In order to note the changes which have taken place in our native village it is necessary to describe it as fully as possible as we find it at certain periods of its history. One of such periods for review is the year 1852. At this time the following businesses were being conducted in Smithville:A store business known as the “Checkered Store,” because it was painted on the outside in squares, red and white alternate. This store was run by W. A. Bush and was situated where the McMurchie property was located at a later period. Many of the older residents of Smithville will recall the old checkered store. A gunshop was operated by Johnnie McGregor A general store was the place of business of Jacob and Jim Griffin. Matthew and William Roberts had a shoe shop at this period, a business found in every community in earlier days. A grist mill of wood construction was operated by Taylor and Cologne, and a factory in the end of this building for making cloth was run by Mr. Potter. A saw mill was operated by Mr. Woods. A pail factory was run by Allen Nelson. A wagon shop, situated on the south end of the bridge was run by Thomas Murgatroyd, Sr., and Thomas Jr., who did iron work and Robert who did painting, trimming and some woodwork. John Davis, one of Smithville’s oldest citizens, worked in the woodwork department of this establishment. At about this time the firm of Murgatroyd and Russ built steam engines in the village. The first of these was placed in a mill on the Elliott property. At the present time we hear of Smithville’s first industry. As a matter of fact Smithville had industries of considerable importance before most of her present population was born.
John McCollom had a harness shop on the north side of the bridge opposite the Murgatroyd establishment. Here Noah Davis worked. McColloms did the dash stitching for the Murgatroyds. The Durkeys ran a tannery on the Wade flats. This also was an important business in earlier days.
A California swing like a ferris wheel which was run by hand, was located where the Martin Block now stands. Here the young men paid a fee and took their young lady for a trip up toward the clouds. This brief picture of Smithville as it was in 1852 will bring to mind some familiar places and will we trust be a source of information to the younger generation.