Born: 1792-10-29 Loudoun County, Virginia
Died: 1853-08-02 Sangamon County, Illinois
Flourished: Sangamon County, Illinois
Joseph Smith grew up in Kentucky, where in 1822 he married Sally Taylor. The two eventually had six children together. In 1834, they settled their family near Richland Creek in Sangamon County, Illinois. Smith was a farmer and Springfield merchant, taking his wife's cousin, James M. Bradford, as his business partner and creating the firm Bradford & Smith. Smith was active in Whig politics, serving as president of the Sangamon County Whig Convention in 1840. From 1844 to 1846, Smith served in the Illinois House of Representatives on behalf of Sangamon County. In 1850, he owned $15,000 worth of real estate.
John Carroll Power and S. A. Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield, IL: Edwin A. Wilson, 1876), 668-69; Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, eds., Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Sangamon County (Chicago: Munsell, 1912 ), 2:1626; Dorothy Brown Thompson, “'James M. Bradford, Secretary,' Pages from an Old Franklin County Minute-Book,” The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 48 (October 1950), 295; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Sangamon County, IL, 223; Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 20 March 1840, 2:6-7; James A. Rose, comp., Blue Book of the State of Illinois (Springfield, IL: Illinois State Journal, 1906), 308; Gravestone, Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, IL.