Iowa Old Press

Maxwell Tribune
Maxwell, Story Co. Iowa
Thursday, February 19, 1903
page 3, column 6

FIRST WHITE CHILD. – E. W. Smithson Claims the Distinction in Polk County and No One Disputes Him. (Special Correspondence.)
E. W. Smithson, of Adel, was a visitor to Des Moines the other day. He was accompanied by his wife, and they spent the day calling on friends and shopping. Mr. Smithson claims the distinction, which is not disputed, of being the first white child born in Polk county. He was born April 1, 1845. His parents lived in a small cabin at the forks of the Coon and Des Moines rivers. His father, Eli Smithson, was employed by the government in connection with the fort. His parents died when he was six years of age. In 1846 his parents removed to Dallas county, and he has lived there continuously ever since. The family was one of the first three to emigrate to the west from Fort Des Moines, and his and his grandfather’s family were among the first settlers in Dallas county. Mr. and Mrs. Smithson have eight children.

[contributed by K.S. & G.B., October 2005]

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