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NEWSPAPER UNKNOWN, 2 February 1903
Samuel Judson Smith

Or as he was always known and called in this community, "S.J." Smith, died at his home 6 miles northwest of Lyons, Kansas of heart failure, Monday, February 2, 1903, between 11 and 12 o'clock, aged 67 yrs, 4 months and 15 days.

This community has rarely been more stirred and saddened than it was Monday just after dinner when it was announced that S.J. Smith had been found dead in one of the outbuildings of his farm. He had been in Lyons the Friday previous in his usual health. Saturday he had made some complaint of pains about his heart, but nothing to alarm his family. Monday he pronounced himself better and his wife went to their daughter, Mrs. Lottie Blakely, expecting Mr. Smith to follow for dinner. Just before the dinner hour his daughter, Mrs. Frank Smith, missed him, and supposed he had gone to Mr. Blakely's. Not arriving there, Mr. Blakeley came down after him and the son, Frank, coming in from the field at the same time, they joined in a hunt and soon found him in an outbuilding dead. Doctors were immediately summoned, who were quickly present, but nothing could be accomplished. His soul was with his Creator.
Samuel Judson Smith was born in Richland county, Ohio, September 17, 1835, the son of Samuel and Mary L. Smith, and was one of eight children, only one of whom, a sister, survives him. When he became of age he went to Illinois, where he taught for several years, his common school education having been rounded out by a course in Oberlin, Ohio, College.

In 1860 Mr. Smith and Miss Lucinda A. Gardner were united in marriage and made their home near Peoria Ill, until in 1862 he answered his country's call for volunteers to defend the flag and enlisted in Company E, 77th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, which was soon a part of the 13th Army Corps under Sherman.

He participated in the siege of Vicksburg and other famous battles closely following, being credited with engaging in 17 hard fought battles. When Lee surrendered he was mustered out with the regiment with the rank of first lieutenant. He farmed in Peoria county, Ill, until the spring of 1875, when he came to Rice county, located and took up as a homestead the quarter section of which he has since continued to live, until called to his reward last Monday. Here, several years after he erected a commodious house where he has passed his later days.

To Mr. and Mrs. Smith were born seven children, Charles J., S.E. (Ed), Mrs. Ella M. Cassingham, Frank, Mrs. Lottie B. Blakely, Ransom T. and Mary L., all of whom are living in Rice county except Charles and Ransom T.

Mr. Smith was a staunch believer in fraternal organizations and belonged to the Masons, the Odd Fellows, both Encampments, Subordinated and Rebekahs, and also to Kit Carson Post G. A. R. Although a staunch member of each and loyal to the core to each, his heart seemed especially attached to Odd Fellowship and it is here that - outside of his family - he will be most greatly missed. He had committed to memory more of the charges, more of the secret work, than any other member and his delivery of his parts was most impressive. Fortunate indeed was the "candidate" who came before him for instruction, for it was never forgotten. The boys will miss him very, very, much, for it was his greatest pleasure to be with them every night when health and weather permitted.

In politics Mr. Smith was a staunch republican and was honored by his party by election as clerk of the district court in 1880-82-84-86, which office he filled to the entire satisfaction not only of his party but the people generally.

In 1889 he was elected to fill the office of state senator from the 20th district for the vacancy caused by the appointment of G.B. Chapman (who had been elected in 1887), to the office of register of the land office at Larned.

His funeral Wednesday was at the house and was largely attended by the host of friends whom he had made and retained in Rice county. the sermon was by Rev. B.D. Conkling, Mr. Smith having belonged to the Congregational faith. After services, at the house, the Odd Fellows took charge of the remains and he who so often had said the last sad rites over a departed Brother, was gently laid away by his Brothers. Peace to his ashes. A noble man has fallen.

His wife and children all survive him and to them the sympathy of the entire community is poured out in full measure.

Transcribed and Contributed by Mike & Nancy

Last Updated:  Sunday, December 01, 2002 17:52:55

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