SMITH, RICHARD B., retired, living in his comfortable home at 1221 North Eighteenth Street, Springfield, Ill., was born at Bedford, L.I., February 3, 1837, son of William and Margaret A. (Rhodes) Smith, both also natives of Bedford. The father worked for a transfer company and both he and the mother died on Long Island. They were parents of three daughters and only one son, and all are deceased except the latter. The grandfather of Richard B. Smith was a soldier in the Revolution.
Mr. Smith received his education in a country school at Bedford, six miles from Brooklyn, and after leaving school worked for a time in a store in Brooklyn. He also became employed on a boat on the Hudson River, and later on one running from New York to Baltimore. In 1861 he moved to St. Louis, Mo., and a year later took a position with the Government as driver of a supply wagon, and held this position six months, then drove a wagon through Alabama and Tennessee about a year, after which he returned to New York and worked another year on a Hudson River boat. He again went to St. Louis and entered the employ of the Government, and after the assassination of President Lincoln again returned to New York. After spending a short time in New York he came West again and located at Athens, Menard County, Ill., and was engaged in farming there for thirty years. He was a successful farmer and in 1906 was able to retire from active life, at which time he came to Springfield. He owns his home in Springfield. He is much respected and has made many friends. He is actively interested in public affairs and is a stanch Democrat. He has seen much of his native country and is a well-read, intelligent man, ready to do his duty as a citizen and promote the welfare of his community.
Mr. Smith was married in 1874, four miles from Springfield, Ill., to Miss Caroline Weese, who was born in Tennessee and died in 1898. Her parents were early settlers of Sangamon County, where they secured a farm and lived on it until their deaths. One child was born to Mr. Smith and his wife, Ruth, wife of John C. Roth, of Springfield, who has three children, two sons and one daughter.