Hugh H. Smith Colfax County, New Mexico

Hugh H. Smith, living retired in Raton, was born in Killwinning, Scotland. July 27, 1859, a son of John and Margaret (Haddow) Smith, who in 1867 came with their family to the United States. They settled at Morris Run, Pennsylvania, and Hugh H. Smith began working in the coal mines there, being thus employed for about ten years. He afterward spent two years in the coal fields at Staunton, Illinois, and subsequently was in the coal mines at Cleveland, Iowa, but after a few months returned to Staunton. In 1882 he went to Blossburg, New Mexico, where mines had been opened about a year before, two hundred men being employed there. For a number of years Mr. Smith was identified with the development of the coal industry of Blossburg and on leaving that place went to Indian Territory in 1883. He was working there in a mine when coal gas caused an explosion which blinded him for three weeks. Soon afterward he returned to Blossburg, where he continued mining until 1888. In the meantime he engaged in merchandising and about 1888 became manager of the store. He was associated in this enterprise with his two brothers, William H. and John H. Smith, the latter a noted cornet soloist, who won the first prize at Denver in 1897. The other brother, William H. Smith, now makes his home at the head of Dillon canyon. Hugh H. Smith continued as manager of the store until 1899 and he and his brothers also conducted a harness shop in connection with the store. In 1896 they erected the Palace Hotel building and recently Mr. Smith of this review has purchased his brother's interests in the property. He has thus been closely associated with the industrial and commercial development of his community and his efforts have been an important factor in the material progress, contributing to the public prosperity as well as to individual success.

Mr. Smith has been married twice. He first wedded Clara Turner, a native of Staffordsbire, England, who died November 1, 1893. Of their three children one is now living, Alice Elizabeth, who is yet at home. In July, 1901, Mr. Smith wedded Mrs. Ann Jane McArthur, who, by her "former marriage, had four children; Sarah, the wife of Frank S. Lawrence; Charles, who married Cora Masters: William and Ann Jane.

In community affairs Mr. Smith has been prominent and influential. In politics he is a stalwart Republican and was twice chosen by popular suffrage to the office of county collector and treasurer, serving for four years, beginning in 1894. He was a candidate for mayor in the spring of 1904, but lost the election by thirty votes. He is a Mason, belonging to Gate City Lodge at Raton and also the Chapter. He is chancellor of the local lodge of Knights of Pythias and is now deputy grand chancellor, is connected with the uniformed rank, and was formerly an Odd Fellow. He likewise belongs to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He served on the school board of Blossburg and he and his brother John were active members of the band of Blossburg. Starting out in life in the humble capacity of a worker in the coal mines he has gradually advanced to a position of prominence in business circles and is now in possession of a handsome competence that enables him to live retired.

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Source: History of New Mexico, Its Resources and People, Volume II, Pacific States Publishing Co., 1907.

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