Biography of Robert W. Smith
Armstrong County, PA Biographies

ROBERT WALTER SMITH "was born at Litchfield, New Hampshire, June 16, 1816, at the residence of his grandfather (on the maternal side), Judge Parker. His greatgrandfather, Ebenezer Smith, was an officer throughout the whole of the Revolutionary war, and was appointed captain of the guard over Maj. Andre the night before his execution. His grandfather, the Rev. David Smith, D.D., was at the time of his death in his ninety fifth year, probably the oldest Yale college graduate in the United States. His father, the late Rev. David M. Smith, was also a graduate of Yale college, being a member of the class of 1811. He studied theology at Andover, Massachusetts, and was ordained a minister in the Presbyterian church."

R. W. Smith graduated from Hamilton college in 1837, read law and was admitted to the bar prior to 1846. In that year he came to Kittanning, where he practiced his profession for thirty five years. In 1881 he visited his brother at Bronxville, New York, where he died on December 6th of that year. He was county superintendent of free schools from 1856 to 1860 and from 1863 to 1866. He was a careful lawyer and an efficient county superintendent, but it is as the author of "The Armstrong County History" that his name will be preserved for all time to come in Armstrong county.

"He was a man of studious habits and literary tastes. Conceiving the idea of writing an elaborate history of the county, he entered upon his arduous, self imposed task with the determination of making it thorough and reliable. Toward this end he toiled patiently for full five years. Sadly enough the author was not permitted the quiet satisfaction of seeing the book on which he had so long toiled come from the press."


From:
Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia
of Indiana and Armstrong Counties, Pennsylvania
Samuel T. Wiley, Historian & Editor
John M. Greshan & Co.
Philadelphia, 1891


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