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Biographical Sketch of Jacob W. SMITH (1799-1851)
Excerpted from Genealogical & Biographical Annals of Northumberland County (1911, J.L. Floyd & Co., Chicago), p. 311.  Names have been changed to ALL-CAPS; they were not so in the original, except for the opening name. For readbility, I've broken a long paragraph into several smaller ones. 
Individuals named in biography:
ARTHUR:  Charles, T.S.
DAVIS:  Selin
CLEMENT:  Ira T.
MOORE:  Mrs. Louisa A. (CLEMENT)
SHINDLE:  Rev. J. Peter
SMITH:  Caroline E., Catharine, Emma J., Gertrude I., Jacob W., James, John, John J., Polly, Robert
STRAUB:  Andrew, Mary
VANHOLDT:  Barbara Ann
WALTER:  Mary
WILLIAMS:  Benjamin
WITHINGTON:  William
JACOB W. SMITH, who died many years ago, was a native of the borough of Sunbury, Northumberland county, and belonged to a family which has long been represented there, but he passed the greater part of his active years at Selinsgrove, Snyder county; where he ranked among the most intelligent, progressive and influential citizens.  He became prominent in the business circles of that section, and was highly respected wherever known.

James Smith, father of Jacob W. Smith, was born and reared in Bucks county, this State.  He served as a soldier in the Revolution, in what was known as the Pennsylvania Provisionals, and the musket he used in the Colonial service is now in the possession of one of his grandsons -- a highly prized heirloom.  In 1787 he came from Bucks county to Northumberland, being a pioneer at Sunbury, where in 1796 he built a hotel on the present site of the residence of Mrs. Louisa A. Moore, (daughter of the late Ira T. Clement), conducting same for many years.  His grandson John J. Smith, of Sunbury, has the board upon which the year the hotel was erected, 1796, appears. James Smith served some years as clerk in the office of the county prothonotary.  In his later life he made his home for several years with his son James, at Reading, Pa., but he returned to Sunbury, where he lived with his daughter Catharine (Mrs. Withington) until his death.  He is buried in the old South Fourth street cemetery.  He was a member of the Lutheran Church.  His wife, Barbara Ann (Vanholdt), was from Bucks county, her people living in Philadelphia and Bucks county.  An oil portrait of her now in the possession of her grandson, John J. Smith, is in a fine state of preservation and highly valued by the owner.  James and Barbara Ann (Vanholdt) Smith had quite a large family, but a number of their children died when small.   We have record of: Jacob W., who lived and died at Selinsgrove; James, who died in Sunbury, mentioned elsewhere in this work; John, a farmer of Upper Augusta township, who after his retirement, lived in Sunbury, where he died; Catharine wife of William Withington; Polly, who married Robert Smith, and lived in Lower Augusta township; and Mrs. Benjamin Williams.

Jacob W. Smith was born in Sunbury Oct. 3, 1799.  After studying at a select school in Northumberland he studied for the Lutheran ministry under Rev. J. Peter Shindle, but owing to throat trouble he had to give up the profession after following it a short time, and he turned his attention to business pursuits, in which he made a decided success.  Locating at Selinsgrove, Snyder Co., Pa., he engaged in the lumber and grain trade, in which he built up a large business, which he continued to carry on throughout his life.  He took an interest in all matters concerning the community, took a leading part in local politics as a member of the Democratic party, and was an enthusiastic member of the Lutheran Church at Selinsgrove, contributing liberally when the church building was erected.  His death, which occurred April 1, 1851, was regarded as a public loss.  He is buried at Selinsgrove.

On Aug. 28, 1827, Mr. Smith married Mary Straub, who was born March 21, 1806, daughter of Andrew and Mary (Walter) Straub, the former of whom founded what is now the borough of Milton, Northumberland county.  Mrs. Smith died in Sunbury Aug. 14, 1885, and was buried beside her husband.  They had a family of ten children, only three of whom survive, namely:  Emma J. is the widow of Capt. Selin Davis; Caroline E., who is unmarried, makes her home in Sunbury; Gertrude I. is the wife of Dr. Charles Arthur, son of the well known writer T. S. Arthur, and they reside in San Francisco, California.

Family Group Sheet of Jacob W. SMITH & Mary STRAUB

Family Group Sheet of Charles ARTHUR & Gertrude I. SMITH

Family Group Sheet of James SMITH & Barbara Ann VANHOLDT

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