Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 69] a prominent citizen of Mahoningtown, who is associated with his brother, William H. Smith, in carrying on a flourishing and profitable business in dealing in hardware and lumber at Cedar and Cherry streets, Mahoningtown, was born in the city of Pittsburg, Dec. 21, 1851. His parents were John G. and Eliza W. (Sample) Smith.

John G. Smith was born in Manchester, England, and came to America at ten years of age with his mother and step-father, his own father having died when he was a comparatively small boy. When he grew up he learned the machinist's trade, and later in life was associated in business with his stepfather. His death occurred in Pittsburg, in March, 1866, when he was aged forty-seven years. He was both a member of the Masonic fraternity and of the I. O. O. F. His wife was born in Allegheny City, Pa., and was a daughter of Thomas and Margaret (Logan) Sample. Thomas Sample was born in what became Allegheny City, Jan. 8, 1791, and was the second mayor of the place, after its incorporation under a State charter. From 1812 till 1843 he lived in Allegheny City, and operated a tannery; during twenty years of the time he was justice of the peace. In 1843, he leased his tannery, and retired to Mahoningtown, where he bought a large farm, and made it his home the remainder of his life, devoting his energies to the cultivation of fruits and flowers. His father was James Sample, who married Christiana Taggart, daughter of James Taggart, an early settler of this part of the State. John G. Smith's wife, Eliza W. (Sample) Smith, was born March 5, 1794, and died in 1882; she was a granddaughter of James Logan, who was born in County Down, Ireland, and married a Miss Watt, a relative of the famous James Watt who discovered the wonderful expansive power contained in the steam. James Logan, whose mother before her marriage was a Miss Wilson, came from Ireland, and settled on the banks, of the Allegheny River, eighteen miles above Pittsburg, and establishing Logan's Ferry. He also purchased some six or eight hundred acres of land, and opened an inn for the travelers near a basin in the river, which was known as Logan's Eddy. It was a favorite place of resort for the rivermen who made it a point to stop there on their trip for meals and a good night's lodging. He also had a well-furnished general store in connection with his tavern, and the income that came in to him from these diversified interests, together with his profits in his farming operations, amounted to no inconsiderable amount, and enabled him to accumulate a large and independent fortune. His death took place on his estate at an advanced age in 1842. Five of the ten children, born to Thomas Sample and wife, live and following is a record of their names and employments: James A., a veteran of the Mexican War; Mary, the widow of William P. Eichbaum, now residing in New Castle; Thomas, who is engaged in farming at Ashville, Ohio; Luther H., whose sketch appears elsewhere in this book as a resident of Mahoningtown; and Rev. J. Logan. To John G. and Eliza W. (Sample) Smith were born twelve children, of whom four survive; Annie E.; John D.; Margaret Agnes; and William Henry.

John D. Smith continued to live in Pittsburg for a year after his father died, and then at the age of fourteen years came to Mahoningtown; his early education was received in Pittsburg, and after he became a resident of Mahoningtown, he continued to attend school in the winters until he was twenty-one years of age. In 1873, he went to Pittsburg to learn the carpenter's trade, but the panic of '73 stopped all building, and he was forced to return home. From 1874 until 1889 he worked at his trade in New Castle, and then came to Mahoningtown, where he entered into partnership with his brother, William H., in the lumber and hardware business, in which they still continue to be associated.

William H. Smith William H. Smith was born in Pittsburg, Oct. 1, 1859, and lived there until he was seven years old, when he came to Mahoningtown, which has since been his home, although absent from it for considerable lengths of time. He attended the Mahoningtown schools, and Geneva College of Northwood, Ohio, until he was nineteen years of age, when he began teaching, and presided at the desk for some three winters. He next was employed in Pittsburg by the Allegheny Valley R. R. for some six months, and then secured a position with the Chautauqua Lake Ice Co. at Pittsburg, with which company he remained three years. After a few months in Virginia with the Norfolk & Western R. R., he left for Robins, Tenn., where for two years he enjoyed steady employment in the lumber business. Returning to Mahoningtown in the spring of 1887, he opened a lumber yard on Cherry Street, which he conducted alone two years, and then formed the partnership with his brother, before spoken of. The firm deals in all the staple lumber, hardware, and other customary building material, for which there is so great a call in a growing community; contractors and builders recognize in them an exceptional pair of keen business men, who make it a chief aim of their business to keep everything needful, and have that of the best. William H. was married in East Brook, Lawrence Co., Pa., Nov. 20, 1895, to Nannie Angus, daughter of Robert and Jane (Sankey) Angus, and to them has been born one daughter, Kathleen. He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church, and he is a member of Amazon Lodge, No. 336, Knights of Pythias of Mahoningtown.

John D. Smith is a member of Lodge of the Craft, F. & A. M., No. 433 of New Castle, and is included among the members and willing workers of the Presbyterian Church.

Both brothers are Republicans in their political tendencies. When the Mahoningtown bank was established, both brothers took stock, and William H. was appointed cashier, a position he still holds.

A portrait of William H. Smith appears on a preceding page and will be viewed with interest by all who have the pleasure of his acquaintance.

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

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