|HARVEY M. SMETHERS, of
Beatrice, was born in Lee county, Illinois, March 15, 1863. The sketch
of his brother, P. J. Smethers, elsewhere in this volume, gives due
data concerning the family.
Harvey M. Smethers received his education in Illinois and after coming
to Nebraska he attended the public schools of Gage county. In 1885
he located in Beatrice, this county, where he clerked in a store for
one year. He engaged in the general merchandise business with W.
J. Dunnick, [William Jasper Dunnick
brother of M. Rosella] under the firm name
of Smethers & Dunnick.
After a short time Mr. Dunnick
sold his interest in the business to A. H. Brubaker, and the business
continued in the name of Smethers & Brubaker for one year, when
Mr. Smethers sold his interest in the enterprise and engaged in farming.
He continued farming operations only a short time and then returned
to Beatrice and entered the hardware and implement business. Later
he engaged. in the pump and windmill business, which he later sold,
and thereafter he was employed by the Dempster Mill Manufacturing
Company for many years, as traveling salesman. Upon severing his connection
with the Dempster Mill Manufacturing Company, Mr. Smethers went to
Wyoming, where he was engaged in drilling for oil, for about two years.
He then returned to Beatrice and became manager of the Dempster Mill
Manufacturing Company's retail department, which position he has occupied
for the past twelve years.
In December, 1887, Mr. Smethers was united in marriage to Margaret
Rosella Dunnick, daughter of George F. Dunnick,
a farmer in Kansas, where Mrs. Smethers was born. Mr. Dunnick later
came to Nebraska and resided in Beatrice. Mr.
and Mrs. Smethers became the parents of three children: Lillian Eunice
is the wife of Clyde A. Scott, of Omaha, Nebraska ; Bertha Grace died
in childhood; and Harvey Donald died at the age of ten years.
The wife and mother passed away in 1891. In 1893 Mr. Smethers wedded
Alda Millie Randall, daughter of Charles Randall, who was born in
Boston, Massachusetts, and who came to the west and settled in Kansas
many years ago: there he. engaged in farming and later he came to
Nebraska, where he now makes his home in Beatrice. Mr. and Mrs. Smethers
have no children. They are members of the Christian church and Mr.
Smethers is a Democrat in his political allegiance.
|1930 census lists Harvey M. Smethers,
age 67 and Alda age 57 Gage Co, NB
History of Gage County, 1918
Summary of the Percy SMETHERS biography which
is listed in full below.
Parents: Josiah Smethers (b. PA) and wife Mary
Children born in Lee County IL.
Family then moved to Gage County, NB. 1878
8 children. 5 grew to adulthood. They were;
Cinderella, Percy J., Harvey M., James A., and Oscar Leon.
|PERCY J. SMETHERS, a representative
retired farmer now residing in the city of Beatrice, established his
home in Gage county forty years ago and through his energy and progressiveness
he developed and improved one of the fine farm estates of Glenwood
township, He was born in Lee county, Illinois, on the 3Oth of September,
1856, and is a son of Josiah and Mary (Hill) Smethers,
who were born and reared in Pennsylvania and who came to Gage county,
Nebraska, in 1878, the father taking up a tract of land on the Otoe
Indian reservation and having reclaimed the same into a productive
farm. Upon his retirement from the farm he established his home in
the village of Lanham, this county, and there he and his wife passed
the remainder of their lives, honored as sterling pioneer citizens
of the county. Of their eight children five are
Cinderella is the wife of B. C. Burkett, a retired farmer residing
in the village of Odell, this county; Percy J., of this review, is
the next younger;
Harvey M. is prominently indentified with mercantile enterprise in
the city of Beatrice;
James is employed as a skilled iron worker in the same city; and
Oscar Leon resides in Wyoming.
The father was a Democrat in politics and he and his wife
were consistent members of the English Lutheran church.
Their marriage was solemnized in Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, and
in 1853 they immigrated to Lee county, Illinois, where they continued
to reside until their removal to Nebraska, as already noted.
Percy J. Smethers acquired his early education in the public schools
of his native county and was twenty-two years of age when he accompanied
his parents to Nebraska, in 1878. On the Otoe Indian reservation,
in what is now Glenwood township, Gage county, he purchased one hundred
and sixty acres of land, and here he reclaimed and developed the fine
farm on which he continued to reside for thirty-one years. His original
house was little more than a hut, and was built at a cost of forty-five
dollars, and this constituted the family home for seven years. He
then erected a substantial and commodious farm house, and he also
erected other good buildings on his homestead. In buying his original
farm Mr. Smethers paid for the same at the rate of three and one-half
dollars an acre. In 1909 he sold the property for one hundred dollars
an acre. As a farmer he gave his attention to diversified agriculture
.and the raising of good live stock, besides developing a prosperous
dairying business. Upon selling his old homestead he purchased forty
a:res of land lying adjacent to the city of Beatrice, and in the spring
of 1917 he sold this property for two hundred and fifty dollars an
acre. He still owns a well improved farm of eighty acres in Glenwood
In 1877 Mr. Smethers wedded Miss Mary Uhl, who was born in Lee county,
Illinois, June 17, 1857, a daughter of the late Hiram and Margaret
( Wilhelm ) Uhl, the latter of whom died in 1858, and two of her four
children are still living. Mr. Uhl ultimately contracted a second
marriage, when Nancy Hughes became his wife, and of this union were
born four children. Concerning the children of Mr. and Mrs. Smethers
the follow- ing brief record is given: Nettie is the wife of W. A.
Seitz and they reside in the state of Montana; Elroy resides in the
city of Lincoln, Nebraska; Maevi became the wife of Horace Loeber,
who passed away November 26, 1917.
Mr. and Mrs. Smethers are earnest and zealous members of the Christian
church and he is a valued member of the church choir . In politics
he gives his support to the cause of the Democratic party and while
residing on his farm he served for several years as township clerk.