Oliver J. Smith, 1862

stan@wiclarkcountyhistory.org on Sat, 17 Feb 2001


Source: 1918 History of Clark Co., WI, by Franklyn, Curtiss-Wedge

Top: Mr. and Mrs. Abram Smith
Bottom: Mr. and Mrs. Oliver J. Smith

, a successful agriculturist of section 11, Loyal Township, in which locality he has resided nearly all his life, was born in Dodge County, Wis., July 30, 1862. His father was Abram J. Smith and his mother's maiden name was Roxie Jane Hills. A. J. Smith was born in New York state and was there educated, later being employed in the sawmill industry there. When 19 years old he came to Wisconsin with a neighbor's family, journeying with an ox team most of the way, and settling at Iron Ridge. There he worked on farms and subsequently was employed in a lumber mill. In the early fifties he was married to Roxie Jane Hills, at Oconomowoc, Wis., and they resided and kept house at Iron Ridge for about eight years. There two of their children were born, Cornelia and Oliver, the subject of this sketch.

In 1864 the family came to Clark County, making the trip by rail to Sparta, and from there with an ox team to Loyal, where the father took up 160 acres in section 11, it being then all wild land, and the country destitute of roads. They had to go to Neillsville for supplies, a distance of about 18 miles, but used oxen for transporting their provisions. Mr. Smith had to clear a place on which to build a log house and barn. He worked out a little but spent most of his time in clearing up his own place. Three more children were born there-Anna, Clara and Charlie. By the time the father died, May 1, 1911, he had cleared most of his land and had a good farm.

Oliver J. Smith was educated in the old log schoolhouse at Dodgeville. When 15 years old he began working in the woods for Elias Weaver, and was thus employed fourteen winters, working on the home farm in the summer. At the age of 29 he married Jennie Nichols, Nov. 9, 1891. She was a daughter of Milo Lester and Tamma Jane (Fuller) Nichols, of Weston Township, Clark County, where she was born, May 5, 1871, and acquired her education. Her father was a veteran of the Civil War. After his marriage Mr. Smith settled on the homestead, operating the farm, and this place has remained his home up to the present time. He has made some notable improvements on it, having erected a seven-room brick house; a basement barn, 36 by 50 feet; a granary, 1-6 by 24 feet, and a hog house, 16 by 30 feet in size. It is interesting to note that I his father, A. J. Smith, in 1873, built the first frame barn in this section, a structure 36 by 46 feet, set on blocks, which is still standing, and which was lately remodeled to a basement barn by the subject of this. sketch. Mr. Smith raises Holstein cattle and Poland-China hogs. He was at one time the owner of the Dodgeville Cheese Factory, but sold it. Aside from his farming interests he owns stock in the Citizens State Bank of Loyal, in the Wausau Packing Company and in the Farmers' Independent Harvester Company. He has also taken a more or less active part in local government, having served three terms on the township side board and thirteen years as school director.

Mrs. Jennie (Nichols) Smith died Dec. 26, 1893. She left two children, Dimple, who married Clair Lyons, of Beaver Township, and has one child, Alice; and Archie, who married Carrie E. Vanderhoof, daughter of Chas. Vanderhoof, and who, with her husband, resides in Sherman Township, on an eighty-acre farm. Mr. Smith contracted a second marriage, May 6, 1896, to Fannie Nichols, sister of his first wife. Of this union five children have been born: Lottie, Owen, Lee, Floyd and Vera, all living at home except Lottie, who married Oswald Hemeinger, a farmer of Freemont Township.



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