Wellington Genealogy Group
Wellington Genealogy Group

Member of GAR post 219

Charles Horton

James W. Smith

Age: 64
Birthplace: Oneida Co. N.Y.
Residence: Wellington O.
Occupation: Physician
Entry into the Service
Date: Aug.20"1862
Rank: Surgeon
Co.: (No entry)
Regiment: 124"O.V.I.
Final Discharge
Date: Jany.31"1863
Rank: Surgeon
Co.: (No entry)
Regiment: 124"O.V.I.
Length of Service: 5 months
Cause of Discharge: Disability
Entry into the Service
Date: Aug.11"1863
Rank: Surgeon
Co.: (No entry)
Regiment: 129" O.V.I.
Final Discharge
Date: March 11"1864
Rank: Surgeon
Co.: (No entry)
Regiment: 129" O.V.I.
Length of Service: 7 months
Cause of Discharge:Expiration of term
Entry into the Service
Date: May 9"1864
Rank: Surgeon
Co.: (No entry)
Regiment: 150"O.V.I.
Final Discharge
Date: Aug 23"1864
Rank: Surgeon
Co.: (No entry)
Regiment: 150" O.V.I.
Length of Service: 3 1/2 months
Cause of Discharge: Expiration of Term
Date of Muster into the G.A.R.: April 11"1888
When Honorably Discharged:
When Suspended:
When Dropped:
Where Buried: Greenwood, Wellington O.
Nature of Wounds Received:
When and in what Engagements Wounded:
Remarks: Died Dec. 10/1901


Wellington Enterprise, 11 December 1901, page 5

He Passed Away Last Evening of Paralysis - Funeral Friday.
Dr. J.W. Smith, an old army surgeon and early settler of Wellington, died at his home on East Main street last evening at ten thirty o'clock, of paralysis, aged 79 years. His wife had died about a month earlier. Public funeral services will be held at the house Friday afternoon at two o'clock. sun time. A more extended notice of the deceased will appear later.

Rev. William E. Barton of Oak Park, Ill., formerly pastor of the Congregational church here, will be present and assist in the services.

Wellington Enterprise, 18 December 1901, page 3

Services were Conducted at the House Friday by Pastors of Baptist, Methodist and Congregational Churches - Life of the Deceased - Dr. Barton's Address.

Friday afternoon, Dec. 13, the last words of consolation, hope, and sympathy were said over the remains of Wellington's well-known physician and citizen, Dr. J.W. Smith. The family residence on East Main street was filled with representative citizens, old soldiers, relatives and friends from abroad. The services were conducted by the pastors of the Baptist, Congregational and Methodist churches here, and by Dr. W.E. Barton of Oak Park, Ill. Rev. H.D. Sheldon delivered the invocation, Rev. A.P. Boyd read from the Scriptures and Rev. R.L. Waggoner led in prayer. Rev. H.D. Sheldon gave a brief outline of the life of the deceased. A quartet composed of Mrs. H.B. Daugherty and Miss Anna Ransom and F.C. Cushion and Leon Adams sang "The Lord is my Shepard," "Waiting, Only Waiting," and "Rock of Ages."

Among the out of town people who attended the funeral services were: Dr. Dunke and wife, Mrs. Corrella R?(can't read name)and Mrs. Lord of Oberlin; Dr. Willey of Spencer; Dr. Geo. Russell, Mrs. Dr. Baker, H.P. and Mrs. Sarah Bowman and Mr. and Mrs. A.G.Langell of Cleveland.

Mr. Sheldon's bigraphical sketch, in substance, follows:
Dr. J.W. Smith was born in Vernon, N.Y. Mar. 9, 1822, and came to Wellington, O. in 1829, living with his parents in the house now unoccupied on the Elmer Wadsworth farm south of town. He went to Chester, Mass., and studied medicine with his uncle, Doctor T.K. DeWolf. A fellow student was Wm. R. Elder, whose sister later became the wife of Dr. Smith, the marriage occuring in April, 1848. After graduating at the medical college at Pittsfield, Mass., Dr. Smith practiced for one year in the East, but in 1849 came to Wellington and entered upon a practice which was to cover over half a century in duration. More than once in the early years of his practice here has he walked to Cleveland to attend medical lectures, thus emulating the example of Dr. Johns, who used to replenish his stock of medicines by traveling on foot to Cleve3land. The latter soon offered a partnership to Dr. Smith, and for years they were associated in their practice. Before going East to study medicine Dr. Smith united with the First Congregational Church. He was at the time of his death the oldest member of the church, haivng joined in 1840.

His death occurred within less than four weeks of that of his wife. Her death and his attendance at the funeral of a relative, Mr. Bowman, of Cleveland the news of whos illness and demise were a great shock to him, probably occasioned the stroke of paralysis which came upon him in the early morning hours of Nov., 24, after his return from Cleveland the previous evening.

Two children mourn him, Mr. Arthur E. Smith of this place and Mrs. L.G. Somers of Cleveland.

One of the happiest periods of Dr. Smith's professional career was when Dr. Wm. E. Barton was his pastor and friend and his companion on many a ride where the two ministered together. He loved his pastor as a son and took a father's pride in his subsequent success.

Early in Dr. Barton's Wellington ministry he made a request which he renewed on the latter's departure for his Boston pastorate, which was that when the time should come for the last words he would return and say them. In accordance with that request Dr. Barton is present and will fulfil the pledge when given.

The funeral address was delivered by Dr. Barton. Besides being a masterly effort, it was a fine, generous tribute to the deceased. Dr. Barton spoke in part as follows:
I am fulfilling a promise of many years standing in coming today and with Mr. Sheldon, and these other bretheren, saying a few words suggested by the departure of Dr. Smith.

His death and that of Mrs. Smith, which it so quickly followed, removes a home from this community which, perhaps more than any other, preserved into the dawn of the new century the traditions and memories of the founders of this town and the stock from which they sprung. For more than three score years and ten Dr. Smith was a resident of Wellington. For more than half a century he and Mrs. Smith lived together here. He was a strong, vigorous, earnest man. She was a pure, sweet, motherly saintly, woman of Massachusetts birth and Puritian lineage and conviction. Mrs. Smith brought to this home a culture, a patience, a nobility of spirit which won for her the highest regard of all who knew her, and finely supplemented her husband's qualities. Those whom God joined together in life were happily not long divided by death. Our hearts are all one today in a feeling that, whatever sorrow this death involves, there is a fitness in the re-uniting of these twain. We are here, as it were, to celebrate with them their Golden wedding.

It is the gracious privilege of a minister to stand at a time like this when he can say a word about the dead to the living. Our lives, all of them, need some one to stand thus and speak for us. We live among our fellow men, almost unknown to them, and they, alas, die with many of their better qualities almost undiscovered. We have come to protest, and rightly (?can't read this part) eulogy at funerals. But it is fitting that when one of our fellow men withdraws we should gather and say a few words, not only about his actual deeds, but, if we have discovered them, about his ideals, and his half-realized or even thwarted hopes and purposes. It were easy at such a time to mistake our duty, and assuming that we were to sit in judgement on the departed to weigh his faults and virtues in an even balance. This we must leave to God. We are here to remember our departed friends kindly and at their best.

Dr. Smith was not a faultless man. He was strong in his likes and dislikes, empatic in his dissent and pronounced in his convictions and prejudices. We are not here to make a catalogue of the faults of the dead, nor yet to deny them. His faults were the faults of a large nature, a strong and generous spirit. And his kindness of ehart was greater than all. Dr. Smith was well established in his practice when the war broke out, and he went to the front as a surgeon, first in the 124th, then in 129th and 150th Ohio. His rank was that of Major, or Regimental surgeon, but later he became Brigade and then for a time, Division surgeon. In this capacity he exhibited a reckless disregard of mere camp machinery and the highest concern for the safety of the sick boys in his care. He could cut red tape without remorse if it was to send a sick soldier home. He could disobey orders at will if he could get an ambulance through the lines.

