Elias W. Smith, a prominent Saint Louis, Michigan, resident and early settler, was born August 23, 1831, in Sandystone, Sussex County, New Jersey. He and his brother, Seaman, moved to Saint Louis in 1853 and worked for their brother-in-law, Joseph Clapp, the founder of St. Louis, who had married Elias’ sister, Matilda. In return for his work, Elias received 115 acres, in what is now northeast St. Louis. Besides farming, Elias worked as a carpenter, and operated a store in Pine River.
After the discovery of the mineral water at St. Louis, Elias opened a successful boarding house, the Saint Louis Magnetic Springs House, where notable Americans were entertained.
On August 29, 1857, Elias married Martha Ann Woodin (born June 23, 1834, died February 4, 1905). They had seven children: Iola E.B. (born July 19, 1858), John (1860-1861), Idella M. (May-October 1862), Mary Catherine (born December 5, 1863), Holcomb (1866-1868), Willard E. (1868-1870), and Seaman W. (born August 28, 1870).
Elias died suddenly on December 29, 1882, and was found dead in the woods, in the process of chopping down a tree. (For further information, see the History of Gratiot County, by Tucker, 1913.)