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Memorable Manitobans: James Allan Smart (1858-1942)

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James Allan Smart
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Hardware merchant, MLA (1886-1888), MLA (1888-1892), Mayor of Brandon (1885-1886, 1895-1896).

Born at Brockville, Ontario on 6 June 1858, the eldest son of James Smart, he was educated at the public schools & C. L. Inst., Woodstock, Ontario. He came to Manitoba in the winter of 1880 and worked until July 1881 in the hardware firm of Horsman and Company of Winnipeg. He then moved to Brandon where he had a hardware business until September 1886.

He served as a Brandon City alderman from 1882 to 1883, and Mayor from 1885 to 1886. In the latter year, he was appointed to the Western Judicial District Board of Manitoba and, in December 1886, was elected for the Brandon East constituency in the provincial general election, and acclaimed in a February 1888 by-election when he accepted the ministerial portfolio of Public Works in the Greenway government. He was re-elected in the 1888 general election but defeated in the 1892 general election. A second term as Brandon Mayor ended in 1896 then he served as federal Deputy Minister of the Interior under Clifford Sifton. In 1902, he served as Administrator of the Yukon Territory. He resigned in 1903 citing ill health.

In June 1883, he married Elizabeth F. “Lizzie” Jones (1858-?) at Prescott, Ontario and they had seven children: Allen Crawford Smart (1884-?), Anne Gwendoline Smart (1886-?), James Smart, Edmund George Smart (1890-?), Gerald S. Smart (1891-?), Frances E. Smart (1896-?), and Alexander G. Smart (1897-?).

He died at Montreal on 3 May 1942, after several years of ill health, and is commemorated by Smart Street in Winnipeg.


A Political Manual of the Province of Manitoba and the North-West Territories by J. P. Robertson, Winnipeg: Call Printing Company, 1887.

Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1891 Canada census, Ancestry.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Obituary, Western Municipal News, May 1942, page 125.

“J. Smart, former Manitoban, dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 May 1942. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9]

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 July 2019

Memorable Manitobans

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