A successful farmer of Jack county who has passed from the dependence of childhood to a substantial and independent station in middle life without the aid of parental influence or direction, and one whose efforts seems to have been providentially blessed, so marked has been his agricultural achievements, is Alfred G. Smith, mentioned as the subject of this biographical reference. Left to the care and consideration of grandparents in infancy and abused by lack of interest and positive neglect, he cast off his relations in childhood and since the age of thirteen years has weathered the storms of adversity and stemmed opposing and contrary currents so as to anchor his life craft in safe waters and he reckoned among the successful navigators of his county’s rural craft.
About 1836 David Smith, our subject’s father, went into Leon county and there hired to the Widow Lauderdale to do the work of her farm. In 1858 he married her and, at the opening of the rebellion, entered the army and she soon afterward died. She was Phebe A., daughter of Joseph Henson, Sr., widely known as a Jack county pioneer. Mrs. Smith was born in Alabama, and by her first husband was the mother of Mary E., wife of A. T. Allen, of Venus, Arkansas, and Sarah J., wife of Moses Rhoades, of Placerville, Colorado.
Although his advent dates from an infant of one year Mr. Smith is numbered among the pioneers of his county. He was born in Leon county, near Ferguson Prairie, December 11, 1859, the only child of his parents’ marriage, and a ten months’ schooling, which he paid for himself, was the best educational advantage he had. When his mother died, in 1861, his father, David Smith, was in the Confederate army and Joseph Henson, his maternal grandfather, claimed him and brought him to Jack county, to his home on Carroll creek. There, on what is now part of the Hensley ranch, he can be said to have grown up, with little raising other than his boyhood judgment would direct. He was destined to gain little knowledge from books and from the time he left his home until his marriage he worked fro wages on a farm or a ranch. From this source he seemed not to accumulate, but to gradually sink into debt and when he took him a wife three hundred and fifty dollars was needed to start him even with the world. For a time he rented land on Carroll creek and then moved to the West Fork and in 1884 took possession of a tract of land he acquired on the Antelope road, nine miles northwest of the county seat. Here he felt himself gather financial strength and the efforts of himself and faithful wife met their reasonable reward. Except for six years spent in Jacksboro, where no financial advantage was gained, the wild and tree-covered landscape into a fruitful and productive farm. Tract after tract has been added to the tax roll in his name until fourteen hundred and seven acres are embraced in his estate.
Mr. Smith married, February 15, 1880, Miss Elizabeth Graves, a sister of Miles A. Graves, mentioned also in this work. Mrs. Smith was born September 15, 1864, and died February 10, 1899. She left children, D. Oscar, Maud L., Lena A., A. Jasper, Fred and Frank, twins; LaFayette and Lydia Jewell. Opho A. and Hallie passed away before her mother. Mr. Smith has held himself strictly to the duties of a well-managed farm; hence his commendable success. He has almost eschewed politics, but church work has ever made a demand upon his attention and time. He has brought up his family in the fear of God and he worships the Master as a member of the Methodist church.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 339-340.