Hon. S. J. Smith. The present mayor of Sapulpa under the commission charter came to Oklahoma about the time of statehood, and has been one of the real leaders in politics in Creek County ever since. Mr. Smith is a business man, having had a wide range of experience both in Oklahoma and in his native State of Pennsylvania, where he was also actively identified with politics and was known among the political leaders of the Keystone State, both in respect to his individual qualifications and as the leader of a strong independent faction.
Born in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, March 23, 1871, Mr. Smith is a son of Thomas and Rebecca (Campbell) Smith. His father was born in New York City, November 25, 1840, and is still living in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, as a retired farmer. The mother was born August 15, 1850. Mayor Smith was the second in a family of seven children, three sons and four daughters. His youth up to the age of sixteen was spent on the home farm with his parents, where he attended the country schools, and also took a two year course in the County Academy. His entrance upon a business career was preceded by six years of successful work as a teacher in Indiana County. For a time he conducted a general merchandise business at Glen Campbell in his native county and later was in the lumber and coal business at the same place. Almost from the time he cast his first vote he took an active interest in politics. He served on the school board and as president of the village council, and was a member of various political committees and a delegate to state conventions. He was an uninstructed delegate to the most exciting state convention ever held in Pennsylvania when the control of the republican party in that state was an object of contest between the late Matthew Stanley Quay and Dan Hastings, who was at that time governor. Quay won out by five votes, but Mr. Smith was a Hastings man. He also served two regular terms and an extra session in the Pennsylvania Legislature, from 1900 to 1906.
On November 7, 1907, a few days before Oklahoma became a state, Mr. Smith located in Sapulpa. He established there a bakery and confectionery business and has also acquired some extensive interests in oil and gas, both as an individual and in connection with several operating companies.
Mr. Smith was a member of the second Oklahoma State Legislature, and is now serving his second term as mayor under the commission charter, having been elected on a nonpartisan ticket. By virtue of his position as mayor he is also police judge of the city. His work has been more than satisfactory to the local citizens, and it is largely on the element of personal efficiency that the success of the commission form of government is assured in any community.
Fraternally Mayor Smith is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason, is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias. On November 10, 1900, he married Miss Della Richards, who was born in Pennsylvania, a daughter of R. W. Richards. Mrs. Smith had a business and normal school course in Pennsylvania, is active in the Presbyterian Church, and since her marriage has been devoted to the interests of her home and her children. There are two children: John and Lillian.