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James Smith misc. collection

Creator: Smith, James, 1837-1914

Date: 1861-1914

Level of Description: Coll./Record Group

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: Misc.: Smith, James

Unit ID: 443166

Biographical sketch: Civil War Union soldier, officer; politician; Kan. secretary of state (1879-85, Republican). Of Vermillion Township, Marshall County; Topeka, Kan.

Abstract: Documents relating to James Smith's Civil War service, letters, and newspaper clippings with information about him. The items relate to Smith; Kansas politics including the Supreme Court & governors; and individuals including Kan. Supreme Court Chief Justice William A. Johnston & Kan. Governor John A. Martin. Correspondents include Pa. Governor James A. Beaver, U.S. Senator John James Ingalls (Kan.), and Martin.

Space Required/Quantity: 1 folder (14 items)

Title (Main title): James Smith misc. collection

Language note: Text is in English.


Biog. Sketch (Full):

James Smith was a native of Elder's Ridge in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, having been born 29 July 1837. His parents were believed to have been Robert (d. 1906?) and Sarah Wray Smith (d. 1860?). His eight siblings were George T. (b. 1853?), Robert W., John W., Matthew, Daniel, Mary, Eider, and Henry. James was educated in schools in his home area and graduated from Jefferson College, now Washington and Jefferson College, in Washington, Pennsylvania.

He came to Kansas in March 1860 and settled in Vermillion Township of Marshall County. In August 1861 he enlisted in Company A of the 2nd Kansas Cavalry Regiment, later transferred to its successor, the 7th Kansas Cavalry. He was promoted to first lieutenant and regimental quartermaster.

After the Civil War, he returned to Marshall County. In November 1865 he was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives. He married Jennie, possibly Jane, Edgar in Vermillion Township on 23 January 1868. In January 1870 he became Marshall County clerk for two terms. Afterward he was county treasurer, also for two terms. In 1878 he was elected as Kansas secretary of State and re-elected in 1880 and 1882, serving until January 1885. Afterward he was the private secretary for Governors John A. Martin and Lyman Underwood Humphrey. He also served as Kansas quartermaster general for four years.

He and Jennie had three children: Mary, Clarence, and Ida. He was a member of the Masons, Knights of Pythias, Grand Army of the Republic, and the Knights of Heraldry. He remained in Topeka after his term of secretary of State ended and died there on 28 May 1914; he was buried in Topeka Cemetery.

Portions of Collection Separately Described:


No Locators Identified

Related Records or Collections

Related materials:

7th Kansas Cavalry Regiment

Brown, John, 1821-1895. Papers of John Brown, Jr., 1830-1932; 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm; MICROFILM: MS 204; http://www.kshs.org/archives/48670

Moses, Webster W. (Webster Wiggins), 1838-1912. Webster W. Moses diaries and letters [microfilm], 1856-1960 (bulk 1856-1896); 1 microfilm reel (ca. 740 images) ; 35 mm; ms. collection no. 455; http://www.kshs.org/archives 40455

Pomeroy, Fletcher, 1841-1926. Pomeroy, Fletcher [papers], 1861-1865; 0.4 ft. (1 box) + 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm; ms. collection no. 475; http://www.kshs.org/archives/40475

Kansas politics and government


Kansas secretary of State

Kansas. Secretary of State. Records of the Office of the Secretary of State, 1861-[ongoing]; record group 622; http://www.kshs.org/archives/216312

Kansas governors

Humphrey, Lyman Underwood, 1844-1915. Lyman Underwood Humphrey correspondence, 1834-1944; 0.6 ft. (27 folders + oversize); ms. collection 11; http://www.kshs.org/archives/40011

Kansas. Governor (1885-1889 : Martin). Kansas Governor John A. Martin records, 1884-1889, 14 ft. (33 boxes + 5 v.); record group 252; http://www.kshs.org/archives/307217

Kansas. Governor (1889-1893 : Humphrey). Records of the Kansas Governor's Office : administration of Governor Lyman Underwood Humphrey (1889-1893), 1889-1893, 18 ft. (15 boxes); record group 252; http://www.kshs.org/archives/226134

