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

ONAS SMITH, M. D. Success in the medical profession comes as a result of merit and painstaking effort. In the industrial world one may by the proverbial "lucky stroke" win great results or may come into possession of a lucrative business through inheritance, but professional advancement, especially as a physician, is to be depended on solely by critical study and consecutive research long continued. He must not only be a man willing to work hard and honestly, but must have courage, fortitude, sympathy, a kind and genial nature and lead a wholesome life, so that he will inspire the confidence and trust of his patients. The medical profession is a very old and honored one. All tribes and peoples of all the ages have had their so-called "doctors" or medicine men, and as-a rule these were regarded as being especially gifted of the gods, but in this rushing age, with the mad desire to obtain wealth speedily, many young men are dishonoring the physician's calling by practicing quackery and every unfair means, their motto being: "Get the money, get it quick and in as large amounts as possible." This class, however, is confined principally to the great cities, for such a course could not well be long pursued in rural districts for obvious reasons. So when a young man of ability and honest principles like Dr. Onas Smith, of Ash Grove, Greene county, takes up this calling he should receive special notice.

Dr. Smith was born at Halltown, Missouri, February 22, 1883. He is a son of Russell G. and Melvina (Oldham) Smith. Russell G. Smith was born in Mt. Vernon, Missouri, February 22, 1857, and is a son of James and Mary Ann (Clayton) Smith. James Smith was born in Kentucky about 1821, and was a son of Spencer and Sally Smith. Spencer Smith was a native of Kentucky, where he spent his life, meeting death suddenly, being killed by a horse. James Smith spent his earlier years in Kentucky, and removed to Lawrence county, Missouri, in 1857, and engaged successfully in general farming there for about thirty years. His death occurred in 1891. He was a Democrat, and while very active in public affairs, never held office. He was also active as a member of the Christian church. He was a member of the Masonic Order—the Blue Lodge.

Mary Ann Clayton, wife of James Smith, whom he married about 1840, was born in Kentucky in 1820, and her death occurred in 1906.

Russell G. Smith, father of our subject, grew up on the farm and received the usual educational training of that period in Lawrence county, Missouri. There he began farming when a young man and continued until 1910, when he removed to Ash Grove and in 1912 he purchased a third interest in the drug store of the firm name of Smith, Mason & Smith, a large and popular store here, which is doing an extensive business and is well stocked with drugs and drug sundries. Politically he is a Democrat and is very active in party affairs; is a member of the Christian church and is active in that. Fraternally he is a Mason, belonging to Ash Grove Lodge, No. 100, Ancient Free-and Accepted Masons He and Melvina Oldham were married on September 10, 1877. She was born in Kentucky, on January 6, 1856. She was a daughter of Daniel and Mahaley (Sims) Oldham, who were early settlers of Lawrence county, Missouri. Mrs. Smith was a woman of fine Christian sentiment, and she was called to her eternal rest on July 4, 1904. To these parents two children were born, namely: Daisy, wife of John F., Mason, a sketch of whom appears on another page of this volume, and Dr. Onas Smith, of this review.

Dr. Smith grew to manhood on the home farm in Lawrence county and he received his early education in the public schools. He began studying medicine with Dr. C. A. Wilkerson, of Halltown, and in 1899 entered the St. Louis College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he made a good record and from which institution he was graduated on April 13, 1904, and just one month later he opened an office for the practice of his profession at Plano, Missouri, but remained there only six weeks, then came to Ash Grove, where he has been engaged in general practice to the present time and has met with encouraging success from the first. He is surgeon for the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad at Ash Grove. He has a one-third interest in the Smith, Mason & Smith Drug Company here. In 1912 he took a post-graduate course in the Polyclinic Hospital in Chicago.

Dr. Smith was married on July 20, 1904, to Allie B. Sater, who was born in Kansas on May 18, 1886. She had the advantages of a good education. To the Doctor and wife one child has been born, Orland, whose birth occurred on February 15, 1906.

Politically, Dr. Smith is a Progressive. Religiously, he is a member of the Christian church. Fraternally he belongs to the Masonic Order, including Ash Grove Lodge, No. 100, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Ash Grove Chapter, No. 124, Royal Arch Masons; Zabud Council, Royal and Select Masters, and St. John's Commandery, No. 20, Knights Templars. He is also a member of the Knights of Pythias, of which he is past chancellor, and he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. The doctor and his wife have made many friends since locating in Ash Grove.


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