Today, September 22, is National Centenarian Day which honors those who have celebrated 100 or more years. To celebrate we thought we would share some information on the last Civil War veteran in Fremont County who lived to be 102 years of age.
Joseph B. Smith was born on November 25, 1842 in New York and enlisted in Battery C of the New York artillery regiment in 1862. He was captured by Confederate troops early in 1865 according to his obituary in the Cañon City Daily Record on January 1, 1945. He was held at Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia for a short time before the treaty ending the war was officially signed in April of 1865.
Smith moved to Colorado in 1876 and was involved in farming, operated a granary, and ran a freighting depot. He moved to Cañon City in 1922 from Eagle River, Colorado. He was married to Elizabeth Della in 1906 and at the time of his death was survived by his wife, a son, a step-daughter, and three grandchildren. Before his death, Smith was the oldest citizen in Fremont County and one of the four oldest people in Colorado. He is buried in Lakeside Cemetery and his grave bears a plaque honoring him as the last Civil War veteran in Fremont County.
Happy National Centenarian Day!