James O. Smith

Hon. James O. Smith, a prosperous and intelligent member of the farming community of Cass county, has been associated with the financial and social growth of that district for many years and has gained a goodly fortune and an enviable reputation by his earnest efforts and strict integrity. His farm is nicely located in section 31, of Rush River township, and he has placed upon it such improvements as entitle it to rank among the finest pieces of property in that region.

Our subject was born in Boston, Massachusetts, January 14. 1854, and was a son of Larkin A. and Belinda (Potter) Smith, natives, respectively, of New Hampshire and Maine. His grandfather, James Smith, was a native of Massachusetts and died in New Hampshire. The family was farmers and the mother's father was a native of Manchester, England.

James O. Smith was reared and educated in the public schools of Boston and in 1874 went to Denver, Colorado, where he remained one winter and then returned East and remained in New Hampshire and Massachusetts until 1877, when, in May of that year, he arrived at Fargo. North Dakota. He entered claim to government land in section 2 of Casselton township, and also entered claim to land as a tree claim and began at once the improvement of his farm breaking the land with the use of oxen. He is now the fortunate possessor of one section of the best land in Cass county and he has placed on his farm the finest buildings of that vicinity. His residence, erected in 1892, is a commodious and substantial structure and is equipped with all the modern conveniences and comforts, including hot water heat, and is a home of refinement and luxury and bespeaks the culture and tastes of its occupants. Mr. Smith removed to Steele county in 1886, for the purpose of personally operating a farm he owns there. He has made a success of farming and with limited means for a start has acquired a good income.

Our subject was married, in 1884, to Jennie Hildebrant, a native of Illinois. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, as follows: Chauncey and Bernice. Mr. Smith is a member of the Masonic fraternity. He was elected to the territorial legislature in 1888 and served during the last session of that body and in 1889 was elected to the state senate and served one term. He served as clerk of the senate in 1897- 1898 and has taken an active part in public affairs since residing in North Dakota. Politically, he is a Republican and is a member of the district central committee.

Source:  Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota 1900 Page 340

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