SMITH, RICHARD C. - Prosperity has attended the efforts of many of the farmers of Illinois, rendering them independent and affording them leisure during their latter years. A well-to-do retired farmer of Springfield is Richard C. Smith, residing at No. 616 South English avenue. He was born February 12, 1833, on the old Smith farm, situated on Lick Creek, in Curran Township. He is a son of John and Jane (Drennan) Smith, the latter being a daughter of Joseph Drennan, an old pioneer of Sangamon County, who came from Kentucky. She died when Richard C. was an infant, having borne her husband the following children: William C., deceased; Thomas died on his farm; Rebecca, the first wife of William Barbre, is deceased; Elizabeth Caroline, Mrs. William Poor, deceased; Lucy, the second wife of William Barbre; and Richard C. The second wife of John Smith was Rebecca Enochs, daughter of William Enochs, who came to this county from Tennessee. They had two children: Mahala J., Mrs. David Miller, of Curran Township, and Martha H., Mrs. A. J. Drennan, of Curran Township.
Richard C. Smith attended a subscription school held in a log house, his first teacher being Luther Talbot, and later ones being: Mr. Pearson, Mr. Smiley, Mr. Eaton, and Mr. S. B. Smith. During this time he attended only during the winter, and when he was nineteen his educational advantages ceased. When only nine years old he began plowing, and continued to work for his father until he attained his majority. After his marriage, he began farming on a portion of the homestead, thus continuing in Curran township until 1874 when he moved to a farm in Champaign County, returning to the old homestead in 1881. The latter continued to be his home until 1899, when he retired to Springfield, and has made this city his home ever since.
On April 7, 1853, Mr. Smith was married in Curran Township, by the Rev. Arthur Bradshaw, to Amarine Shelton, born in the township, September 2, 1835. She is a daughter of William and Prudence (Neal) Shelton, and granddaughter of Stephen Shelton, who was born in 1777, and came to Sangamon County May 26, 1826, from Virginia. Stephen Shelton's first wife was Lydia Heath, of Virginia, whom he married in North Carolina, then moved to Ohio, where two children were born. They moved to Cabell County, W. Va., where seven children were born, and two were born in Sangamon County. His second wife was Judith Neal, and by his union there were six children. During the War of 1812, he served as a brave soldier. His father, Robert Shelton, was an Englishman by birth, who settled in Virginia.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith have had the following children: William Thomas, living in Springfield; John R., deceased; Maria Elizabeth, Mrs. Joseph F. Smith of Auburn; James A., of Tolono, Ill.; Richard E., of Springfield; Charles E., at home; Flora, Mrs. Everett Baugh of Springfield; and Frederick H., on a farm in Sangamon County. One died in infancy, Prudence Jane.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith were members of the Mt. Zion Methodist Church in Curran Township, in which Mr. Smith was Trustee and Steward, as well as class leader and Sunday school Superintendent, but when they came to Springfield they transferred their membership to Douglas Avenue Methodist church, of which he has been Steward. He is a life long Republican, and had been Justice of the Peace and Road Commissioner of Curran Township. Fraternally he is a Mason. He is one of the sound men of the community, who deserved the success which attended his painstaking efforts. Mrs. Smith was a splendid seamstress and tailor and for many years made all her boys' and girls' clothing and wove her own carpets.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith are members of the Old Settlers Association and were the oldest married couple in attendance at the meeting in 1910, and it was said they were the best preserved physically. Both are as jolly and pleasant as young folks half their age.