"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"

Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.


Smith, Ira E. one of Oneida County's most prominent men, was born at Burnett, Dodge County, Wis., July 7, 1864, son of Ira J. and Harriet (LAWRENCE) SMITH. The parents natives of the state of Vermont, in 1846 came west to Wisconsin, settling in Dodge County, where they were among the earliest settlers. In 1868 they removed to Pierce County, where they spent the remainder of their lives engaged in farming. Ira E. SMITH received his education in the district schools of Pierce County and assisted his father in the operation of the home farm until he was 26 years old, after which he operated a farm on his own account for ten years. In 1899 he came to Oneida County and took a homestead of 160 acres in the town of Cassian, in which locality he was the first settler north of Heafford Junction. He later added to his farm by the purchase of another tract of 200 acres, giving him a total of 360 acres, and this he has developed from wild land into a fully improved farm, with 160 acres of the land cleared; his original buildings were destroyed by fire in 1907, and it was at that time that he built his present modern buildings. Mr. SMITH has been instrumental in bringing many new settlers to Cassian Township, and has befriended and assisted them while they were getting established on their land and adjusting themselves to the new conditions. He has always stood ready to aid in every possible way in forwarding the best interests of his community, and his splendid ability and qualities of leadership have received signal recognition from his fellow residents, who have again and again returned him to public office by large majorities. Besides serving as secretary of the school board for three years and assessor of the town of Cassian for a similar period, he was chairman of the board of town supervisors for 13 years and chairman of the Oneida county board for three years and in 1918 he was elected assemblyman from Florence, Forest, and Oneida counties without a single vote to oppose his appointment; he served in this high office for two years. Mr. SMITH's fraternal affiliations are with the Modern Woodmen of America and the Masons, of which latter organization he is a member of the Blue Lodge and Chapter at Rhinelander. Mr. SMITH was married at Hudson, Wis., Sept. 25, 1889, to Minnie D. PETTIS, daughter of Albert M. and Sarah (CRANDALL) PETTIS. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. SMITH: Hildred, who is now Mrs. Alfred WHITE, of the town of Cassian; Sybil, who was married Aug. 22, 1923, to Clare CROFOOT of Rhinelander; and Bessie, who is deceased.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 385 (with pictures), History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others 1924, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co

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