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

WILLIAM F. SMITH. A native of Missouri, but with the blue blood of Kentuckians in his veins, William F. Smith, chief engineer of the Springfield Gas & Power Company, is a young man who has attained a very creditable standing in life as a result of his straightforward and conscientious course.

Mr. Smith was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, November 8, 1882. He is a son of Frank and Bernedina (Vanderstay) Smith. The father was a native of Kentucky, where he spent his earlier years, and from there emigrated to Missouri. He devoted his active life to the plasterer's trade, and died in 1892, when only about thirty-six years of age. His wife was a daughter of Frank Vanderstay, a western Missouri citizen. Mrs. Smith is now making her home in Springfield, living with her son, our subject.

To Frank Smith and wife five children were born, namely: William F. of this sketch; Walter is deceased; Benjamin is engaged in the grocery business in Kansas City; Joseph is attending school in Pennsylvania; Vincent is an electrical operator in the employ of the Springfield Gas & Electric Company.

Levi Smith, the paternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was a bricklayer by trade. He spent his life in Kentucky and western Missouri, having married in the former state. In later life he removed to Kansas, where he continued to follow his trade.

William F. Smith was educated in the common schools of St. Joseph, Missouri, and Atchison, Kansas. When sixteen years of age he went to work for a grocery store, delivering goods and clerking, then worked in the power house at Leavenworth as fireman helper, was also oiler in the engine room, then became night engineer in the Leavenworth Light, Heat & Power Company, remaining in the employ of the traction company there for eight years. He then worked a few months for the St. Joseph Light, Heat & Power plant at repair work, then went back to Leavenworth and worked in the machine shops, later becoming day chief engineer for the traction company of that city. In September, 1908, he came to Springfield, Missouri, and took a position with the Springfield Gas & Electric Company, working as night engineer from 1908 to 1912, when he was transferred to day engineer, and on August 12th of that year, he was placed in charge of the company's power house, located at Main street and Phelps avenue, and has since been chief engineer of the power house, and is discharging his duties with his usual success and satisfaction. He has had as many as twenty-five men under his direction since taking this important position, and at present he is assisted by ten men. He is an expert in his line and is well read on every detail.

Mr. Smith was married in November, 1913, to Florence Pile, a daughter of Jonah Pile and wife, of Springfield. The untimely death of Mrs. Smith occurred on December 23, 1914, leaving one child, Arthur Smith, who was born on November 9, 1914.

Politically Mr. Smith is a Republican. He is a member of the Catholic church, and he belongs to the Improved Order of Red Men and the National Association of Steam Engineers.


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