Ancestors of Swan's Island's 'King' David Smith
David Smith, who was commonly called 'King David', was the first permanent settler on Swan's Island. He was born in 1760, in New Hampshire,where he spent the early part of his life. He was married there and had 3 children. Concerning his first wife and children we have no record. When the Revolutionary War broke out, he was a lad of 16 years old. He left his home and enlisted in the New Hampshire regiment under General Cilley. He served throughout the war, being in many ofthe engagements of the North. He fought at the battle of Bennington, Vermont, where it will be remembered, the Americans had collected a large amount of supplies. Burgoyne sent a detachment under Colonel Baum to seize them. General Stark with militia met him there. As Stark saw the British lines forming he exclaimed; "There are the Redcoats. We must beat them today, or Betty Stark is a widow."
His bravery so inspired these raw troops that they defeated the British regulars, and took six hundred prisoners. Smith was also at the battle of Bemis Heights, near Saratoga,where he was badly wounded. For his services during the Revolutionary War he received a pension during the remainder of his life.
After the close of the war he came to Maine, with many others who were then leaving the older states to take up land in the district of Maine, which was then being rapidly developed. He settled at first in Deer Isle, where he lived for 5 years. Here, on October 23, 1786, he married Eunice, daughter of John Thurston, who came to Deer Isle in 1784 from Gloucester, Massachusetts. By this wife Smith had 16 children. In 1791 he came here with other workmen employed at Swan's grist mill, and for a number of years he worked at the mills. He lived for a few years on Harbor Island, and afterwards moved into the "Big House". His wife died in 1809.
No longer having employment at the mills, Smith bought of Rufus B. Allyn, Swan's agent, a tract of 240 acres of land at the 'North'. 100 acres of this land is now owned by his grandson, Benjamin Smith, Esq., 100 acres by Capt. John C. Kent, and 40 acres by Charles Kent. On this place he first built a timber house near where Charles Kent now lives, and later built a timber house 40 feet square, which was located just across the highway from Capt. John C. Kent's house.
After the death of his second wife, he married Betsey, daughter of George Gross, who came to Deer Isle in 1784 from Harpswell. Gross was a Revolutionary soldier, and was pensioned by the government. By this wife Smith had 8 children-24 in all after coming here, besides the 3 by his first wife in New Hampshire. Mrs. Smith died in 1868 aged 80 years.
After moving upon this tract of land Smith cleared a nice farm and spent the remainder of his life as a successful farmer. The soil was then rich, and excellent crops were harvested. He died in 1840, aged 80 years. Most of his large and interesting family settled here.
Created 28 January 2013 with RootsMagic Genealogy Software