GEORGE W. SMITH, insurance and real estate agent, is a son of Willis and Cynthia (Jones) Smith, and was born October 7, 1847, in Marion County, IL. The father was born in North Carolina, and when a mere boy removed with his parents to Tennessee, where he attained to manhood. He came with other members of the family to Illinois, and settled in Marion County in 1828, and was there married to Sallie Lynch, who died, leaving a family of six children, of whom three are still living.
Mr. Smith next married Cynthia Jones, daughter of Byron Jones, and widow of John Rotan. She was born in White County, Tenn., in 1812, and is still living, and a resident of Flora, IL. She is the mother of eight children, three of whom are the issue of the marriage to Willis Smith, which occurred in 1845. The Rotan children were William Rotan, now a farmer in Missouri; Nancy (deceased), wife of Mr. L. L. Johnson, of Missouri; the late Hon. Byron J. Rotan, of Louisville, IL, who was an able lawyer and a member of the State Legislature from the Forty-fourth District from 1873 to 1875; he died in Louisville, IL, March 9, 1880, leaving a wife and three children, now residents of Missouri; the fourth was Jane Rotan, who died in 1854, in early womanhood; the youngest being John M. Rotan, now of Kinmundy, IL. Of the three children born to Willis and Cynthia Smith, the first died in infancy, George W. being the second and Randolph Smith the youngest.
George W. was educated in the common schools and at the Plattsburg College, of Missouri. He adopted the profession of teacher, and during an experience of fifteen years in Clay County established a reputation as an able educator. He retired from the profession in 1883, having the three years proceeding been the Principal of the public school of Flora. In 1873, he was appointed to the office of County Superintendent of Schools of Clay County, to fill the unexpired term occasioned by the resignation of J. H. Songer. In 1874, he was elected to the same office, and was in 1877 again the choice of the people, in which office he served with acceptance until the fall of 1882, an aggregate term of nine years. He is now Police Magistrate of the village of Flora, and is doing a thriving business in insurance and real estate.
He was married in Louisville, IL, April 9, 1875, to Miss Nora David, daughter of James and Elizabeth ( Adams) David, the former deceased and the latter the wife of Judge L.S. Hopkins, of Louisville. Mrs. Nora Smith was born October 20, 1852, in Indiana. They have had but two children, viz., Randolph, born September 18, 1876, died November 9, 1878; and Nell Smith, born March 3, 1880.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith are members of the M. E. Church, and he of the Masonic order. Willis Smith, father of George W. and Randolph Smith, died in 1850, of cholera, while en route for California.
Submitted by Nancy Kessler [email protected] Info from The History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois, published in 1884.