Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 877 of 894
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LNDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
J. P. SMITH,
A perusal of this work will disclose many native se
Kentuckians who have settled in Texas and made sc
successes of life, but we doubt if any of the sons M
of the "blue grass" region have made a more C
remarkable success than Col. J. P. Smith, of Fort r
Worth. Owen County, Kentucky, is his birth
place, and September 16, 1831, the date. His 6<
father, Samuel Smith, was also a Kentuckian, al
having been born at Ghent, in Carroll County, in L
1798. He was married to Miss Polly Bond, of t4
Owen County, the same State, in 1828. Miss Bond ii
was born in Scott County in 1808. They resided
in Owen County until 1838, when they removed to C
Ohio County, near Hartford, where they both died I
in 1844, leaving six sons, as follows: H. G., b
Louis, R. T., J. H., Samuel and J. P., our subject. i
Col. J. P. Smith was born and raised on a farm, ]
and after the death of his parents he took up his I
residence with his cousin, W. H. Garnett, of Owen
County, whom he selected as his guardian. He E
worked on his cousin's farm, attending the best i
schools during the winter months. He kept this up 1
until 1849, when he entered Franklin College, Indiana,
where he remained ten months. In September,
1850, he entered Bethany College5 Virginia, where he
t ok first honors in his classes of ancient languages
and mathematics, graduating from this institution
in 1853. Having finished his studies, in November,
1853, he left Kentucky for Texas, and in December
of the same year reached Fort Worth. He
opened the first school ever taught in Fort Worth.
The close confinement of the school-room so seriously
impaired his health, however, that he was
forced to close his school, after a short session of
three months. He devoted his time and attention
to surveying, which occupation he followed at intervals
until the year 1860. While engaged in surveying
he read law with A. Y. Fowler, of Fort Worth,
and without attending a law school, was admitted to
the bar in 1858, since which time he has practiced
in the State and Federal courts. He was distinctly
opposed to secession and voted against it in 1861.
When war broke out, however, he gave his services
to his State and assisted in raising a company of 120
men, with.whom, as Company K, Seventh Texas Cavalry,
he was mustered into service at San Antonio,
under Col. Wm. Steel, Sibley's brigade. This brigade
served principally in New Mexico, Arizona and
Western Louisiana. He was at the recapture of
Galveston from the Federals, January 1, 1863, was
,verely wounded on June 23, 1863, near Donald)nville,
and slightly wounded at the battle of
[ansfield, Louisiana. In 1864 he was promoted to
olonel of his regiment, which he disbanded on the
rinity river, in Navarro County, Texas, May 18,
865. The regiment then numbered something like
00 well armed and thoroughly equipped men, and
t the time of disbandment was on the march from
Jouisiana to Texas. The Colonel, in 1865, returned
o Fort Worth and resumed his law practice, buyig
and selling real estate on the outside.
He was married in Tarrant County, Texas, on
)ctober 16, 1867, to Mrs. Mary E. Fox, widow of
)r. F. A. Fox, of Mississippi. Mrs. Smith was
oorn in Carroll County, Miss., of English-American
)atentage. Of this union there are five children:
James Young, born October 15, 1869; Peter, horn
May 19, 1873; Florence, born November 14, 1875,
William Bealle, born December 8, 1878, and
Samuel C., born June 15, 1885. Mrs. Smith is an
unassuming, domestic lady, a charming conversationalist
and a most popular member of society.
Col. Smith has the distinction of being an original
charter member of the Masonic Lodge established
in Fort Worth in 1854. In 1858 he became a
Royal Arch Mason, and served two years as High
Priest of the Chapter.
Col. Smith has always been an earnest Democrat.
He is very often referred to by the older residents
as "the father of Fort Worth." He was elected
Mayor of the city in April, 1882. Some idea of
the benefits accruing to Fort Worth during Col.
Smith's term of office may be had when it is known
that the city did not have a paved street at his
inauguration. Col. Smith was elected to a second
term as Mayor, and before the expiration of his
second term was urged all over the State to accept
the nomination of Governor, but prefeering not to
sacrifice his extensive private interests, which the
acceptance of this nomination would have entailed,
he declined. Nearly, if not all, of the large cattle
companies of Northwest Texas are under more or
less obligation to the enterprising ability of Col.
Smith for their organization.
On August 12, 1890, C<. Smith was again
almost unanimously elected Mayor of Fort Worth.
He is universally liked and esteemed for his noble
character, generous disposition and impartiallty of
opinion, and Fort Worth points with pride to his
name on her list of honored citizens.
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/877/: accessed January 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .