James Monroe Smith (1857-1931)

Provided by Robert Hendrick

James M. Smith Obituary

Shreveport Times Oct 7, 1931

 Outstanding Citizen

Former State Officer

Native of Union Parish


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James Monroe Smith, 74, of the outstanding citizens of Shreveport, former registrar of the state land office and former state treasurer, died at his home, 657 Jordan Street, Tuesday morning at 6:30 O’clock, following an illness of about two weeks.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday morning at 10:30 o’clock at the First Baptist Church, with Dr. M. E. Dodd, pastor, officiating. Interment will be in Greenwood cemetery, under the direction of the Roll Osborn & Sons funeral home.

Active pallbearers will be Col. R. G. Pleasant, Guy Oakes, W. L. Trimble, Clare C. Clark, Z. R. Lawhon and F. F, Webb. The honorary pallbearers will be deacons and directors of the First Baptist church.

The deceased was born in Farmerville, La., Feb. 6, 1857, and lived there until 1900. He was the deputy clerk of Union parish when a young man, under W. W. Heard, and was afterwards elected clerk of the court of Union parish, which position he held for 20 years. In 1900 Mr. Smith moved to Baton Rouge, following his election to the state senate and was later appointed to the state land office by Governor Heard. He was state treasurer in the administration of Gov. N. C. Blanchard, from 1904 to 1908.

In 1908 Mr. Smith moved to Shreveport, where he became cashier and vice president of the Continental Bank & Trust Co., which position he held until he retired about 10 years ago. Since that time Mr. Smith has devoted his time to his large plantation interests in Bossier and Union parishes. He was a devoted member of the First Baptist church, being a deacon, and for many years was chairman of the board of deacons of that church. He was also a member of the Woodmen of the World and of Knights of Pythias.

Mr. Smith was the son of William C. and Elizabeth Manning Smith of Perry Co., Ala. He was married twice, his first wife being May Kidd of Ruston, to whom he was married in 1885.To this union four children were born, two of whom survive. Mr. Smith was married in 1898 to Miss Eva Slaton, also of Ruston, who survives him.

Surviving the deceased are his widow, Mrs. Eva Slaton Smith; one son, J. M. Smith, Jr.; one daughter, Mrs. Dr. J. A. Hendrick, all of Shreveport; one sister, Mrs. L. E. Thomas, of New Orleans; seven grandchildren, John A. Hendrick, Jr., May, Florence and Robert Smith Hendrick, and Betty Smith, Catherine Smith and J. M. Smith III, all of Shreveport.

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James M. Smith Obituary

Farmerville Gazette

circa Oct 7, 1931

Hon. James M. Smith

A good man has fallen! The Sate of Louisiana, the parish of Caddo, the city of Shreveport have lost one of the best citizens who ever labored for the upbuilding of the whole. It was announced last Wednesday to the people of Union, his old home Parish, that Honorable James M. Smith was no more. He passed away at his home in Shreveport early that morning.

It seems to become us to say something about the passing of this good man, former citizen of Union parish, former clerk of court here. He enjoyed the friendship and full confidence of this, his native, parish for many, many years. Having gone from among us thirty years ago, Mr. Smith, of course, was not very well known to the younger generation coming on since his departure. It was only just now and then, when he would visit his old home town, that they would see him. But there are still a number of his old friends and former associates left in the parish, and they remember his splendid life and character of “Jimmie” Smith, as he was affectionately known to them. He was a warm hearted, generous friend, a christian gentleman of the good old school whose example and influence is worthy of emulation.

As register of the state land office under Governor Heard, as state treasure and state auditor he was a competent servant and enjoyed the highest respect of the great men of the state at that time. He was, indeed, an honest man, a man of pure principle and high integrity to whom the glitter and flattering temptations of the world meant nothing when weighed in the balance against right thinking and right doing.

Peace to his ashes! And yet Union parish may bring up sons of a like kind and character.

 

James Monroe Smith

In the passing this week of James Monroe Smith, planter and banker, the city of Shreveport lost one of its outstanding citizens, the state of Louisiana a man who had served well and faithfully in high position. Mr. Smith was a native of Union Parish, a section which has furnished the Pelican State with many of its officials in times past, and early in his young manhood he developed those qualities of leadership which have made his native parish famous politically.

In the arena of public affairs he made his start as deputy clerk of court, later going on to the clerkship, where he served for several years. The senatorial district of which Union was part, sent him to the state legislature, where he served with distinction for a brief period, until named register of the state land office. His last public position was that of state treasurer, to which he was elected and served four years. In every place for which he was chosen, James Monroe Smith gave his very best, and when he quit the political arena he possessed a record absolutely free of blemish.

During the past quarter-century, Mr. Smith made his home in Shreveport, and from this point directed his considerable farming interests in Bossier and Union parishes. He had many friends here and throughout this entire section, and among them he was known as a man of ability, of great modesty, and a Christian gentleman who stood always for right. Such a man will be greatly missed in this community.

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