Smith, John W.

Born: 1818-07-10 Henry County, Kentucky

Died: 1873-08-18 Chicago, Illinois

Flourished: Springfield, Illinois

Smith moved with his parents from his native state to Sangamon County, Illinois, in 1834, settling in Island Grove. Smith gravitated to politics and the Whig Party, and in 1845, the Sangamon County Court appointed him census commissioner. In 1848, he wed Ann E. Fox, with whom he had eight children. In 1848, Sangamon County voters elected Smith to the Illinois House of Representatives, where he served from 1849 to 1850. In 1850, he was farming in Sangamon County and owned real estate valued at $1,400. After the demise of the Whig Party, Smith embraced the Republican Party. He again served as census commissioner in 1855. In 1860, he was farming and owned real estate valued at $3,000 and a personal estate of $200. In 1860, voters elected him sheriff of Sangamon County, and in 1863, he became the first elected mayor of Springfield. In 1864, he became commissioner of the board of military enrollment for the eighth congressional district. He resigned his position in 1865 to become collector of internal revenue for the same district. He died as result of injuries incurred when, on August 16, 1873, a passenger and coal train collided on the Chicago & Alton Railroad.

Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Sangamon County, 1 June 1848, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; John Clayton, comp., Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 216; John Carroll Power and S. A. Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield, IL: Edwin A. Wilson, 1876), 666; History of Sangamon County, Illinois (Chicago: Inter-State, 1881), 275, 283, 567; Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 7 May 1846, 2:3; Illinois Journal (Springfield), 16 August 1848, 3:1; Illinois Daily State Journal (Springfield), 12 November 1860, 2:1; Obituary, Illinois Daily State Journal (Springfield), 19 August 1873, 4:2-3; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Sangamon County, IL, 209; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Sangamon County, IL, 126.