History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/William Smyth
WILLIAM SMYTH was born in Tyrone County, Ireland, January 3, 1824. He came with his parents to America when about fifteen years of age and in 1840 located in Linn County, Iowa. Mr. Smyth studied law at Iowa City and in 1848 opened a law office in Marion. In 1853 he was appointed judge of the Fourth Judicial District, serving until 1857. In 1858 he was chosen by the Seventh General Assembly one of three commissioners to revise and codify the laws of the State. Their work was accepted by the Legislature and became the Code of 1860. Judge Smyth was then appointed on the Commission of Legal Inquiry. In 1861 he was one of the commissioners appointed to negotiate the bonds issued by the State to provide a war defense fund. In August, 1862, he was commissioned colonel of the Thirty-first Iowa Infantry and served in the field until December, 1864, when he resigned on account of failing health. In 1868 he was elected to Congress and served until his death in 1870.