In Whitelaw Reid's 'Ohio in the War,' is an account of teh 129th Ohio in the frightful campaign about Cumberland Gap in the winter of 1862-3.

"The cold was intense, and the enemy enterprising, so much so that foraging could not be engaged in very far from camp. The regiment, isolated as it was, was in a far worse condition than the main army, then in and about Knoxville, as Gervernment made efforts, at least, to keep them in supplies. The graves which mark almost every hill-top and valley of that section of East Tennesee attest the severity and sufferings of the men who passed the terrible winter of 1863 in their inhospitable regions. The 129th, however, lost but few in comparison with other regiments there, though exposed as much, if not more. The men of other regiments in the brigade died by scores. The partial exemption of the 129th Ohio may well be attributed to the untiring efforts of its commander, Colonel Howard D. John and its faithful surgeon, James W. Smith, of Wellington, Ohio." -- Ohio in the war. Vol. 2, Chapter on 129th Ohio.

In his later practice Dr. Smith was a man of great sympathy. He was ashamed of his tender nature, and hid it under an exterior sedate and sometimes stern. But he would lie down on the floor wrapped in his overcoat in the home of some poor tenant and watch a sick child all night, knowing that he could never collect his bill, and when his answers grew short and taciturn, then you knew that he was anxious for the life of his patient.

How great a blessing a physican can be to a community or how great a curse. The conscientious minister gives not only his sermon but himself: the faithful physician gives not only his prescription but his personality. The temptations of all professions lie close to the secret of their power. Blessed is he who makes his profession a blessing. Dr. Smith honored his profession. He loved his art, and followed it as one called to it.

Jesus was both preacher and physician. He healed men's bodies and souls. The work of the true minister and the true physician are much alike.

Paul was the discoverer of Luike the beloved physician. How much we owe to Luke. He comes into the narrative in Acts so unobtrusively we have to look closely for the first "we" that indicates where he became Paul's companion. But he stayed with Paul to the end "Only Luke is with us," said Paul in his last letter. Had Paul not found Luke we should have had no book of Acts, no parable of the Good Samaritan.

Our life vision widens, and so our faith. Foolish men talk as if science were the end of faith. On the contrary science is making most extraordinary demands on faith. Science tells us we must believe in an interstellar either No one has seen or felt it, but only through such a medium, we are told, could light and heat vibrations reach us from the Sun. The Bible asks us to believe in an interstellar goodness, filling the universe, transmitting the light of heaven to the atmosphere of earth, and magnifying all worlds as it enswathes all in the wisdom and goodness of our God, Lord of life and eath, of earth and heaven. It is not so hard to believe as the great mysteries which science finds necessary. God give us light beyond this earth into the life of heaven beyond the winter of today into the sptring everlasting; beyond the sickness and pain and death into the life and joy everlasting.

Wellington Enterprise, 1 January 1902, page 4

A Memorial.
Head Quarters Hamlin Post, no. 219, Dept. of Ohio, G.A.R. assembled as a Post we desire to express our love and affection for our deceased comrade, Dr. J.W. Smith.

In our Comrade every soldier had a friend, one whose devotion to the men who had served their Country in her hour of need, was ever loyal and true.

In his death we recognize that this Post has long a beloved citizenand his family an affectionate husband and father, and we tender to them our sympathy in their hour of bereavement.

It is the order of the Post that this memorial be spread upon the minutes of the Post that a copy be furnished the family of the deceased Comrade, and a copy be furnished the Wellington paper for publication.
J.T. Haskell.
J.T. Gardner.
B.A. Williams.