About John T. Smith
John T. Smith was former city comptroller of Kansas City, MO and active in Democratic and labor circles. He started organizing labor over 45 years before his death while he was employed as a cigar maker in a tobacco shop at 15th street and Grand Avenue. At that time he help organize the cigar makers union now the oldest union in Kansas City, Mo.
Mr. Smith still was an officer in that union at the time of his death, although ill health had forced him almost entirely from active work.
From the time he organized the cigar makers union Mr. Smith worked faithfully in the interest of organized labor in Kansas City. He organized most of the older unions in Kansas City. He was elected secretary-treasurer of the Missouri Federation of Labor, became chairman of the Missouri Democratic labor committee during the presidential campaign of 1924, was for twenty five years secretary and business representative for the Kansas City Central Labor Union, and was sent as delegate to national labor conventions over the country for more than twenty five years, sixteen years consecutively.
Mr. Smith attended the American Federation of Labor convention in 1929 at Toronto, Canada. The trip was a hard one and Mr. Smith appeared to suffer from the effects on his return home. His health never was good afterward.
Mr. Smith became widely known in political circles also. He was a member of the regular democratic club of Kansas City, MO. and secretary of the club for several years. That position was the only one which occupied his attention the last year of his life.
Following he World War I, in which Mr. Smith was attached to the labor department in Washington, he returned to Kansas City and entered active politics as city comproller. He served under the administration of Mayor George Edwards and Mayor James Cowgill.
In 1926 he again was elected to the secretaryship of the central labor union here. He held that position until a year ago, when he became ill.
Mr. Smith leaves his widow, Mrs. Ellie Smith of the home; three daughters, Mrs. J.E. Hoban, 622 Ash Ave, Fairmount; Mrs Sylvester Frisbee, 7025 South Benton and Mrs. Amanda Kline, Riverside CA; Three sons, John T. Smith, JR, 2424 Cnelsea Ave; William J. Smith of the home and Roy P. Smith 1319 East Sixty-second street terrace; two sisters, Mrs Amanda Curran, Los Angeles and Mrs Stasia O'Shea, Seattle, WA and seventeen grandchildren.
John T. Smith's Timeline
November 7, 1884
November 30, 1891
October 29, 1894
June 1, 1897