Born at Glasgow, Scotland on 15 November 1867, son of John B. Smith and Helen Scotland, the family emigrated to Canada when he was six years of age, settling at Galt, Ontario where he was educated. After graduating from high school, he taught school for six years then, in 1892, he came to Manitoba. He articled in law with Joseph Martin then moved to Gladstone where he opened a branch office of the law firm of Martin and Mathers. When the firm was dissolved, he took up law studies with Thomas Morton, son of T. L. Morton, and also worked in real estate and insurance. After five years, Morton retired and he was called to the Manitoba Bar, in 1907. He served as solicitor for the Town of Gladstone, Rural Municipality of Westbourne, Bank of Montreal, and Royal Bank (Plumas). He also owned 800 acres of farmland near Gladstone.
In 1898, he married Mary Isabella Nixon (1872-1959) of Halton County, Ontario and they had six children: John Wilfrid Smith, James Nixon Smith (1902-?), Annie Marie Smith (1903-?), Helen Scotland Smith (1906-?), David Edward Smith (1910-?), and Richard Lloyd Smith (1917-2014). He was a member of the Gladstone Town Council for two years, Mayor of Gladstone (1900-1901), Reeve of the Rural Municipality of Westbourne (1915-1921), and Chairman of the Gladstone School Board for sixteen years. He was a member and President of the Gladstone Board of Trade. He was a member of the AF & AM, being Past Worshipful Master of Gladstone Lodge No. 11 and District Deputy Grand Master of District No. 2 (1924). In 1922, he unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the Manitoba Legislature for the Gladstone constituency, representing the Liberal Party.
He died at Westbourne on 2 December 1934 and was buried in the Gladstone Cemetery.
1901 and 1911 Canada censes, Automated Genealogy.
The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.
Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.
Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Obituary [John W. Smith], Winnipeg Free Press, 3 July 1963, page 29.
Obituary [Richard Lloyd Smith], 9 April 2014.
We thank Lynn Beaudoin for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 3 July 2020
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