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Smith, Andrew

            Among the early settlers of Indianapolis, and one of those entitled to notice, is Andy Smith.  He came here in 1822, a mere boy, in search of work.  His father, at that time, lived on White River, north of this place, and near the residence of the Conners.  He afterwards removed to near the bluffs, and adjoining his old Whitewater neighbor, Jacob Whetzel, where he resided many years before his death.  His son Robert now owns his homestead, and lives there, and is a near neighbor of Cyrus Whetzel.

            Andy did not make his father’s house his home much after they came to the “New Purchase.”  His first work in Indianapolis was for Thomas M. Smith, and then, for several years, he lived with and worked for General Hanna.  It was during this time, and on the third of July, 1830 (the fourth being Sunday), while firing the cannon, that he lost his left arm by a premature discharge.  Mr. Smith had admonished those engaged with him that the gun was becoming too hot, and in five minutes after, and while General Hanna was standing on the table, singing his favorite song, “The Liberty Tree,” and which he used to sing on all public occasions, the discharge took place that robbed him of an arm.

            Andy afterwards married the niece of the General and daughter of Mr. John Hanna, of this county.  He was for many years, nearly a quarter of a century, a deputy sheriff, sometimes buying the business from the sheriff elect.

            Twenty-five years ago Andy might have been seen at almost any hour of the day on Washington street, with his book under his arm, filled with divers writs, summons, executions and all kinds of legal documents that pertain to a sheriff’s duties, and calculated to intimidate debtors as well as culprits, and there were but few that cared to meet Andy, lest he might have something for them.

           Although he had but one arm and a half and but one hand, he did not seem afraid to arrest the most daring criminal; and with this one hand he could use the ax as dexterously as most persons could with two.

           Andy is now one of our prosperous farmers of Lawrence township, in the north part of the county, near the Peru railroad. 


Nowland, John H. B., “Early Reminiscences of Indianapolis, with Short Biographical Sketches of Its Early Citizens, and of a Few of the Prominent Business Men of the Present Day,” 1870, pp. 124-125.