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John R. Smith

                                            Silver Creek, Sheridan Township.
                                           (Handled cattle, hogs, and horses.)

[Note: John Riley Smith (1830-1907) was a member of a large family. See more details about Smith and his brothers in fam\Smith-SilverCreek.]
Details about John Riley Smith only are given in this file.
Three brothers, John Riley, William (Webb), and Solomon Smith accompanied by their families came from Marion County, Illinois, in 1870, and homesteaded on Silver Creek, east of Tisdale, in Sheridan Township. They and their descendants were prominently associated with the affairs of eastern Cowley County during the first quarter of a century of her existence, and descendants to the fourth and fifth generations are citizens of the county.
John Riley Smith (1830-1907) located on the east side of Silver Creek, and homesteaded September 9, 1870. On this location he built a house of native lumber in 1872, that remains standing today and is in good condition. Mr. Smith served with the union forces during the Civil War from his native state of Illinois. During his active years in Cowley County he engaged in agricultural pursuits and devoted much attention to the livestock industry. He married Miss Mary Frances Brown in 1850 and they were the parents of seven children, all of whom migrated to Kansas with their parents. They were the parents of the scout, Solomon A. Smith (1853-1922). He became one of the pioneer teachers of the Star Valley School, and homesteaded in that vicinity soon after becoming of age. Later he engaged in the practice of law in Winfield. Jay T. Smith, court reporter in Winfield, is his son. Elizabeth Jane Smith, the eldest daughter of John R. Smith, married Levi B. Bullington in 1874. Mr. Bullington was one of the fifteen men who settled on Grouse Creek in January 1870.
                                               FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
Winfield Courier, Saturday, January 18, 1873.
John R. Smith has just returned home from a trip Eastward. He was in town Tuesday.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, May 8, 1873.
The annual meeting of the stock holders of the Cowley County Agricultural society was held on Saturday last, at the office of the Secretary. 228 shares were represented, and voted upon. The reports of the former Board of Directors were heard, and accepted. The following persons were chosen directors for the ensuing year: J. D. Cochran, W. W. Limbocker, W. K. Davis, H. Silver, E. Davis, J. B. Fairbank, Amos Walton, S. C. Winton, F. M. Schwantes, C. M. Wood, A. S. Williams, and J. R. Smith.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, September 25, 1873.
We give this week a cursory report of the 3rd annual fair of the Cowley County Agricultural Society, held last week. The premiums were awarded as follows.
CATTLE. In this department there was a fair exhibition of grades in all lots, but it might have been largely increased if people would have brought out their stock.
Bulls, three years and over: 1st pr. John R. Smith; 2d E. B. Johnson.
Winfield Courier, August 7, 1874. Front Page.

Directors: A. T. Stewart, W. Q. Mansfield, H. S. Silver, J. P. Short, F. W. Schwantes,
W. H. Grow, D. A. Millington, Amos Walton, W. K. Davis, C. M. Wood. J. D. Cochran, J. R. Smith, J. B. Fairbank.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 23, 1877.
JOHN SMITH shipped $3,000 worth of hogs from Tisdale last week. There is money in hogs in this county.
Winfield Courier, November 1, 1877.
John R. Smith and B. Shriver have 700 head of cattle in Sheridan Township.
Winfield Courier, January 10, 1878.        
TISDALE ITEMS. John R. Smith means business. He is building a fine stone barn, and feeding large lots of hogs and Texas cattle.
Winfield Courier, May 30, 1878.
Jno. R. Smith’s new stone barn was partly unroofed during the storm on Friday night.
Jno. Smith started north with his herd of cattle. N’IMPORTE.
Winfield Courier, June 16, 1881.
John R. Smith lately brought from Kansas City six blooded bulls and one very fine ram.
Winfield Courier, August 18, 1881.
The below named men have built for themselves corrals or pastures, and are trying to raise some stock. The rest of us live from hand to mouth and growl about hard times.
John Smith, Wm. Smith, John Hall, O. P. West, M. M. Mull, Levi Weimer, Arthur Emerson, Charlie Eastman, Levi Fluke, Wm. Sommerville. Those few men have engaged themselves in raising hogs and cattle, and are all making some money out of the busi­ness.
Winfield Courier, February 9, 1882.
J. R. Smith is feeding a nice lot of four year old cattle for market. They are doing splendidly, and are among the best in the county. A WELL WISHER.
Winfield Courier, October 4, 1883.
Best bull 2 years old and under 3, J. O. Taylor, city, 1st premium; John R. Smith, Tisdale, 2nd.
HERDS—ALL BREEDS. Best lot of 5 spring calves shown with sire, John R. Smith, Tisdale, 1st premium; A. Hurst, Bolton, 2nd.
SWEEPSTAKES. Best bull shown with offspring, not less than four in number, John R. Smith, Tisdale, 1st premium.
John R. Smith carried away several ribbons on his herd of shorthorns. They were beauties and deserving.
Winfield Courier, November 22, 1883.

