James Henry Smith, Jr.
Students of Shelby county history will find frequent mention of the Smiths in the records of northwestern section.  The ancestors of this family were among the early settlers of Moral Township and they have borne a prominent part in its agricultural development.  Though chiefly farmers, their activities have not been confined to agriculture, but displayed in many other ways, in connection with the government of the county's local affairs.  James Henry Smith, Jr., was born in Moral township, Shelby county, Indiana, August 22, 1847.  His father and namesake was one of the old settlers of the township who made a success of life, accumulating considerable property, reared a large family and was a highly respected citizen.  (Further particulars of the older James Henry Smith will be found in a separate sketch, which appears on another page of this volume.) James Henry, Jr., grew up on his father's farm, attended the district schools and remained at home until he had completed his twenty-second year.  Feeling a desire to travel about this time, he crossed the Mississippi River and spent a year in Missouri.  Soon he concluded that Old Shelby was good enough for him, as all his home and family ties, besides his property interests, lay within her borders.  September 14, 1870, Mr. Smith was married to Miss Eliza, Jr., daughter of Benjamin Dake, the early pioneer, whose sketch is given elsewhere.  Mrs.  Smith was born at the ancestral homestead in Moral Township, March 27, 1849.  After marriage, Mr.  Smith rented land in Marion county, on which he spent some time farming, but eventually bought forty-seven acres to which he devoted his attention until 1897, when he removed to his present place of residence in Moral township.  When he took possession of the farm of eighty acres it was but little improved, but it was soon developed into a productive tract that will compare with any other place of its size in the township. He has fenced it thoroughly, built a fine residence and barn, put out fruit trees and otherwise brought it up to modern requirements. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are members of the Baptist church at Acton, of which he was treasurer for two years. He held the position of road supervisor for twelve years and has been elected Justice of the Peace, but refused to serve. He has five children and a numerous collection of fine grandchildren, of whom he is naturally proud. Charles E., the oldest son, was born June 16, 1871; married Pearl Parrish resides in Indianapolis and has one child, Amel. James Benjamin, the second son, was born October 30, 1874, married Mary Oliphant, resides in Moral township, and has two children, Tresse and Esther. Elenora married Clarence Smock, of Indianapolis, and has had eight children: Elsie, Jessie, Fremont, Sidney, George, Charles, Walter, and Namoin, deceased. Ezra and Edith (twins), were born June 13,1882; Ezra married Alice Moore and has one child, Leone. Edith married W. Murnan and has one child Herbert.
History of Shelby County, Indiana, by Edward H. Chadwick, B.A., assisted by well known local talent, 1909, pages 896-897.
Copied by Gloria Collins Jackson