Central Illinois in the Civil War, Day by Day : A Journey through the Civil War through the eyes of individual Soldiers, and their loved ones, with additional documentation provided by the newspapers of Central Illinois.
Late 19th—Early 20th Century
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Portrait and biographical album of Philip Smith. The short biography on Mr. Smith shares details of his military background, family, and life as an insurance agent.

Philip Smith

(Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Peoria County, 1902, Page 627)

SMITH, PHILIP; Insurance and Real Estate Agent; born in Prussia, May 5, 1841, is the son of Paul and Anna M. (Diedrich) Schmitz, natives of Prussia, and emigrants to America, arriving in New York August 24, 1842. After they had tried several other localities they settled in Peoria in the summer of 1844. Here the mother died May 2, 1852, and the father, [in] February 28, 1864. Subsequently the death of two sisters and a brother left Philip Smith, the only survivor of the family. Mr. Smith has always made Peoria his home. At the outbreak of the Civil War, in company with several others, he went to St. Louis and enlisted in the Eighth Missouri Volunteer Infantry. He served in this regiment for three years, participating in the battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, the Siege of Corinth, General Sherman's attack on Corinth by way of the Yazoo Bayou, the battles of Mission Ridge, Resaca and Dallas. After leaving the Service he was engaged in various pursuits until the fall of 1873, when he was appointed letter—carrier, by Postmaster General D. W. McGee, serving until Mr. Dowdall was appointed Postmaster under President Cleveland, when he was discharged. In August, 1892, he was appointed Surveyor of Customs, and served in this position until President Cleveland's second term, when he was again "invited to take a rest from public duties," as Mr. Smith puts it. At the town election in Peoria, in April, 1895, Mr. Smith was elected E
Supervisor and Overseer of the Poor for two years, and at the expiration of that time received the compliment of a re—election. When his second term had expired, Mr. Smith started a real—estate and insurance business which has assumed very satisfactory proportions. Mr. Smith was married in Chicago, Illinois, October 1, 1864, to Miss Mary C. Vanscoyk, a native of Peoria County, to whom on December 21, 1865, was born a son, Howard F. Smith, who has for years been employed in railroad business. On July 19, 1876, they adopted a little girl, aged five years, by the name of Edna M. Lewis, who on April 21, 1888, married Frederick A. Walker. Mr. Smith's wife died on September 17, 1890 and on June 19, 1901, he was again married to Mrs. Cynthia A Lewis, mother of Edna, the little girl above mentioned. Mr. Smith is a member of the Congregational Church, in politics a Republican, and belongs to the following fraternal societies: G. A. R., I. O. O. F., and the A. O. U. W.
Paul and Chris Myer
Philip Smith Portrait and Biographical Album
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