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SMITH, GEORGE W. [1845-1906]

Mabel B. Smith and Sawnie B. Smith

SMITH, GEORGE W. (1845–1906). George W. Smith, attorney, was born in Marietta, Georgia, on July 14, 1845, the son of Aaron S. and Lucinda W. Smith. He moved to Texas before the Civil War and settled in Smith County. During the war he served with Oran M. Roberts's Eleventh Texas Infantry, Randal's Brigade (see RANDAL, HORACE). He was the youngest of six brothers serving in the Confederacy. After the war he taught school and, after being admitted to the bar, practiced law in Tyler. He was the first county judge of Smith County under the Constitution of 1876 and was chairman of the state Democratic executive committee, 1880–82. Probably he was a resident of Mitchell County when he made the speech nominating James Stephen Hogg for attorney general at the state convention in Galveston on August 10, 1886. He was a lawyer in Colorado City, Mitchell County, when the Sweetwater Baptist Association met in August 1890 to found Abilene Baptist College (later Hardin-Simmons University) and named Smith to the locating committee. Smith was also appointed to the school's first board of trustees in 1890. (He should not be confused with Rev. George W. Smith, who was chosen president of that board.) From 1891 to 1895 Smith was secretary of state under Governor Hogg. Thereafter he practiced law in Houston until 1898, when he returned to Colorado City. He was married to Laura L. Swann in Tyler in 1876, and the couple had two sons and two daughters. Smith died in Colorado City on January 24, 1906, and was buried there.


Colorado City Record, January 26, 1906. Robert C. Cotner, ed., Addresses and State Papers of James Stephen Hogg (Centennial Edition, Austin: University of Texas Press, 1951). R. C. Crane, "The Beginning of Hardin-Simmons University," West Texas Historical Association Year Book 16 (1940). James Stephen Hogg Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Ike W. Jay, History of Hardin-Simmons University, 1890–1940 (M.A. thesis, Texas Technological College, 1941).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Mabel B. Smith and Sawnie B. Smith, "SMITH, GEORGE W. [1845-1906]," accessed July 14, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fsm18.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on March 25, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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