We publish below the roll of old soldiers in this county drawing pensions from the government for injuries sustained on account of service, with monthly rate of allowance. It shows that there are one hundred and forty-six soldiers in the county drawing pensions, and that the government pays to them monthly the aggregate sum of $1,509.66-3/4. This is a record that no county but ours can show. It is certainly one that “Cares for him who has born the brunt of battle and for his widows and orphans.”
                                 LIST OF PENSIONERS, COWLEY COUNTY.
LISTING “Number of Certificate.” MAW]
                              Smith, John R., Dexter, g s w lt hand, $8.00, June 1882.
Winfield Courier, February 7, 1884.
At a meeting of the citizens of Sheridan Township held February 1st, 1884, J. R. Smith was chosen chairman and H. L. Wilson secretary. The object of the meeting was stated to be to consider the advisability of appointing a delegate to meet with delegates from Tisdale and other townships for the purpose of drafting resolutions asking the Denver, Memphis & Atlantic Railway Company to so obligate themselves to build a substantial road with important connections, so that the people of Cowley County may have some assurance of getting a road that will be of benefit to them after voting their bonds. The petition for the road was read and called forth considerable discussion. It appeared to be the unanimous sentiment of those present that, although strongly in favor of a road over the proposed route, they could not do otherwise than vote against the petition as it now is. E. Shriver was appointed to act as delegate. H. L. WILSON, Secretary.
Winfield Courier, March 6, 1884.
Mr. John R. Smith from over on Silver Creek, attended the Peabody cattle sale last week, and brought home three thoroughbred short horn cows and one bull. He paid $250, $155, and $135 each for the three former, and $175 for the latter.
Winfield Courier, October 2, 1884.
John R. Smith’s herd of thoroughbreds were beauties and carried off first premium as a herd.
Bull 1 year old and under 2; John R. Smith and Son, 1st.
Bull under 1 year, John R. Smith and Son, 1st.
Cow, 3 years old and over: Bahntge, Kates & Co., 1st; John R. Smith & Son, 2nd.
Cow 2 years old and under 3; John R. Smith & Son, 1st and 2nd.
Heifer under 1 year, John R. Smith & Son, 1st.
Best herd thoroughbreds, John R. Smith, 1st.
Boar 4 months old, John R. Smith, 1st; Samuel Axley, 2nd.

Sow 1 year old or over, John R. Smith, 1st; Isaac Wood, 2nd.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 8, 1884.
The Democrats have nominated John Smith for state senator from this county. Our Democratic friends were determined to head their ticket with a name that is well known.
Winfield Courier, December 25, 1884.
Our Democratic candidate for State Senator, John R. Smith, has been having a severe attack of rheumatism. Guess his defeat soured on him.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 5, 1885.
Friday Afternoon. The first business taken up was the formation of a permanent farmers’ organization for the county. Mr. Adams moved that a committee of one from each township be appointed to perfect a plan of organization. Carried. It was also agreed that the present officers hold over until the final organization be effected. It was moved and seconded that sub-committees on organization be effected. The full township committee was made up as follows. J. R. Smith, Sheridan Township, was a member of the township committee.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 12, 1885.
The relatives and friends of John R. Smith, of Sheridan township, made him a complete surprise Saturday evening last and took possession of his home, in honor of his 45th birthday. A congregation of Smith’s was there gathered that did great honor to that historic and familiar name. About thirty-five relatives of John R. were present and with assistance of friends did obeisance to a grand feast. Mr. E. J. Johnson says it was one of the pleasantest occasions yet given in Sheridan. It will ever remain green in the memory of Mr. Smith and those present. John R. is an old line Democrat, but withal one of the staunchest citizens of Cowley and we are glad to note this testimony of esteem on the part of his neighbors and friends.
                                           DEXTER NEWS. “MOSS ROSE.”
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 12, 1885.
School closed in District No. 7 last week with an entertainment at night. Quite an interesting time was reported. J. R. Smith, Jr., conducted the school there this winter. The school at Fairview, Crab Creek, also closed last Wednesday evening with an entertainment, assisted by the literary society and Dexter band.
                                                  TISDALE. “GROWLER.”
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 12, 1885.
We regret to learn that our old time friends, John R. and Will Smith, have sold their farms. Soon the old settlers will all be gone.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 19, 1885.
Abstract of the monthly report of the County Auditor of Cowley County, Kansas, of claims certified to the County Clerk, on the First Monday of March, 1885.
John R. Smith, juror fees: $8.00.
                                                  TISDALE. “GROWLER.”
Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 9, 1885.

