1925 Biography - Jason Smith

Jason B. Smith was a native of South Carolina and was born in 1805. His father Hiram was a farmer of South Carolina. His widow, with her children, removed to Kentucky about 1820. Jason B. was converted at an early age and entered the ministry of the M. E. church at the age of twenty three and was for many years an itinerant preacher. He married Matilda C. Franklin in Kentucky about 1827 and they came to Pope County, Illinois, to make their home. Mr. Smith had also learned blacksmithing and opened a shop at Golconda. While a resident of Pope County he enlisted in the Black Hawk War serving as Corporal under Captain Obediah West. Soon after his return from the war he moved to the southeastern part of Johnson County where he entered land and built a home. Being a progressive man, he was not satisfied with just a home and soon after burned the brick and erected a brick dwelling which was for many years probably the only brick residence in the county. When the Civil War broke out, he enlisted and was soon made Lieutenant of Company K., First Illinois Light Artillery and within six months he was promoted to Captain.
At the close of his services, he returned to his farm and blacksmith trade which he had followed with his farming. With all his other duties he preached frequently and continued his devotion to his church as long as he lived. He was the founder of the Benton M. E. church and though he has gone on many years ago his memory and influence still remain and has reached out through his grandsons and touched many communities. His children were Thomas H. who was killed in the Civil War leaving a wife and two children; Elizabeth married Daniel Cummins; James A. resided in Burnside many years but finally removed to Arkansas; John W. was a business man of Fordyce, Ark. He was a member of the Regulators who were tho better element of citizens who banded themselves together to rid their neighborhood of the "Flat Heads", a lawless band that followed horse stealing and other wickedness in the eastern section of the county and the adjoining parts of Massac. He also served as county judge of this county. Jefferson Wormack lived on the Jason B. Smith place in 1924.

Extracted 08 Feb 2017 by Norma Hass from 1925 A History of Johnson County, Illinois, by Mrs. P. T. Chapman, page 478.

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