Senator Elisha Todd Smith View All Years

Compiled Historical Information
Date of Death: 6/18/1916
Party Affiliation: Republican
Assemblies Served:
Senate: 14 (1872) - 15 (1874)
Home County: Taylor
Elisha Todd Smith
Taylor County
Born on May 14, 1828. When about sixteen years of age his father died, leaving the family in somewhat straightened circumstances having failed in business some time previous to his death. It will be seen that his means of receiving an education during the early portion of his life was rather limited, but having a thirst for knowledge, at the age of twenty-one, succeeded in being admitted as a student in Mt. Pleasant College, Jefferson County, Ohio. In December, 1849, he married Miss Lydia Clendennon, in Barnesville, Belmont County, Ohio. Following the Star of Empire westward, he immigrated to Iowa in April, 1853, and settled upon a farm in Warren County. Here he met with a great misfortune, having been completely burned out in the winter of 1854-51 but being possessed with that true courage so requisite to contend against the ups and downs of western life, he immediately set to work and replaced the home he had lost by the fire. In the spring of 1857, he changed his location by moving to Taylor County, where he opened a new farm, on which he had erected a very fine house. Just as he had his farm all fenced and everything fixed up to make life comfortable, again he was pursued and over taken by the fiery demon and once more all his worldly goods perished in the flames. By perseverance, good management, and industry he again succeeded in overcoming this great misfortune, and during the war, although not in the army, had so far recovered from his loss as to donate largely, in money and goods. Senator Smith has always been a thorough and steadfast republican in politics, and strong in the principles of anti-slavery. In 1858 he was elected clerk of the District Court of Taylor County, which position he held for twelve consecutive years. In 1870 he established the Taylor County Bank, of which he was president. Officially, he was not extensively in public life. In 1868 he was a delegate to the Philadelphia Convention where he supported the nomination of Grant and Colfax. As a further mark of the great confidence the people repose in him, he was elected by a popular vote of the citizens of the Seventh Senatorial District, comprising the counties of Taylor, Ringgold and Decatur to represent them, and look after their interests in the 14th General Assembly of the State of Iowa, for the period of four years commencing on the 1st of January, 1872. Mr. Smith is a Quaker by religion.