Smith, Joseph T. - Rev. Dr.

Submitted by Janita Mason Ponze on Mon, 07/26/2010 - 00:36

Mercer Dispatch, Friday, April 13, 1906, p. 1
RECENT DEATHS; Rev. Dr. Joseph T. Smith
Mrs. S.R. Mason received a telegram on Wednesday afternoon announcing the death of her brother, Rev. Dr. Joseph T. Smith, which occurred that day at the home of his son, Rev. Dr. Jonathan R. Smith, in Harrisburg. The news, though a severe blow, caused but little surprise, as it ws known that Dr. Smith was in very frail health and earlier in the day a letter had been received stating that he likely would not live more than a few days. He was in his eighty-eigth year and death was due solely to infirmitites resulting from age.
Dr. Smith was a native of Mercer and one of the most noted ministers of the Presbyterian denomination. He was a son of Jos. Smith one of the pioneers of the town and a founder and member of the first board of elders of the First Presbyterian church, and was born in November, 1818. He graduated from Jefferson College in 1837 and two years later began to preach, doing missionary work among the settlers of this section of the State. In 1841 he was licensed to preach by Erie prebytery and the following spring became pastor of the First church, succeeding Rev.Samuel Tait, its first pastor. He served the congregation seven years, leaving it in 1849 to accept a call from the Central Presbyterian curch of Baltimore. This pastorate he retained until his retirement from active work in the ministry a few years ago, when the congregation elected him pastor emeritis, a position he held until his death.
While in charge of the Baltimore church, Dr. Smith achieved a national reputation as a preacher and in 1887 he was elected moderator of the general assembly, which is the highest honor that can be attained by a minister of the Presbyterian church. As tribures to his learning and ability numrous degrees were conferred on him by leading colleges of the country. Since his retirement, after sixty years active work, he has resided in Harrisburg and until two years ago, when both his sight and hearing failed, preached frequently for various congregations. His career was a remarkable one in many respects and his death will be mourned not only by his relatives and friends, but by all Presbyterians as well.
While a resident of Mercer, Dr. Smith married a Miss Letterman, of Canonsburg, who died several years ago. He is survived by three sons as follows: Dr. Joseph T. Smith, one of the leading physicians of Baltimore; Rev.Dr. Jonathan R. Smith, pastor of the Market Square Presbyterian church of Harrisburg, and William H., who has charge of the Sunday school work in his brother's church. Mrs. S.R. Mason, his sister is the only survivor of her generation of the family. The body was taken to Baltimore, where it is expected the funeral will be held today.

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