ROBERT SMYTH, merchant, Cairo, is the youngest of a family of six children of Dennis and Mary (Healey) Smyth, being the only surviving member. The family was first represented in Cairo by Thomas Smith, who came to the United States in 1850, and to Cairo in 1855. His first business connection with the city was in the capacity of book-keeper for the Old Taylor House, which burned in 1859. He was afterward book-keeper for the wholesale firm of William Stephens & Co. His brother Bernard having come to Cairo in 1858, they began business together on corner of Sixth and Commercial avenue, but soon after moved to the building now occupied by Robert Smyth. In 1862 Thomas Smith died, leaving a wife and three children, of whom but one is now living. The business was conducted by Bernard Smyth until 1870, when the entire business fell into the hands of our subject, Robert. He was born in County Galway, Ireland, in 1843. He was reared in Ireland, where he received a fair business education. He came to Cairo in 1863. He owns the building known as the Stephens Block, including two large store rooms, one of which he rents. It was erected in 1855, and is the oldest brick building in Cairo. 3Jr. Smyth is a member of the A. 0. H. and the Hibernian Fire Department, also of the Catholic Church. Politics, Democratic. Bernard Smyth, who was highly respected by the people of Cairo for his social and genial nature, as well as many other excellent qualities, died at his residence in Cairo on the 14th of June, 1883.
Extracted 31 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, pages 44-45.
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