John Brough was born in Marietta, Ohio in 1811. His father passed away early in his life. He was raised entirely by his mother. Brough worked in a print shop to support himself and attended Ohio University throughout his undergraduate work. He worked in a law office while attending law school. He became editor of the Ohio Eagle newspaper in Lancaster, Ohio and later served as Clerk for the Ohio Senate in Columbus. He was elected Auditor of State in 1839, supported by both the Whig and Democrat factions in the state. In 1864 Brough was elected Governor of Ohio. During this time of war, Brough promoted and gained approval for an additional 100,000 state men-at-arms being sent to General Grant to assist the war effort in the Western theater of operations. John Brough died in office in 1865.
Smith was noted as an "early portrait painter of Cleveland" in art history texts. Smith painted genre, landscape, children and portraits. He was installed as an associate member of the National Academy of Design. Smith was born in Rhode Island in 1810, moved to Cleveland in 1841 and died in Cleveland in 1890. His work was reminiscent of other excellent landscape and portraits of his time such as Huntington, Healy and Elliott.