Volney Smith was born September 28, 1841 in New York to Delazon and Eliza Voke Smith. He married Mary Jane Elliot of Pennsylvania. They had no children. He departed this life April 17, 1897.
Volney's mother died when he was a child. His father Delazon was a newspaperman, politician, and (briefly) U.S. Senator who died in his 40's under suspicious circumstances when Volney was a teenager.
Volney enlisted in the Union Army during the Civil War. He was wounded and served as quarter master in various camps in Kentucky and Texas. After the war he lived in Lewisville, Arkansas, where he served as county clerk, published the Red River Post, a Republican and pro-reconstruction paper, and became lieutenant governor of the state.
From the NY Tribune, April 22, 1897: "Volney V. Smith, ex-lieutenant governor and formerly one of the most prominent figures in Arkansas politics died yesterday at the insane asylum where he had been confined several months. Mr. Smith became insane on the money question in the late Presidential campaign and since his confinement, he became violent. He served as Consul to St. Thomas in the Grant Administration."
From the NY Times: "Ex-Gov. Smith who was placed in the insane aslyum here last January died today. He was a citizen of New Lewisville, Layfayette County and twenty-two years ago led the Republican hosts of Arkansas in the memorable Brooks-Baxter war, being Baxter's lieutenant in office.The financial question of the late campaign drove him mad, and his daily appeals to the guards was to be permitted to tell President McKinley how to adjust that much mooted issue to the satisfaction of everybody. His body was sent home for burial."