Martin, John A., 1839-1889. John Alexander Martin papers, 1856-1886, 0.4 feet (1 box) + 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm; ms. collection 432; http://www.kshs.org/40432


Finding Aid Bibliography:

"All Results for James Smith," et seq., Ancestry.com website: http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?gl=allgs&gss=sfs28_ms_f-2_s&new=1&rank=1&msT=1&gsfn=James&gsfn_x=1&gsln=Smith&gsln_x=1&msypn__ftp=Topeka%2C%20Shawnee%2C%20Kansas%2C%20USA&msypn=72919&msypn_PInfo=8-%7C0%7C1652393%7C0%7C2%7C0%7C19%7C0%7C2681%7C72919%7C0%7C0%7C&msbdy_x=1&MSAV=1&msbdy=1837&msbpn__ftp=Pennsylvania%2C%20USA&msbpn=41&msbpn_PInfo=5-%7C0%7C1652393%7C0%7C2%7C0%7C41%7C0%7C0%7C0%7C0%7C0%7C&msddy=1914&msddy_x=1&msdpn__ftp=Topeka%2C%20Shawnee%2C%20Kansas%2C%20USA&msdpn=72919&msdpn_PInfo=8-%7C0%7C1652393%7C0%7C2%7C0%7C19%7C0%7C2681%7C72919%7C0%7C0%7C&msrpn__ftp=Marysville%2C%20Marshall%2C%20Kansas%2C%20USA&msrpn=72196&msrpn_PInfo=8-%7C0%7C1652393%7C0%7C2%7C0%7C19%7C0%7C1913%7C72196%7C0%7C0%7C&gskw=Kansas%20secretary%20of%20state&_83004003-n_xcl=f&catbucket=rstp&uidh=jc2 All results for James Smith (accessed 23 Mar. 2017).

Connelley, William Elsey. Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, v. 3, Ancestry.comwebsite: https://www.ancestry.com/media/viewer/viewer/698ff2a6-03a7-483b-9302-1eb9f753d323/319033/40961780 (accessed 23 Mar. 2017).

Cutler, William G. "Shawnee County, Part 34: Biographical Sketches (Slayton-Swingle), History of the State of Kansas, Kansas Collection website: http://www.kancoll.org/books/cutler/shawnee/shawnee-co-p34.html (accessed 23 Mar. 2017).

Foster, Emma E. History of Marshall County, Kansas, Its People, Industries and Institutions, Ancestry.com website: https://www.ancestry.com/media/viewer/viewer/eacc3e3a-1e95-446c-9ade-c21273a7c6eb/6317959/-200243239 (accessed 23 Mar. 2017).

Index Terms


    Kansas. Governor
    Kansas. Governor (1885-1889 : Martin)
    Kansas. Supreme Court
    Pennsylvania. Governor (1887-1891 : Beaver)
    United States. Army -- Officers
    Personal correspondence
    Kansas -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
    Kansas -- Politics and government -- 1865-1950
    Topeka (Kan.)
    United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
    Vermillion (Marshall County, Kan. : Township)
    Johnston, William A. (William Agnew), 1848-1937
    Martin, John A., 1839-1889
    Smith, James, 1837-1914
    Politicians -- Kansas
    Secretaries of State (State governments) -- Kansas
    Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)

Creators and Contributors

Additional Information for Researchers

Use and reproduction: Information on literary rights available from the Kansas Historical Society (Topeka).

Cite as: Smith, James. James Smith misc. ms. collection, Kansas Historical Society.

Action note: Description written by Robert L. Knecht, volunteer, 2017.

Holder of originals: Kansas Historical Society (Topeka).


General Note: Title supplied by cataloger.

General Note:

This finding aid describes materials held by the Kansas Historical Society. Materials may be used in the Research Room in the State Archives building during regular research hours. For information on contacting us, visiting us, and the services we provide, please go to http://kshs.org/state_archives

Descriptions are often based on a preliminary inspection of the material. As such, they may contain misspellings or other inaccuracies based on folder headings and other sources within the materials. As the collections are arranged and as time permits, these finding aids are improved and corrected. If you spot an error, please feel free to report it to the reference staff or an archivist.