Judge Jeremiah Smith
Judge Jeremiah Smith, a prominent man in the early history of Indiana, who is now deceased, was born in South Carolina in the year 1805. He came with his father, William Smith, to Randolph County, Indiana, in 1817, and in early manhood moved to Winchester, that county. He was truly a self-educated man, having but very limited school facilities during his early life, but by diligent study at home he was enabled to t4each school, and taught one term at Richmond, Indiana. He acquired a knowledge of surveying, and from 1820 until 1822 he was engaged on the survey of Kankakee County.
He studied law in Winchester with Zachariah Pratt, and was admitted to practice there in 1837. Charles Conway was for twenty-one years clerk and recorder of Randolph County and with him Mr. Smith was for many years associated as deputy and in other capacities. He held nearly every office in the gift of Randolph County and the judicial district including the offices of sheriff and deputy sheriff, prosecuting attorney, surveyor, deputy clerk, and judge of the Circuit Court. His principal attention, however, was given to his profession, which he practiced for thirty years, gaining the reputation of being one of the best judges of English law in the courts of Indiana.
In 1839 he erected the Franklin House at Winchester. In connection with Hon. O. H. Smith he located the town of Union City, which made such progress after the completion of the Bee Line in 1853. Judge Smith, however, maintained his residence at Winchester, making that place his home until his death. He was the author of several manuscript volumes, among which may be mentioned, "Reminiscences of Randolph County," and "Civil History of Randolph County."
The maiden name of his wif3e was Cynthia Dye. She died July 7, 1872, her death resulting from terrible injuries she received in a railroad accident at the depot of the Richmond & Grand Rapids Railroad, at Winchester. Her sad end is supposed to have hastened the death of her husband, who died in December, 1874. They were the parents of ten children, eight still living -William H., a merchant at Union City; John Dye, jeweler, Union City; Charles C., farmer near Winchester; Mary E., wife of Frank B. Carter, of Bradford, Ohio; Henry B., a banker of Hartford City; Charlotte, wife of George W. White, of Bradford, Ohio; J. Giles, a plumber and gas-fitter of Indianapolis, and Oliver H., of Union City.
Judge Smith was a man of pronounced opinions on any subject in which he became interested. He was a strong adherent of the principles of the Democratic party, of which he was an able and uncompromising advocate. His parents were consistent members of the regular Baptist Church. He was a member of the Disciples, and was active in the support of that branch of the Christian body, being also an accredited teacher among them. He was a successful business man, and by prudence and foresight he amassed a handsome fortune, most of which was in landed estate. He was a man of strict integrity, honorable in all his dealings, and won the confidence and esteem of all who knew him.
Source: Biographical and Historical Record of Jay and Blackford Counties, Indiana by The Lewis Publishing Company, 1887.