1925 Biography - Milton Smith

Milton A. Smith was born in Pulaski County in 1847. He was the son of George and Lucretia (Hammond) Smith. His parents were, as most all other settlers of southern Illinois, from the South coming direct from Georgia. His early boyhood was spent in Massac County. At the age of fifteen he enlisted in Company K 29th Illinois Infantry, and was afterward assigned to Company I. Later this company was consolidated with the 9th mounted infantry. This regiment, lost more men, killed in battle, than any other Illinois regiment. His first battle was Salem, Mississippi. He was in ninety-six of the one hundred and ten battles and skirmishes of the 9th regiment, on Sherman's march to the sea and the Campaign of the Carolinas. He took part in the grand review at Washington, D. C. Entering the army so young he had acquired very little education, at the time of his enlistment he was offered a non-commissioned office in his company, and was so chagrined because he could not accept it for lack of education, he determined then, if he reached home alive he would secure an education. At the close of the war he began immediately to attend school and studied law for a while, but in 1877 he entered the newspaper business in the city of Vienna and successfully edited the "Johnson County Journal" for a number of years. He later bought the "State Sentinel", a prohibition paper published at Decatur, Ill., and while for many years he affiliated with the Republican party, he was always a strong advocate for prohibition and woman suffrage. He finally took up the cause of prohibition and there can be no doubt but that his efforts helped to bring about the 18th amendment. He was firm in his convictions that every one should lead a clean and virtuous life, and though quiet, was never afraid to express his views. Owing to ill health he retired from journalistic work and moved to a farm in Florida, where he spent the remainder of his life. He married Emma R. daughter of Abraham Wright, a Methodist minister. Their children were George R., Bess L, May, Effie, Nellie, Earl and Hazel. May died 1820. The widow and other children reside in Florida. Mr. Smith always took an active part in the church and all work that had for its object the betterment of the community. He died in Jacksonville, Fla., March 1918.

Extracted 08 Feb 2017 by Norma Hass from 1925 A History of Johnson County, Illinois, by Mrs. P. T. Chapman, page 444.

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