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Albert J. Smith

SMITH, Albert J., a well-known citizen of Colchester, McDonough County, Ill., who is successfully engaged in the clothing business, was born in the Province of Quebec, Canada, October 16, 1830. His father, Joseph M. Smith, was born in Shoreham, Vt., and his mother, Eliza (Westover) Smith, was born in Grand Isle County, in that State. His grandfather, John Smith, was also a Vermonter, and Grandfather Moses Westover was of Canadian origin. Albert J. Smith, in his boyhood attended the public schools in Vermont, after his school days were over, learned the trade of a tanner and currier, and was engaged in that business in Vermont until 1862. In that year he come to Plymouth, Ill., where he was employed as extra agent of the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railroad Company. In 1864, he came to Colchester, and acted as that company's agent until 1876. After this he devoted his entire attention to a general store of bankrupt stock. He bought the store in 1873, and had the business conducted for him. In 1877 he built the first brick building in Colchester, and in 1881 erected two two-story buildings. The present three-story brick building he built in 1892. He sold out the stock and building of his first venture to J. W. & E. D. Stevens in 1879. In the fall of 1881 he went into the clothing and men's furnishing lines exclusively. In that year, he took his son Walter into partnership with him, and since 1902 the latter has conducted the business.

On March 10, 1856, the subject of this sketch was united in matrimony with Frances E. Coylar, who was born in Ferrisburg, on Lake Champlain, Vt., where in her youth, she attended the public school. Three children were the offspring of this union, namely: Jessie (Mrs. J. W. Stevens), Walter and Edward E. Mr. Smith's religious connection is with the Universalist Church. Politically, he advocates the principles of the Republican party, and fraternally, he is affiliated with the A. F. & A. M., as a member of the Eastern Star. The life of Mr. Smith has been crowded with work, and now, having accomplished much, he is enjoying a well merited rest.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 1002-1003, extracted 30 Jul 2020 by Norma Hass.

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