John W. Smith

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
November 8, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 291

JOHN W. SMITH, M. D., is one of the honored and de-
pendable members of the medical fraternity of Braxton
County, and for some years he has been engaged in a gen-
eral practice at Gassaway, although calls are made upon his
skill from a large outside territory. He was born in Roane
County, West Virginia, December 29, 1872, a son of W. R.
T. and Catherine Jarvis Smith, who are now residents
of Spencer, Virginia. And W. R. T. Smith was
born in Barbour County, West Virginia, June 10,
1846, while his wife was born in Calhoun County, West
Virginia, June 14, 1855. He was reared on a farm, and his
educational training was confined to the instruction he
received in the common schools, but for a time he was a
teacher in the country schools. After their marriage he and
his wife settled on a farm in Roane County, and lived on it
until in 1913 they moved to Spencer, their present home.
She is an Adventist. He is a republican. They are the
parents of four children, namely: Doctor Smith, who is
the eldest; Dora, who is the wife of C. C. Fruell; Lisette,
who is the wife of S. E. Steele; and Waitman T., who is a
physician and surgeon of Glenville, West Virginia.

Doctor Smith attended the common schools, the West Vir-
ginia State Normal School at Huntington, and the Barnes
Medical College of St. Louis, Missouri, leaving the latter
after two years and completing his medical studies in the
medical department of the University of the South at Se-
wanee, Tennessee, from which he was graduated with the
degree of Doctor of Medicine. Subsequently he took two
post-graduate courses in New York City. Following his
graduation Doctor Smith located at Rosedale, Braxton
County, and practiced there for seventeen years, leaving it
in 1918 to come to Gassaway. For a number of years he has
maintained membership with the Braxton County Medical
Society. He is a Mason and belongs to Gassaway Lodge No.
133, A. F. and A. M., and he also belongs to the Chapter
and Commandery of his order. In politics he is a repub-
lican. He is president of the Farmers and Mechanics Bank
of Gassaway, and interested in a number of enterprises at
Gassaway and Braxton County, including some very valu-
able farm land. A man of energy and possessing natural
and carefully trained abilities, he is one of the most active
forces for advancement in this part of the county, and
his efforts are always put forth for constructive measures.

In 1900 Doctor Smith married Miss May Trout, of Roane
County, West Virginia. She left him one child, Hallie, at
her death in 1906. In 1909 Doctor Smith married Miss
Gay Stalnaker, of Calhoun County, West Virginia, and to
this union two children have been born, J. Wesley and
Emma Lucile.