from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906
Alexander L. Smith owns and operates a good farm on section 12, Union township. He was born in Jefferson county, New York, July 2, 1837, and is a son of Alexander L. and Rebecca (Carroll) Smith. The mother died in New York when her son Alexander was only seven or eight years of age. The father was born in New Jersey, and was three times married, his last wife being Sarah A. Raymond, who died at Monmouth, Illinois, at the very advanced age of ninety-seven years. His death occurred at the home of his son, L. M. Smith, in Union township, when he was eighty-five years of age. When only a lad he ran away from home and became a sailor on the Atlantic and during the war of 1812 he was captain on the United States frigate, Congress. He was on the ocean for fourteen years and made voyages to various ports. On one trip he visited Palestine. He was a man of good education, whose knowledge was greatly broadened by travel and experience and he could speak several different languages. After leaving the east he settled upon a tract of five acres in Jefferson county, New York, and there engaged in gardening. In 1854 he went to Illinois and was a gardener in the town of Burwick, near Monmouth. Later he was employed somewhat in the capacity of a janitor at the college in Abingdon, Illinois. When he became quite old he made his home with his son Lafayette in Union township, and spent his last days in Mahaska county. He had seven children, all born of the first marriage but only three are now living: Lafayette M., of Union township; Eugene E., who is living near Barnes City, this state; and Alexander L. In his father's home Alexander L. Smith spent the days of his boyhood and youth and attended the district schools. In early life he learned and followed the blacksmith's trade for a time and in May, 1861, he responded to the country's call for volunteers, enlisting at Monmouth, Illinois. The troops were sent to Burlington, Iowa, and he was attached to the First Iowa Battery as a private. He then went to St. Louis, Missouri, and afterward to the front. About the time of the battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, he became ill with fever and was sent home on a furlough, and before he was able to rejoin his command, orders were issued by General C. Helleck, granting a discharge to all not able for active service. Thus Mr. Smith was mustered out of service in the latter part of the summer of 1862. Subsequently he came to Iowa and was employed at farm labor by the month, spending two years in the service of J. J. Klinker. With the capital acquired through his industry and economy he then purchased forty acres of land, on which he has since made his home. About five acres had been cleared and a little log house had been built. He has since extended the boundaries of his farm by purchase of an additional forty acres and has built two frame houses on the farm, also good barns and other modern equipments. In 1865 Mr. Smith was married to Miss Mary Jane Klinker, who died a few years later; and in 1872 he wedded Rebecca Barnes, who was born in Illinois, March 11, 1849. They have one son, Clayton Roy, who married Miss Myrtle Jones and to them has been born a son, Herman L. They reside upon the old home farm in one of the houses built by Mr. Smith and the son now operates the land, his father having been totally blind for the past eleven years, the result of the effect of fever contracted while in the army. He now receives a pension of one hundred dollars per month, to which he is justly entitled. In his political affiliation he is a democrat, and both he and his wife are members of the Baptist church. His life has been a busy and useful one, and although his history contains no exciting chapters, it has been characterized by faithfulness in citizenship, honesty in business and reliability in all relations.
Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy