“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Detroit in Pike County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Earl C Smith

Agricultural Leader

Earl C Smith Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, October 3, 2014
1. Earl C Smith Marker
Inscription.  This was the home of distinguished agricultural leader, Earl Clemmons Smith, born in Pike County February 19, 1881. In 1907, Smith began farming his grandmother Clemmons' land at this site. Smith became active in the early national farm bureau movement as farmers organized to strengthen their political clout. He was a charter member and president of the Pike County Farm Bureau. In 1928, Smith was elected president of the Illinois Agricultural Association -- Illinois Farm Bureau -- and served until 1945. Smith concurrently served as vice president of the American Farm Bureau Federation from 1936 to 1945.

Nationally, Smith was active in the fight for "Parity for Agriculture," a goal that sought government action to help farmers achieve income levels comparable to those earned from 1910 - 1914, a time of profitability for farmers. Smith's work brought relief to farmers through US President Franklin D Roosevelt's first and second Agricultural Adjustment Acts.

Under Smith's leadership, the organization established businesses to help serve farmers: Growmark and the FS member companies, Prairie Farms Dairy, and Country Insurance
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and Financial Services, which today are among the largest and most successful businesses in Illinois.

In retirement, Smith continued to farm in Pike County. He died on June 30, 1961. Earl C. Smith was a clear voice and a steady leader for agriculture -- A pioneer who advanced the philosophy that farmers need to take action to protect their futures and cooperate with others to achieve success.
Erected 2006 by The Illinois Farm Bureau, the County Farm Bureaus in Illinois, and the The Illinois State Historical Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Agriculture. In addition, it is included in the Illinois State Historical Society series list. A significant historical date for this entry is February 19, 1917.
Location. 39° 37.216′ N, 90° 40.435′ W. Marker is near Detroit, Illinois, in Pike County. Marker is on Illinois Route 106, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 45612 State Highway 106, Pittsfield IL 62363, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. East Pike General Store (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mormontown Site (approx. 3 miles away); The Ninety-Ninth Illinois Infantry (approx. 3.6 miles away); Troutner Dam
Earl C Smith Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, October 3, 2014
2. Earl C Smith Marker
(approx. 3.8 miles away); Welcome to Lake Pittsfield (approx. 4.2 miles away); Lime Kiln (approx. 5.1 miles away); Colonel William Ross House (approx. 5.9 miles away); Michael J. Noyes House (approx. 6.7 miles away).
Earl C Smith image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Emily Pursley, July 23, 2019
3. Earl C Smith
President, Illinois Farm Bureau This portrait is inside the Farm Bureau building in Pittsfield, about 7 miles from his home in Detroit.
Earl C Smith Barn image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Emily Pursley, December 30, 2018
4. Earl C Smith Barn
This is the barn next to the house.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 10, 2019. It was originally submitted on November 5, 2014, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 509 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 5, 2014, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.   3, 4. submitted on July 24, 2019, by Emily Pursley of Pittsfield, Illinois. • Al Wolf was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 1, 2024