Robert Smith is the son of Thomas and Laura I. (Silvers) Smith. The father was born in Pulaski County, Ky., on September 21, 1807, and is the son of Robert Smith, who is a native of Rowan County, N. C. He first moved to Kentucky, and then to Howard County, Mo., of which he was one of the pioneers. The father removed to the Platte Purchase in 1838, settling in Buchanan County, but removed to De Kalb County in 1845, locating on a farm in Grant Township, where he now resides. He is now in his eightieth year, and is one of the oldest citizens in the township. He has seen the Platte Purchase grow from a barren waste of prairie into one of the most productive of countries. The mother was born in Kentucky in 1811. She is the daughter of Hugh Silvers, a native of North Carolina, who removed to Kentucky and thence to Missouri. The parents live a quiet and retired life, universally beloved and respected. They are both members of the Baptist Church. Robert is the second of six children, and was born in Cass County, Mo., on July 21, 1835. He was reared on the farm, and acquired a limited education in the common schools of Buchanan County. He resided in De Kalb County ten years before there was a school in Grant Township. He left his parents at the age of twenty-one, and engaged in farming for himself. At the breaking out of the war he and his father took sides with the Union, and enlisted in the army, the father in Company C, of the Forty-third Missouri Regiment of Infantry, but previous to this he had been a captain in the Home Guards. Robert enlisted in 1863 in Company K of the State Militia, in which he held a commission as first lieutenant. He purchased his present homestead, three and one-half miles northwest from Fairport, in 1856. He has added to his land until he now has a fine farm of 300 acres. From 1870 to 1873 he served as justice of the peace, and from 1873 till 1876 as collector of Grant Township. He served as judge of the north district from 1880 until 1882. In 1857 he was wedded to Mary A. Haskins, who was born in Ohio in 1838, and was the daughter of Henry L. Haskins. She died in May, 1866, leaving two sons. In 1876 Mr. Smith chose for his second wife Eva J. Pittman, who was born in Illinois, and is the daughter of William Pittman. They have six children.
Source: History of Andrew and DeKalb Counties, Missouri (Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1888), pp. 585-586.