WILLIAM E. SMITH, farmer and stockraiser, P. O. Ingraham. The subject of this sketch — commonly known as Uncle Eddie — is a native of Winchester, Frederick County, Va., and was born March 7, 1823. His father, James E. Smith, was a native of the same county, and brought his family to Clay County in October, 1838, settling in Hoosier Township, where he died on the 5th day of February, 1843. When the Smith family located here, the wild animals were running at large through the woods and across the prairies of Hoosier Township. Mr. Smith attended the old-fashioned subscription school, and sat on a slab or split-pole bench. He has always resided in Hoosier Township, and now resides on the northeast quarter of Section 1. As a farmer and stock-raiser, he has been very successful, and now owns 320 acres in his own right. He knows all about pioneer life, and has grated corn many a time for meal to make bread, and gone forty miles to mill. He has always been an esteemed citizen, and many persons, both old and young, frequently go to him for counsel and advice. Uncle Eddie's advice on all moral and financial questions is considered the standard for his neighborhood. For twelve years he was Justice of the Peace, and eight years of this time before the township organization. Mr. Smith is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was married, March 1, 1846, to Clarinda, daughter of Robert Benefield, who settled in Clay County in 1837. This union has been blessed with nine children, viz., George W., John W., James R., David D., Catharine E., Josiah L., Finley H., Amanda E. and Marietta.
Extracted 26 Jan 2020 by Norma Hass from 1884 History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois, Part IV, page 190.