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Hon. Harvey H. Smith. For at least thirty years Harvey H. Smith’s activities in the law and in democratic politics have been increasingly valuable and influential. He has been successively identified with the states of Kentucky, South Dakota and Oklahoma. Mr. Smith is particularly well known as a man of affairs in Shawnee, where he has lived since a few months before statehood.
He is not disinclined to credit his worthy ancestors with some responsibility for his own success in life. Mr. Smith’s parents were M. and Mary E. (Smith) Smith. His parents, though of the same name, were not related. On the paternal side the ancestors came from England to Virginia and Pennsylvania in colonial times. Mr. Smith of Shawnee and the late Hopkinson Smith, the brilliant author-artist, and Senator Hoke Smith of Georgia have a common ancestry in the early annals of America. The maternal ancestry of Mr. Smith is even more notable. They likewise came from England in colonial times and settled first in North Carolina and later in Virginia, and from there went across the mountains as pioneers to the Kentucky region long before the Revolution. Maj. James Smith and two brothers departed for the Kentucky Territory in 1752, even before Daniel Boone made his exploits famous in that region. Maj. James Smith served with that rank and title during the Indian wars, and was a military instructor at one time in the old St. Mary’s College of Virginia. His writings were the first papers to be preserved by the Filson Club of Louisville, a club which has collected and preserved the most interesting and valuable archives of the Kentucky region. Mr. Smith’s great-grandfather on the maternal side was Capt. William Smith, and he was known as the founder of the Universalist Church in Kentucky and was a pioneer physician there, and gained his rank of captain by service in the Indian wars. Maj. James Smith had a grand-nephew, Z. F. Smith, who was a Presbyterian minister and superintendent of public instruction in Kentucky, and wrote a standard history of that state. Z. F. Smith died in 1904. Senator Smith of North Carolina is a descendant from the same stock.
Harvey H. Smith of Shawnee was born at Vine Grove in Hardin County, Kentucky, October 17, 1809. His father, M. Smith, was born in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1835, but in early life went to Hardin County, Kentucky, where he was reared and married, and became well known as a farmer and banker. He spent practically all his life in Hardin County and died in 1905 while on a visit at Armour, South Dakota. He was a loyal democrat. During the war between the states he served under two of the most brilliant Confederate leaders, John Morgan and General Forrest. The mother, whose maiden name was Mary E. Smith, was born in Hardin County, Kentucky, and is still living at Vine Grove in that state. Her children were: Maggie, who is the wife of Henry Ditto, a farmer and stock man at Vino Grove, Kentucky: Rebecca, wife of G. E. McMurtry, who is president of the Farmers National Bank at Vine Grove, Kentucky; Harvey H.; and Silas H., who is a lawyer, is now connected with the Interstate Commerce Commission and resides at Washington.
Educated in the common schools of Hardin County, Kentucky, Harvey H. Smith graduated from high school in 1884, spent a year and a half in the National Normal University at Lebanon, Ohio, one year in the Normal School at Glasgow, Kentucky, one year in the Springfield Institute at Springfield, Tennessee, and followed that with two years in the University of Indiana at Bloomington, leaving that institution when in his senior year.
Mr. Smith began the study of law at Lexington, Kentucky, in the winter of 1887 under W. C. Breckenridge, one of Kentucky’s most prominent attorneys. He then entered the Louisville Law School at Louisville, and finished both the junior and senior courses in one year. On examination by the Court of Appeal in April, 1889, he was admitted and soon afterwards went to the Southwest and spent one year in practice at Dallas, Texas. After that for eight years Mr. Smith was a lawyer at Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and in 1890 was elected a member of the constitutional convention which drew up the present organic law for the State of Kentucky. In 1891 he was appointed by Governor John Young Brown as secretary of the Statutory Commission. While still living in Kentucky in 1894 he was candidate for the democratic nomination for Congress, and was defeated by A. B. Montgomery. It may perhaps be stated as significant that Mr. Montgomery was defeated at the election by the republican candidate, although the district was normally 5,000 democratic.
In 1896 Mr. Smith removed to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and was engaged in the practice of law in that city until 1902. In that time he served as temporary chairman of the South Dakota Democratic Convention in 1900, and was both temporary and permanent chairman of the state democratic convention of that state in 1902. In 1900 he refused the democratic nomination for governor. From 1902 to 1906 he was engaged in practice at Armour, South Dakota. While at Armour he established the First National Bank and was its vice president, and also established the Farmers & Merchants Bank at Geddes, of which he was a director. His business interests for many years have been of wide scope. While in South Dakota he established and was proprietor of the Runningmead Stock Farm, which came in for more than local fame as a center for fine stock.
It was in February, 1907, Mr. Smith came to Oklahoma, and has since had his home at Shawnee, His work as a lawyer connects him with some of the very important litigation in both civil and criminal law, and he has well furnished offices in the Mammoth Building. In Oklahoma also he has been called upon for public service. In 1912 he was elected to the State Legislature, and in the following session was candidate for speaker of the House, being defeated by J. H. Maxey. In 1914 he was candidate for democratic nomination for Congress, and was defeated by Hon. William H. Murray, the veteran Oklahoma politician, but only by 343 votes.
Mr. Smith is a member of the Pottawatomie County Bar Association, is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias Lodge at Elizabethtown, Kentucky, with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Knights of the Maccabees at Sioux Falls, South Dakota. At Anderson, Indiana, in 1897, he married Miss Nellie Ozias, daughter of William Ozias, who is a physician and surgeon, now living at Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Mr. Smith and wife are the parents of two children: Mary Arlene, a senior in the high school at Shawnee; and Virginia Marion, a freshman in high school.