Edward B. SMITH, filling the office of supervisor of Henry township, is recognized as one of the most prominent representatives of the republican party in Marshall county. He is well fitted for leadership and has exercised considerable influence over public thought and opinion, while his progressive spirit and well known devotion to the general good have made him well worthy of the political honors which have been conferred upon him. He is one of Henry township's native sons, his birth having occurred about a mile and a half from the city of Henry on the 19th of November, I860. His father was a native of New York city, born November 16, 1824, and became one of the early residents of Illinois, arriving in this part of the state about 1836 or 1838. There were many evidences of pioneer life here and he shared in the hardships and privations incident to the establishment of a home on the frontier. He was a farmer by occupation and became the owner of a large tract of land. Of this he cultivated one hundred and sixty acres on his home farm deriving therefrom a substantial income, and he owned considerable land elsewhere. He married Miss Roby A. TABER, who was born in 1818 and who died May 8, 1896, at the age of seventy-eight years. Mr. SMITH is also deceased. In their family were three children: Amer A., who follows farming on Western avenue near Henry; Mrs. Emma J. FORBES, of Nebraska; and Edward B., of this review.
On the old homestead farm Mr. SMITH, whose name introduces this record, spent the days of his boyhood and youth and early became familiar with the work of the fields. He now owns the home farm of one hundred and sixty acres where he carries on general agricultural pursuits. His preliminary education was acquired in the district schools and he afterward attended Henry Seminary. From early manhood he has been deeply interested in the political questions and issues and has taken a very active and helpful part in the work of the republican party. He was appointed to the office of supervisor as the successor of H. J. GREGORY and four years ago was elected by the largest majority ever given to any candidate for that position. For ten years he has been a member and chairman of the town central committee and for six years has been a member of the county central committee. He filled the office of road commissioner for six years and his duties have ever been promptly and faithfully performed, He is well qualified for political leadership, being able to marshal his forces with almost military precision, while his executive ability and persona! popularity enable him to get out the full party strength. In addition to his activity and interests along other lines he has served for seven years as a director of the Henry Cemetery.
On March 6, 1897, Mr. SMITH was united in marriage to Miss Grace M. THOMPSON, of Henry, a daughter of M. A. and Marguerite R. (SHARP) THOMPSON, the former of Henry, Illinois, and the latter of Indiana. The father is now deceased but the mother is still living. He was for many years a farmer and hotel proprietor and was widely known in Marshall county. Both Mr. and Mrs. SMITH hold membership in the Presbyterian church, in which he is serving as trustee and in the work of which he takes an active and helpful interest. Indeed activity is one of his marked and sterling characteristics. It is manifest in everything that he undertakes. Whatever claims his attention receives from him his best service and he is a man who accomplishes results.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.