"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, George W. who in association with his son-in-law, Roy A. CONANT, is engaged in argiculture at Bradley, Lincoln County, has in his day been a man of many activities and is still in the harness, able to do a fair day's work when it is necessary. He was born at Burnett, Dodge County, Wisconsin, May 7, 1850, son of John and Caroline (TAYLOR) SMITH. One or more of his earliest ancestors in this country were among the Mayflower's passengers in 1620, and a Thomas SMITH in direct line came over in 1621. John SMITH, father of George W., was born in Duxbury, Mass., July 21, 1814, and was married to Caroline TAYLOR in Vermont, which was her native state, she having been born at Waterbury Feb. 14, 1816. In 1847 they came to Wisconsin, which was then under territorial government, settling in Dodge County, at a point seven miles from Beaver Dam and five miles from Horicon. There they were engaged in farming for 13 years, at the end of which time they moved to Outagamie County and later to Waupaca County, where Mrs. Caroline SMITH died in 1889. After her death, and in the same year, her husband accompanied his son George to Tomahawk, and from there to Bradley, where he died in February, 1901. Mr. and Mrs. John SMITH had five sons and two daughters. The brothers of the subject of this sketch were Willis, Ira J., Edwin and Charles C., and the two sisters, Abigail and Minerva, all of whom are now deceased. George W. SMITH as a boy attended common school in Dodge County and subsequently, through a correspondence course, learned civil engineering, being qualified by the age of 20 years. He at once actively engaged in that profession and during many subsequent years followed it in various parts of the state. He was for some time county surveyor for Waupaca County and was county surveyor for Lincoln County for ten years after coming to the county in 1889 with his family. He also engaged in lumbering, and in mercantile business at Bradley, in association with E. L. TAYLOR and under the firm name of Smith & Taylor. After four years he sold his interest in the store to Mr. TAYLOR but retained his interest in the lumbering business for 15 years, or until 1918, when they creased active operations in that direction. It was in 1909 that Mr. SMITH took steps to establish himself as a farmer, selected 120 acres of cut-over land in Section 5 and 8, town 35-6, close to Bradley village. Of this tract he has since developed 70 acres and erected a fair set of buildings and is every year making further improvements. The farm is well stocked with pure-bred Jersey cattle, and in its management and ownership he is associated as already mentioned, with his son-in-law, Roy A. CONANT. Mr. SMITH'S other activities have been largely of a public nature. At a time when the town of Rock Falls comprised about one-quarter of the present area of the county, he served as it assessor. He also at another time for several years served the city of Tomahawk in the same capacity; he was for several yeaers chairman of the town board of the town of Tomahawk, and for two years was clerk of the town of Bradley. A member of the Republican party he was a delegate to the Republican convention at Madison when Robert M. LA FOLLETTE was serving his second term as governor. Such statements are quickly made and take up little space, but are full of meaning to those who can read between the lines, telling plainly of a large amount of work performed by Mr. SMITH for the public good and in addition to his own personal business. When the Odd Fellows' Lodge was formed in Iola, Waupaca County, Mr. SMITH became one of its charter members, and he still belongs to the order, being a member of the lodge in Tomahawk and the encampment in Merrill. George W. SMITH was married Dec. 24, 1882, to Jennie A. MCGUINNES, who was born in Newcastle, New Brunswick, March 6, 1864, daughter of Thomas and Sarah MCGUINNESS, the parents being of Scotch-Irish stock, and natives of the province of New Brunswick and the State of Maine, respectively. It was from Maine that they came to Wisconsin, locating in Waupaca County, and for some time in the village of Iola, where they were at the time of their daughter's marriage to Mr. SMITH. Subsequently they moved to Lincoln County, where Mr. MCGUINNES died Sept. 9, 1917; his wife, who survived him, is now living with her son-in-law, Mr. SMITH. She has not only survived her husband, but also her daughter, as Mrs. Jennie A. SMITH died in Tomahawk on Aug. 16, 1904. One child was born to Mr. and Mrs. SMITH, Bessie I., on Sept. 26, 1883, who is now Mrs. Roy A. CONANT of Bradley.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 717-718, 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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