J. M. Smith biography

J. M. SMITH, vice-president of the First National Bank of Snyder, is a native son of Texas, his birth having occurred in Burnet county on the 16th of November, 1857. His father, James G. Smith, was a native of Dixon county, Tennessee, born about 1822 and was reared in that state, devoting his time and energies to farming and stock raising. In 1860 he came to Texas, locating first in Williamson county and afterward removed to Burnet county, where he located in 1856. He was married in the latter county to Miss Sarah James, a native of Arkansas. He was there during the Indian troubles, for during the period of the Civil war the red men were specially hostile in that country. Mr. Smith instead of entering the Confederate service was engaged in active duty at home associating himself with the rangers for the purpose of fighting the Indians, running them out of the country whenever they appeared and thus protecting families and property at home. He continued his residence in Burnet county up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1902. His widow is still living on the old homestead in that county at the age of about sixty-five years. In their family there were eight children, seven sons and a daughter: George W., recently of Scurry county but now deceased; Lon, residing in Scurry county; Ozro, also of the same county; Dolphus, living in Burnet county, Texas; Edgar and Elzy, also of Burnet county; Laura, the wife of David Sims, of Kent county; and Jackson Monroe Smith.

In taking up the personal history of Jackson M. Smith we present to our readers the life record of one widely and favorably known in Scurry county because of his active connection with business interests and his support of progressive public measures. He was reared in Burnet county, making his home with his parents until the time he attained his majority. Since old enough to ride a horse he began tending cattle for his father and he spent a portion of his time in the country schools. In 1878 in connection with his brothers George and Lon he went to Coleman, Texas, where they engaged in the stock business on their own account. They took a herd of stock with them and herded them on the free range. In 1881 the brothers transferred their stock to Kent county and about this time developed a formal business organization under the firm style of Smith Brothers, the relation between them being maintained for ten or twelve years, their brand being the TO. which was a noted brand in the country. After diving their interests, J. M. Smith established the L O X brand, which he still maintains. By this time the country was pretty well under fence. Mr. Smith purchased land in Kent county and has made quite extensive additions to his landed holdings. His ranch now comprises fourteen thousand acres, most of which lies in Kent county with about two thousand acres in Scurry county. His herds are mostly Herefords with some Durhams, having some fourteen hundred head of finely bred, high grade cattle.

Mr. Smith made his home in Kent county until his marriage, which occurred February 12, 1889, Miss Lillian Napier a native of Burnet county, Texas, becoming his wife. About this time he removed to Snyder, where he has since resided and the home has been blessed with three children, Neil E., Nellie C. and Leslie O.

In October, 1900, Mr. Smith became one of the organizers of the First National Bank of Snyder, which was capitalized for thirty-five thousand dollars. The first president of the institution was his brother, George W. Smith, who served until his death, while J. M. Smith was made vice-president. The present bank building was erected at a cost of six thousand dollars and is well equipped. The officers at the present writing are: J. Dodson, president; J. M. Smith, vice-president; T. F. Baker, cashier; and Lee Borden, assistant cashier. Mr. Smith is a typical cattle man of Texas and has experienced all of the vicissitudes attendant upon life on the plains. His knowledge of the cattle business is not excelled by that of any other man and in this calling he has won a very gratifying measure of success and is rated with the best business men of the country. He has been a member of the Masonic fraternity for the past fifteen years and is a charter member of the lodge in Snyder.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 410-411.