William Henry Smith

William Henry Smith

Austerlitz, Columbia County, New York, USA
Death 29 Jul 1896 (aged 62)
Lake Forest, Lake County, Illinois, USA
Burial Lake Forest, Lake County, Illinois, USA
Plot Section A, lot 12
Memorial ID 27220827 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Source: Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, 1887-1889: "SMITH, William Henry, journalist, born in Columbia County, New York, 1 December, 1833. In 1836 his parents emigrated to Ohio, where he had the best educational advantages that the state then afforded. He was tutor in a western college, and then assistant editor of a weekly paper in Cincinnati, of which, at the age of twenty-two, he became editor, doing also editorial work on the "Literary Review."

"At the opening of the Civil War he was on the editorial staff of the Cincinnati "Gazette," and during the war he took an active part in raising troops mid forwarding sanitary supplies, and in political work for strengthening the government. He was largely instrumental in bringing Governor John Brough to the front as the candidate of the United Republicans and War Democrats; and at Brough's election, in 1863, he became the latter's private secretary. The next year he was elected Secretary of State of Ohio, and he was re-elected in 1866. He retired from public office to establish the "Evening Chronicle" at Cincinnati, but, his health giving way, he was forced to withdraw from all active work."

"In 1870 he took charge of the affairs of the Western Associated Press, with headquarters at Chicago. In 1877 he was appointed by President Hayes collector of the port at that city, and was instrumental in bringing about important reforms in customs methods in harmony with the civil-service policy of the administration. In January, 1883, he effected the union of the New York associated press with the Western associated press, and became general manager of the consolidated association."

"Mr. Smith is a student of historical subjects. He is author of "The St. Clair Papers" (2 vols., Cincinnati, 1882), a biography of Charles Hammond, and many contributions to American periodicals. He has partly completed (1888) a "Political History of the United States." By his investigations in the British museum he has brought to light many unpublished letters of Washington to Colonel Henry Bouquet, and has shown that those that were published by Jared Sparks were not given correctly."

In 1878 the Smiths entertained Rutherford B Hayes and his wife at their home in Lake Forest, IL.. The Smiths had two homes in Lake Forest, an 1875 villa in the style of "Chateau-Sur-Mer" at Newport, R.I., on Lake Road and the southwest corner of Spring Lane (demol. ca. 1920?) and "Lost Rock" (1894, Henry Ives Cobb), now on Pembroke south of Deerpath off Green Bay, originally a Green Bay Road estate, the first one north of Onwentsia.

Smith was married to Emeline Reynolds. Their son, Delavan Smith (1861-1922) was the publisher of the Indianapolis News newspaper. Born in Cincinnati, Delavan was educated at Lake Forest College and MIT. His father was a part owner of the Indianpolis News and Delavan later inherited his father's interest, becoming sole owner in 1911. Delavan also was an owner of the Merganthaler Corp, a linotype business started by his father. Delavan endowed the Indianapolis Historical Society which created the William Henry Smith Memorial Library, housing father/son's papers.
Delavan Smith became a trustee and president of Lake Forest College, 1904-5.

Family Members




  • Created by: Rommy Lopat
  • Added: 31 May 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 27220827
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Henry Smith (1 Dec 1833–29 Jul 1896), Find A Grave Memorial no. 27220827, citing Lake Forest Cemetery, Lake Forest, Lake County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Rommy Lopat (contributor 46949852) .