biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
JOSEPH F. SMITH, M. D., who resides at Taintor, is numbered among the oldest physicians of Mahaska County. He was born in Virginia, Dec. 13, 1823, and is a son of George and Ann (Ellis) Smith, both natives of the same State. His early life was passed on the farm, during which time he received a common-school education. He resided in his native State until 1849, when he went to Xenia, Ohio, and in the spring of the following year came to Iowa, stopping at Oskaloosa, and engaged in teaching near that city. In the spring of 1852 he began the study of medicine, with Dr. S. E. Rhinehart as preceptor. He attended the St. Louis Medical College during the winters of 1853 and 1854, then practiced medicine at Granville, Iowa, to provide means to complete his course of study, and graduated from that institution in 1856. In 1854 Dr. Smith was married to Miss Ellen Cunningham, and of this union three sons were born, one of whom died in infancy, and two are yet living-John C. and George F. The Doctor continued in the practice of medicine at Granville until 1883, with the exception of seven months spent in Nebraska and sixteen months in the late Civil War. He was commissioned Assistant Sturgeon of the 8th Iowa Cavalry in May, 1864, and served until the close of the war, Aug. 13, 1865. Col. J. B. Door, of the 8th Iowa Cavalry, in his report to Gen. N. B. Baker, Adjutant General of Iowa, says: "From June 11, 1864, the detachment at Kingston, Ga., and the entire regiment from Sept. 25, 1864, was under the medical care of Dr. J. F. Smith, Assistant Surgeon. He has been with it during the entire campaign, and shared in all its hardships, and proved himself a most efficient and skillful officer, as well as in all respects a gentleman. The health of the command is the best evidence of his efficiency." In 1877 Dr. Smith established a general store at Granville, continuing in business there until 1883, when the stock was removed to Taintor, where the business has since been conducted. Since locating at Taintor he only professionally attends to office practice. The Doctor is a Royal Arch Mason, and a member of Hiram Chapter No. 6, of Oskaloosa. He was first made a Mason in 1852. Politically he was a Whig in early life, but since the organization of the Republican party has been a supporter of its principles, but has never taken any especial interest in politics outside of the local offices of his township and county. In his long years of residence in this county, while accumulating his present comfortable competence, the Doctor has established an enviable reputation among the people, and none possess more noble qualities of head and heart, or enjoy more fully the confidence and regard of his fellow-citizens.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy