Pulaski County

Biography - Henry M. Smith

JUDGE HENRY M. SMITH, Olmsted. Of the men in Pulaski County who stand high among their fellow-men, who have filled almost all the higher offices and whose character as a man, Judge or politician is unimpeached, we take great pleasure in recognizing him whose name heads this sketch. Judge Smith is a true type of our pioneers, whose honest, rugged faces are fast disappearing. The many offices he has held speak for themselves and show that intelligence, uprightness, honesty and justice are appreciated the world over.

The father of our subject, Daniel Lee Smith, was a native of Virginia. He merchandized in South Carolina and farmed in this county, to which he came in 1830, and where he died in 1857. The mother of our subject, Elizabeth (Hampton) Smith, was a native of South Carolina. She died in 1858 in this county. She was the mother of eight children, of whom five are now living — Eliza J. Carnes; Elizabeth Carnes; Henry M., our subject; James G. and Julia Smith.

Our subject was born May 3, 1820, in Newberry District, S. C., where he went to school about three years, after which he attended the schools of this county, walking five miles to and from school. He then worked on his father's farm till 1842, when he went to Lower Caledonia, where he worked for Capt. Hughes till 1844, when he was elected Sheriff of Pulaski County. He served four years, and in 1852 was elected Judge of the County Court, serving one year, when he resigned and studied law with Judge John Dougherty. He was admitted to the bar in 1857. in Caledonia, where he practiced law, also all over Southern Illinois, and has followed the calling of his noble profession ever since. In 1860, he was elected Circuit Clerk of Pulaski County, serving eight years. In 1872, he was elected State's Attorney, serving four years. He was elected County Judge to fill a vacancy in 1879. and in 1882 he was elected to the same office for a term of four years.

He is an active member and Senior Warden of the Caledonia Lodge. No. 47, A., F. & A. M. The Judge has been interested in the tilling of the bounteous soil of Pulaski County, and now owns a fine farm of 530 acres of land in this county. He has also been identified with the mercantile business of the country ever since 1863, when he started a general store in Caledonia, which burnt down in May, 1883. He now runs a general store in Olmsted, near his country residence.

The Judge has been married four times. His present wife is Mrs. Sarah Little, whose maiden name was Swain. She is the mother of Bettie Muffitt, Henry M., Belle M. and Myra B. The Judge's second wife, Sarah A. Burton, was the mother of three children — Alice M., Hulda E. and Frank P.

Extracted 02 Nov 2014 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V - Biographical Sketches, pages 318-319.

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