subject comes of patriotic stock, for others of his male ancestors besides his grandfather, Foster, took part in the wars of the United States, beginning with the War of Independence, and going down through the list.

Forgus F. was born in Homewood, Pa., Jan. 27, 1847, where he was reared and where he resided until 1878, attending the district schools until he had reached the age of sixteen, meanwhile assisting his father on the homestead. For the five succeeding years he worked on the section for the railroad, and then gave up that occupation to enter the army in defense of the Union. He served two years, first in Third Pa. Artillery, and later in Co. K, 188th Reg. Pa. Vol. lnf., receiving his discharge Dec. 19, 1865, at Camp Cadwallader, near Philadelphia. Among the battles in which he participated were: Drury's Bluff; Cold Harbor; Chapin's Farm; Petersburg; Proctor Creek, etc. On his return from the army, he secured a position as brakeman on the railroad, and followed that vocation for the space of a year. Then for two years he worked in a stone-quarry, after which he returned to the railroad again, and worked on a section until July, 1878, when he became foreman of the section, and was advanced in January, 1890, to his present position of responsibility, already noted.

He contracted his first matrimonial alliance Dec. 23, 1879, in Big Beaver township, with Martha A. Cox, to whom four children were born: John W.; Milton Grosvenor, deceased; Mabel Vernon; and Clyde Foster, deceased. He again assumed marriage vows July 6, 1893, being joined in wedlock with Edwina C. Kelly. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are members in good standing of the M. E. Church, and active in performing their share of the church work. Mr. Smith is a Republican in politics, and is at present serving his second term in the borough council. He is a member of New Castle Post, No. 100, G. A. R.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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