|Little Woolstone||Sister Dora||Olde Map||Woolstones History||Great Woolstone|
|William Smith, mentioned in the Little Woolstone extract from Kelly's Directory, was a member of the Smith family from Church Farm, who lived and farmed in Little Woolstone for nearly 300 years. William was born in 1814 and was educated at school in Milton Keynes village. When he was 14 he was put in charge of a farm in the village of Woughton which was leased by his father. In 1829, when the lease expired, William assisted in the running of Linford Lodge Farm until the death of his father in 1837. He then returned to the family home, Church Farm. He began to experiment with farm machinery and in 1855 he invented and patented a steam powered cultivator. The machine was a huge success and by 1862 he had nearly 200 customers and had given several demonstrations all over the country. His method of soil cultivation became known as the 'Woolston method'. One day in 1860, was using his invention at home in Little Woolstone, the machine threw up some old coins, one of which bore the inscription "Romulus and Remus'.
In 1877 Little Woolstone had a visit from Joseph Arch, one of the earliest trade union leaders. He talked several of the farm workers into joining the newly formed National Labourers' Agricultural Union. After that there were many disputes and disagreements so William Smith was full of resentment. He turned all his land over to grass and bricked up the barn where he stored all his machinery.
Smith also had an interest in the nearby Grand Union Canal. One of the principal landowners in the area, he also had his own wharf which he probably shared with Alfred Foster. He used the wharf to have around 500 tons of manure a year shipped to his land from London.
|Church Farm, home to the Smith family for nearly 300 years.|