MARTIN V. SMITH – A veritable pioneer of the pioneers is Mr. Smith, having come
to the Pacific coast in the early fifties and continued here in worthy labors in
various lines since that time, ever displaying the same courage, capabilities, tenacity
of purpose, and integrity, that have made the pioneers such a noble class of people.
Mr. Smith was born in Kennebec county, Maine, on January 10, 1833, being the son
of James and Hannah Smith, natives also of Maine, the father being born near Portland.
His death also occurred in that state. Martin V. received a good schooling and remained
with his parents until 1853, when he went to New York and stepped aboard of one
of the Vanderbilt ships, that took him to Nicaragua, whence he went to San Francisco
and soon we see him in the mines delving with the vigor and strength of young manhood
for the hidden gold. Five years he labored there and then went to Yuba county and
took up farming and raising stock. The hard winter of 1861-62 killed all his stock
and he went to freighting from Marysville to various points in California and Nevada.
In 1873 he went to Butte county and settled on one of Judge O. C. Pratt’s grants
and went to farming. His landlord was the first territorial governor of California.
Mr. Smith was successful in this venture and continued until 1880, when he went
to the foot hills in Butte county and engaged in gardening and fruit raising until
1884. Then he freighted until 1886 and came overland to Silver creek, Harney county.
He entered land and took up stock raising until 1892, then traded his ranch for
his present home place, two miles south from Lawen, which consists of one quarter
of fine hay land and is well improved. He handles cattle mostly.
On January 28, 1864, Mr. Smith married Miss Mary E. Kennedy, in Yuba county, and
two children were born to them, Othniel, deceased; Izora, wife of Scott Hayes, near
Lawen. In August, 1867, at Marysville, Mr. Smith was called to mourn the death of
his wife. On Thanksgiving day, 1876, Mr. Smith married Sarah (Linn) Gorman in Butte
county, California, and two children have been born to them: Ada L., wife of Charles
T. Miller, near Lawen; Otto V., of Tulare county, California.
It is of note that Mr. Smith was one of the delegates to the war convention in California,
from Yuba county and the times were exciting as many were for the south. Mr. Smith
was a stanch Union man. In religious persuasion, Mr. Smith is allied with the Universalists.
In 1900 he was appointed as census enumerator in Harney county. He is a man of good
standing, and now is passing the days of the golden years of his life in the enjoyment
of his portion in peace, being beloved and esteemed by his associates and acquaintances.
Transcribed from Page 661 of Harney County Biographies from “An Illustrated History
of Baker, Grant, Malheur and Harney Counties with a brief outline of the early history
of the State of Oregon”, Published 1902 by Western Historical Publishing Company