James M. Smith was the son of Amasa and Mercy Burroughs Smith. He was born in Marcelllus, NY on September 5, 1813. When James was 15 years old his father moved the family westward. Amasa had been a soldier in the War of 1812 and moved to Mansfield, NY settling on Lot 39 in 1828. Amasa served as justice of the peace as early as 1834. He died on November 24, 1846.
His son James had received a common school education and three terms at the academy at Springville, NY. James served as a teacher for several years. On September 27, 1840 he married A. Alsina Strickland, of Otto, and engaged in farming. Mr. Smith was a patriotic citizen and a politician. He was an old line Whig and later a staunch Republican. he was elected supervisor of his town in 1840 and held the office for eight terms. He was clerk of the board in 1843. He was the inspector of common schools in 1840 and held that position until the office was abolished. In 1853 he was elected superintendent of the poor of Cattaraugus County and served three years. In 1860 he represented his district in the Legislature as a member of the Assembly. James M. Smith was an extensive reader, a close thinker, a ready conversationalist and a genial companion. He died April 30, 1872.
After his death his wife resided in the village of Cattaraugus. Their children were: First Millie, who married Elbert P Cook and she died December 21, 1869. The second child was John who married Laura Strickland and they settled in Kansas. He died there in 1888 leaving his widow and six children who reside in Cattaraugus. The third child of James and Alsina Smith was Alida who married Fred Makern.
This information is from pages 812-813 in the 1893 History of Cattaraugus County, Town of Mansfield found in The Historical Gazetteer author William Adams, Publisher Lyman Norton