Celebrating July 4th. After an hour spent in refreshing the mortal portion of ourselves, we were again called to listen to fine music by Miss Ballard, after which a few short speeches among which were pretty remarks from John R. Smith and Uncle Johnny Roberts, of Walnut township.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, September 17, 1885.
The following are the real estate transfers filed in the office of Register of Deeds since our last issue.
Chas E Clark to John R Smith, sw qr 28-32-7e, 40 acres: $300.00.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, September 24, 1885.
The Third Annual Exhibition of the Cowley County Fair & Driving Park Association opened this morning. Everything on the magnificent Fair Grounds had been put in perfect shape.
The greatest exhibition of all is the fine stock show. It is magnificent already, with not near all in yet. Col. McMullen has his seven Norman and Clydesdale brood mares with their seven colts. They can’t be beaten. Bahntge, Kaats & Co.’s fine herd of Galloway short horns, J. R. Smith’s herd of blooded short horns, L. S. Cogswell’s display of milkers, and Jonah Johnson’s splendid blooded animals are prominent among the cattle.
The display in horses this morning was in the “agricultural” line. The exhibit was large and in excellent form. There was a great herd of mares competing. The first prize was won by Mr. J. S. Baker, of New Salem, and the second by Mr. E. J. Johnson, of Sheridan. N. J. Thompson’s 2 year old mare also got a blue ribbon and J. R. Smith’s the red.
CATTLE. The shorthorns were the first called in the ring. Never has finer cattle been shown at any fair. They were all beauties, and it was difficult to judge between them. The judges selected were R. M. Clark, of Beaver; Silas Kennedy, of Bolton; and S. Allison, of Winfield. N. R. Thompson took a blue ribbon on his fine bull, and Bahntge, Kates & Co., a red. Mr. J. Johnson, of Spring Creek, captured two blue ribbons and two red ones on his fine show of short horns. J. R. Smith & Son took one first and two seconds. Mr. F. W. McClellan took two blue ribbons on his fine calves. In the Hereford class C. P. Cogswell’s bull, “Kansas,” took first, and L. F. Johnson’s “Prince Albert” second. L. F. Johnson also captured both ribbons on his splendid Hereford cows. The cattle department is very large and the judging is still progressing as we go to press.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, October 1, 1885.
This morning witnessed the grandest show of the fair—the sweepstakes in horses and cattle. Eight bulls were in the ring. The prize was awarded to John R. Smith & Sons. The blue ribbon for best cow of any age or breed was taken by Bahntge, Kates & Co., and that for cross cow by John R. Smith.
Mare, 2 years old and under 3. N. J. Thompson 1st, J. R. Smith 2nd.
Bull, 1 year old and under 2. J. Johnson 1st, J. R. Smith 2nd.
Lot 7. Grades and Crosses.
Cow, 3 years and over. J. R. Smith 1st and 2nd.
Heifer, 1 year and under 2. J. R. Smith 1st, N. J. Thompson 2nd.
Heifer calf, under 6 months. J. R. Smith 1st, N. J. Thompson 2nd.
Lot 8. Sweepstakes.
Bull, thoroughbred, any age. J. R. Smith 1st.

Cow, cross, any age. J. R. Smith 1st.
Thoroughbred herd, owned by exhibitor, consisting of not less than 1 bull and 5 cows or heifers. J. R. Smith 1st.
Class D.—HOGS. Lot 7. Grades and Crosses.
Sow 1 year old and over. J. R. Smith 1st.
Sows 6 months and under 1 year. J. R. Smith 1st.
Trio Brown Leghorns. L. E. Pixley 1st, J. R. Smith 2nd.
Cotton socks. Mrs. J. R. Smith 1st, Mrs. Holland 2nd.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 18, 1886.
No institution has done more for the onward march of our splendid county than The Cowley County Fair & Driving Park Association. Its prosperity has been marked from the start. From an organization composed of a few gritty, enterprising, and energetic men, three years ago it bought sixty acres of ground on the beautiful Walnut and today has one of the best improved and most valuable Fair Grounds in the West.
Five Directors, holding three years each, were elected as follows: S. P. Strong, J. R. Sumpter, J. R. Smith, W. R. Wilson, and K. J. Wright, the latter two to fill vacancy caused by resignation of A. T. Spotswood and John D. Maurer.



Cowley County Historical Society Museum