- John Smelser of
- From: HISTORY OF LEAVENWORTH COUNTY, KANSAS
by Jesse A Hall and Leroy T. Hand.
- **Submitted by Claudette Martin**
JOHN SMELSER, manager of the grain elevator at Linwood, Kansas,
and a director
of the Linwood State Bank, is a native of Rush County, Indiana. He was born
March 1, 1850, the eldest child of three children born to John and Sarah
(Norvell) Smelser. The other two children are deceased.
John Smelser was married three times, the first time to Mary Boone, a native
of Kentucky and a descendant of Daniel Boone. To this union ten children
were born. The second marriage was to Mary Gilson. No children were born to
this union. His third marriage was to Sarah Norvell, a native of Franklin
County, Indiana. John Smelser was born in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1797 and in
1825 emigrated to Indiana, where he was engaged in tilling the soil. He was
among the very earliest pioneers of that state and endured the privations and
struggles of the early pioneers against the forces of nature and the red men,
not counting the loneliness and the vast distances between human beings. He
died in 1862.
John Smelser was reared on his father's farm in Indiana and in 1868 came to
Jackson County, Missouri, where he farmed until 1870, when he came to
Leavenworth County and settled on a farm of 160 acres in Reno Township. Mr.
Smelser improved his property extensively and farmed until 1915, when he came
to Linwood and opened up his grain elevator business. He is also a
shareholder and director of the Linwood State Bank.
In March, 1874, John Smelser and Lydia Miller were united in marriage. She
was born in Indiana, a short distance north of Indianapolis. To this union
the following children have been born: Troy, Colorado; Ora, St. Louis,
Missouri; Bessie, Mrs. J. N. Snyder, Linwood, Kansas; Mirle, Colorado;
Charles, Linwood, Kansas, and Agnes, the bookkeeper in the lumber yard of
Linwood, at home.
Mr. Smelser is a member of the Methodist Church and the Ancient Free and
Accepted Masons. He is a Democrat and one of the substantial citizens of