Biography of Frank Rosemond Smith

Frank Rosemond Smith was a successful businessman and a key figure in the development of his community in Cambridge, Guernsey County. Throughout his life, he was dedicated to progress and improvement, constantly striving to keep up with the times and build a better future. Smith had an illustrious career as a salesman before establishing the Cambridge Grocery Company in 1893, which became one of the most successful and well-respected mercantile houses in eastern Ohio. He was also a prominent real estate developer, having laid off and sold several additions to the city of Cambridge. Known for his business acumen, energy, and integrity, Smith was widely respected by his customers and the local community.

Improvement and progress may well be said to form the keynote of the character of Frank R. Smith, one of the representative citizens of Cambridge, Guernsey County, and he has not only been interested in the work of advancement of individual affairs, but his influence is felt in building up the community. He has been a very industrious man all his life, striving to keep abreast of the times in every respect and, as a result, every milepost of the years he has passed has found him farther advanced, more prosperous, more sedate, and with a larger number of friends than the preceding.

Mr. Smith was born in Cambridge, Ohio, July 10, 1860, and he is the son of Ebenezer and Elizabeth (Taylor) Smith. Ebenezer Smith, Sr., came from near West Middletown, Washington County, Pennsylvania, and located near Washington, Guernsey County, not later than 1810. He was prominent among the pioneers and a man of sterling worth. He took an interest in public affairs and was treasurer of this county, being appointed by the county commissioners. Elizabeth Taylor was the daughter of Thomas Jefferson Taylor, who was a minister of the gospel in the early days and did a great amount of good as a preacher among the first settlers. Mrs. Ebenezer Smith was born at Senecaville, this county, and her husband was born at Cambridge in 1831 and was the son of Ebenezer, Sr., and Sarah Smith, who were among the early settlers of Cambridge, and people of much prominence here. Ebenezer Smith, Jr., died in 1886.

Frank R. Smith of this review lived in Cambridge during his boyhood until he was sixteen years old, then for seventeen years he traveled as a salesman for shoes and clothing. In 1893 he organized the Cambridge Grocery Company, first in the jobbing business for five years, then changed to the retail business which he has continued with very gratifying results ever since. In fact, he has been eminently successful and does more business than any other mercantile house in Guernsey County. He has a large, modern, attractive, neat and well-stocked store, with a large and carefully selected assorted stock of fancy and staple groceries, etc. Everything is up-to-date and the store is managed under a superb system. It is always a very busy place and is the favorite mecca for traders from the rural districts when in the city. The company was incorporated in 1893. Smith has been president of the same since that time and under his judicious management, its prestige has constantly grown until this store takes a place in the front rank of its kind in eastern Ohio. The authorized capital stock is twenty-five thousand dollars. Their trade extends all over the county, and much goods are shipped by this firm to adjoining towns, and a large out-of-town retail trade is carried on, all cash. No soliciting is done except through advertising. Mr. Smith is a man of unusual business acumen, alert, farsighted, and a man who believes in operating under a perfect system. He is straightforward and honest in all his dealings with his fellow men and his thousands of customers are given every consideration and uniform courteous treatment, and they have nothing but praise and good will for Mr. Smith and his model store.

In 1888 Mr. Smith was married to Elizabeth Whitaker, daughter of Squire William and Margaret Rourk Whitaker, an excellent old family of this county, the mother being a native of Antrim, Guernsey County. Mr. Whitaker was a justice of the peace at Birmingham, this county, for a period of thirty-eight years, although he was a Democrat in a Republican district, but he was regarded by all as a man of ability and was always popular with all classes, irrespective of politics, very highly esteemed for his integrity, and he was a man who always tried to help people out of trouble rather than endeavoring to get them in trouble. He was a successful stock feeder and did a large business in that line. Squire William Whitaker died in 1892; he was born in 1806. Mrs. Smith grew to maturity in this county and received a good education and she is a woman of many estimable traits and has a wide circle of friends here.

In 1900 Mr. Smith built a modern, attractive and commodious home in Cambridge in which he now resides and which is regarded as a place of hospitality and good cheer to the numerous warm friends of the family. Besides his mercantile business, Mr. Smith has laid off and sold four additions to the city of Cambridge; the first was the addition on which the Children’s Home now stands and it was all sold in three months. He also bought the old Sankey homestead which he laid off and sold; another addition was near the steel mills; the fourth was the Lofland farm in the same neighborhood. Mr. Smith reserved five acres of the last section which is used to raise fresh vegetables for his grocery business. It is tended by an able English gardener, an expert in his line. The store also has its own bakery and a large meat department, handling only the finest meats obtainable. Seventeen salesmen are kept busy from morning till night in this large establishment. Although the present business is very extensive, much larger extensions are being planned. Mr. Smith is a man who would win in any locality or environment in which fate might place him, for he has sound judgment, coupled with great energy and business tact, together with upright principles, all of which make for success wherever and whenever they are rightly and persistently applied.


Sarchet, Cyrus P. B. (Cyrus Parkinson Beatty). History of Guernsey County, Ohio. Vol. 2, B.F. Bowen & Company, 1911.

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