Smith Manufacturing Company, Inc


A prominent representative of most important industrial interests in Santa Clara County whose marked business ability and strength of character have made him well qualified for the position he holds and contributed to render him affluent and independent, is Charles 0. Smith, of the Smith Manufacturing Company of San Jose. He was born in Truro, Nova Scotia, on November 12, 1878, the son of John S. Smith, whose native town was Wentworth, Nova Scotia. He was a piano maker and he married Temperance E. Fillmore, who was born at Amherst, N. S. They were of Scotch and English descent, their ancestors early coming to New England; but being United Empire Loyalists, they removed to Nova Scotia and naturally helped to build up that prosperous country. In 1888, however, John S. Smith came into the States and brought his family out to California and Los Angeles; and a year later they migrated north to New Westminster and Chilliwack, British Columbia, where he engaged in manufacturing until 1900, when he returned to California and settled at San Jose. In 1903 he commenced to manufacture supplies for orchardists and canneries, on West Santa Clara Street, and understanding both the science and art of manufacturing, he turned out only excellent machinery and appliances. His business grew steadily, and from time to time he had to enlarge his plant. His son, C. 0. Smith, joined him, and he continued in business until he retired in 1921, when our subject took over his important interests.

The eldest in the family of one son and seven daughters, C. 0. Smith, from a lad, assisted his father in manufacturing, meanwhile himself attending the schools of his locality. In 1900, he came to San Jose with his father, when they started their factory; but in 1906, when the mining boom struck Nevada, he determined to join the gold-seekers at Tonopah, afterwards going to Globe, Ariz., and thence to Sonora, Mexico, where he was with a land development company for three years. In 1912, he returned to California and became sales manager for the Patterson Ranch Company, owners of the Patterson Irrigated Farms, and he saw, as well as aided in the building up of Patterson, now a garden spot in the San Joaquin Valley. He continued in charge of their sales department until 1915, when he resigned, to again enter into business with his father, in the Smith Manufacturing Company, started in 1903. Beginning with a capital of $200, they manufactured machinery for packers, canners and fruit growers, and as the business grew gradually, step by step, they enlarged it from time to time, until in 1916 they purchased their present location, 170 feet front on Stockton Street, at the corner of Alameda, where they have three large buildings, giving 51,000 square feet of floor space. The shops are well arranged. There is a large wood-working department, a machine shop, a metal shop, a foundry, a pattern shop and a boiler-shop, and plans are under way to add some 19,600 square feet of floor space within the year 1922. Each shop and department is equipped with the latest machinery and devices for the manufacture of their different lines of products, 70 per cent of which is shipped outside of and beyond the valley, to domestic and foreign trade. Their goods are shipped to the Orient, South America, South Africa, Australia and the Pacific Islands, as well as to Europe.

As has been stated, Charles 0. Smith in 1921 purchased his father's interest; but a year later, wishing still further to enlarge the enterprise, he formed the Smith Manufacturing Company, Inc., with a capital stock of $500,000, and he is the president and manager. Under his able direction the business has grown to be one of the largest in California. At San Jose, in October, 1905, Mr. Smith was married to Miss Julia S. Paige, a daughter of Elgin W. Paige, a pioneer rancher in this county. They have been blessed with three children: Alice Dione, Oliver Paige and Lois.

 Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1106


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