Leon D. Smith

Contributed By
Rene' Treffeisen

Leon D. Smith is editor and proprietor of the Schenevus Monitor, 
which paper he has conducted since October, 1892, and has
made it a bright and newsy weekly, independent in politics,
but devoted to the interests of the village in which it is
published. The paper of which he is the proprietor was
established in October, 1865, the first editor being J. J.
Multer. It was conducted by him and by the Multer family for
a great many years. About 1878 it passed into the hands of
W. J. Douglas, and some time afterward into those of E. E.
Brownell, and J. Stanley Brown, now of the Rockford Morning
star, of Rockford, Ill. They issued their first number March
24, 1883, and in November of the same year Mr. Brownell
became the sole proprietor. December 6, 1888, Mr. Brownell
sold out to Cornell & Smith, and April 1, 1890, Mr. Smith
became the proprietor. In October, 1891, N. C. Hart became
the proprietor, since which time one or two other changes
have taken place, and at the time above mentioned Mr. Smith
again became the proprietor and editor, and has infused new
life into its management, so that at the present time it is a
flourishing country weekly paper, having a circulation of
about 1,000 copies each week. It is a four-page, seven
column weekly, issued every Thursday, and find a welcome in
most of the families of this part of Otsego County. One of
its special features, which makes it more interesting than it
otherwise would be, is its spicy local correspondence from
many of the villages in the county. It has undergone only
one change in its make up since it was established, and that
was in 1888, when it was increased in size from a six-column
to a seven-column paper. Leon D. Smith was born in Bainbridge, January 17, 1870. He was
educated at Worcester, Otsego County, going there when he was
three years old to reside with his grandparents. He had no
advantages in the way of educational facilities that other
boys do no have, yet was apt to learn and diligent to apply
himself, and thus acquired a good education. While yet quite
a boy he became a typo on the Worcester Times, and began at
the desk when he had to stand on a box to enable him to reach
the top of it. After serving a full apprenticeship at the
desk, he became connected with the newspaper business in
Schenevus, and it is at that place that his work in this
direction has been chiefly performed in an editorial way. He
is a practical printer, and has advantages in this direction
that are lacking in some editors, who have to depend wholly
on their employees, as he has both taste and ability in this
portion of newspaper work, and a clean, neat newspaper,
looking well from a mechanical point of view, is the result. Mr. Smith's mother died in Bainbridge when he was three years of
age, of quick consumption, and while in the prime of life.
Her maiden name was Cora Akerly. The father of Mr. Smith,
Adelbert Smith, now a resident of Seward, Schoharie County,
is a farmer and hop grower, and is well known in that county;
he was formerly a carpenter and mechanic. He has lived in
Schoharie County most of his life. Leon D. Smith was married, in Schenevus, to Miss Florence E.
Gurney, who was educated in the Union Schools and Academy of
Schenevus, graduating with the class of 1887. She is of one
of the oldest and best known families in the county, and is
well educated and accomplished. She is the daughter of
Samuel and Eliza Gurney, the former of who, now deceased, was
for many years one of the leading citizens of the town of
Maryland. Mrs. Gurney is yet living, and makes her home with
her daughter, Mrs. Smith. She is one of the worthy women of
the place, and highly respected by all.
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