For nearly twenty years David Smith, one of western Colorado’s most active and enterprising business men and public-spirited citizens, has been a resident of the state, and for about seventeen has lived in the neighborhood of Meeker. During all this time he has been prominent in the business and public life of the community of his home, and to every undertaking for its advancement he has contributed essentially and substantially, his helping hand being strongly felt in many phases of the industrial and mercantile activity of the section.
David Smith is a native of Scotland, born in Fifeshire on January 22, 1854. His parents, Andrew and Ann (Durie) Smith, were natives of Scotland. The father was a busy contractor and builder and also held public office as an inspector and collector. He died in 1898 and the mother in 1903. Their son David obtained his education in a common school, and leaving while yet a youth became a bookkeeper and cashier in the office of a distillery. After a service of some years in this capacity he began to study brewing practically in the distillery and prosecuted his study of the business a number of years. In 1885 he came to the United States and, impelled by the promise of favorable opportunities for business of all kinds in the West, located at Fort Lupton, this state. Here he purchased railroad land, which he sold after farming it for awhile. In the fall of 1887 he moved to Meeker and located a ranch six miles south of the town on what is commonly known as Strawberry. On this ranch he became extensively engaged in the sheep industry as a member of the Robinson-Smith Sheep Company. He preempted one hundred and sixty acres and made extensive improvements, then in 1891 sold the place and bought the one he now owns in the vicinity of Meeker. This also contains one hundred and sixty acres, and on it hay, grain and hardy vegetables are produced with success and profit. The land is well watered from the Town ditch, which Mr. Smith owns. Having a commercial turn of mind, since 1888 he has been prominent in the lumber business, and since 1889 with the sawmill industry, his enterprise in the latter being the first one started in Rio Blanco county. He also has valuable interests in the oil trade and in coal fields. By his efforts the lumber company in which he is interested has so prospered and progressed that it is equipped to meet all demands for first-class material. The name under which it trades is the D. Smith Lumber Company. He was also for some time assistant cashier of the Bank of Meeker and occupied this position at the time of the robbery of the institution on October 13, 1896. The robbers fired two shots at him, but he escaped without injury. He has been active in the fraternal life of the community, being connected with the Masonic order and the Woodmen of the World; and in the spirit of progress and development in the community he has been one of the valued inspirations. On March 5, 1891, he was married to Miss Mary Allsebrook, and their home has been brightened and blessed with six children, Andrew L., Dorothy H., Allan D., David H., Colin A. and Isabel L. Mr. Smith has in a marked degree the confidence and esteem of the business and social life of the county and adjacent territory, and is generally accounted one of the best citizens and representative men on the Western slope.
Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado, p. 36-7. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.