John Eugene Smith

John Eugene Smith
  • Born in Switzerland in 1816; immigrated with his parents to Philadelphia, PA when he was one year old
  • He grew up and finished his apprenticeship in the jeweler’s craft in PA
  • In 1832, at the age of 18, accompanied his family to the St.Louis where he practiced his craft
  • Met and married wife, Aimee; one son born in St. Louis; three more children born after the family moved to Galena in 1836
  • His jewelry store was located on Main Street; as the miners prospered so did he; practiced the jeweler’s trade for twenty-five years
  • Elected Jo Daviess County Treasurer
  • Helped organized the 45th Illinois Infantry, the “Washburne Lead Mine Regiment”; commissioned its Colonel, July 1861
  • Promoted Brigadier General (USV), November 1862
  • Brevetted Brigadier General (USA) for Vicksburg; Major General (USV), for war service; Major General (USA) for gallant service at Savannah, GA; mustered out of volunteer service in 1866
  • Served as United States Assessor for District of Utah
  • Joined the regular army as Colonel of 27th U.S. Infantry Regiment, investigating claims for depredations
  • Transferred to 14th U.S. Infantry in 1870; served until retirement in May 1881
  • Resided in Chicago until his death on January 29, 1897; buried in Galena’s Greenwood Cemetery