Wednesday, August 17, 2022


Marker Details

Historical Marker:

Earl C Smith -- Agricultural Leader

The marker is located in located in Detroit on the north side of IL Route 106, just east of the intersection with IL Route 100.
Dedication Date:
Dedication By:
The Illinois Farm Bureau, the County Farm Bureaus in Illinois, and The Illinois State Historical Society

Marker Description:
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 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.

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