Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


MITCHELL C. SMITH. As a leading citizen of Springfield, in its professional life, lending eminent strength to her bar, Mitchell C. Smith commands attention from the biographer who would wish to do Greene county justice. He is one of our ablest of attorneys, and has few peers in his comprehensive knowledge of state and international law, and has conducted annually for many years a large number of cases to successful issue. He is thoroughly the thinker and legal philosopher, inclined to be mild and gentle, but capable of attaining a glowing passion of eloquence, stirring and exciting in its appeals to the emotions and the intellect. He possesses the elements of determination, courage and nerve, and his mental organism is broad, solid, and disciplined to the last degree by thought and study; he is singularly free from any narrowness of professional bandinage, and the prejudices and partialities of the mere attorney. He seldom indulges in anecdote or humor, but this may not be equally true in matters of retort and repartee. It is not of frequent occurrence that a lawyer can be found who has so sharp and clear a mind for details and historic particulars, accompanied by such depth and strength of thought, and sustained and invigorated by so healthful a moral nature.

Mr. Smith was born in Hinds county, Mississippi, in 1849. He is the scion of an old Southern family. His father, Dr. N. J. Smith, was a native of Norfolk county, Virginia, and his mother, Sarah J. Smith, was a native of Currituck county, North Carolina. The progenitors of our subject were patriotic and several of them served in the various wars of the country, including the Revolutionary war, War of 1812, and the Civil war. In the latter they were true to their own Dixie and fought on the side of the Confederacy. Several of his ancestors were prominent in public life, were members of the convention in North Carolina on the adoption of the constitution of the United States, and also the ordinance of secession of 1861.

Dr. N. J. Smith was born in 1809. He was graduated from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, in 1840, and practiced his profession in Norfolk county, Virginia, and Hinds county, Mississippi. He died in Kansas in 1884. His mother's maiden name was Bell, who was a descendant of the Ferebee family, among the earliest settlers of eastern North Carolina. She died in Kansas in 1912, at the age of eighty-seven years.

Mitchell C. Smith grew to manhood in eastern, Kansas. He received his early education in the common schools, and later attended the State Normal at Emporia, Kansas. He began studying law when a young man and was admitted to the bar in 1882, at Yates Center Kansas. He first began practice at this place, and in 1893 located in Springfield, Missouri, where he has remained to the present time, and has built up a large and lucrative clientele, ranking among the leading attorneys of the Greene county bar.

Mr. Smith was married in November, 1882, to Elenor M. Bixler, a daughter of Israel Bixler and wife of Sumner county, Kansas. Mrs. Smith was born in 1861, and she received a good common school education in Kansas, graduating from the State Normal at Emporia, Kansas.

To our subject and wife three children have been born, namely: Otto M., Allie D., and Edwill B. These children are now all mature and have been carefully educated.

Politically, Mr. Smith is a Democrat. He is a member of the Springfield Bar Association, and fraternally is prominent in Masonic circles.

[1383-1384]


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