The Inn on Smith’s Hill in Lexington, OH, is a historical Victorian farmhouse built in 1903 by nationally renowned inventor and electrical engineer Harry Smith. Mr. Smith held over 400 patents and was associated with Charles Kettering, inventor of the electric starter for the automobile. Guests of Mr. Smith’s home included Mr. Kettering, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright and Louis Bromfield.
the age of 19, Mr. Smith built, owned and managed the electric power plant for
the city of Lexington while a student at The Ohio State University. He
sold the plant to the Ohio Edison Company in 1917. At age 22, he created and operated a natural gas generator factory that manufactured and installed these units to businesses and municipalities all over the world. In 1918 he sold the business to the Delco/ Frigidaire division of General Motors and worked for them and his college roommate Charles Kettering until his retirement in 1939. He and wife Carrie repurchased the 35 Short St property which they had sold to Dr KC Murphy when he began work with GM in Dayton, Ohio in 1918.
After Harry retired from GM and returned to Lexington. He designed and oversaw the creation of the Clearfork Reservoir, the water supply source for Mansfield, Lexington and numerous area municipalities. His salary for the eleven years he worked on the project was $11 (the bonding company for the project required him to be paid at least $1 pear year) Mr. Smith and his wife Carrie were local philanthropists and were extremely generous with their time and resources. During WWII, any Lexington area soldier seriously wounded or killed, the Smith's paid off their home mortgage to ease the suffering of their families loss. Harry formed the Men's Service Club and the Industrial Board to attract new businesses to the area. The Smith's had four children and their great grandchildren are still prominent business people in the Lexington area.