William Cory Smith biography

WILLIAM CORY SMITH. The mail service of Bowie is efficiently presided over by a gentleman whose connection with this important department of the government service has been wide and varied and who is familiar by reason of long experience with every detail of this complex system. Since the 21st of July, 1897, the patrons of the Bowie office have known him as their postmaster, where he has shown himself an ideal public servant.

Mr. Smith is a native of the middle Atlantic states, having been born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1858. July 29 was his natal day and his father was George S. Smith, a wholesale dry goods merchant of East Liverpool, Ohio. The family as one of the first to settle the town of East Liverpool and was established there by William G. Smith, the grandfather of the subject of this review. The latter passed his life as a merchant, and died in Tacoma, Washington, in 1896, at ninety-six years of age. George S. Smith was born in East Liverpool in 1836 and left there in 1860, taking his family to Kansas and establishing it in Atchison, where he passed his remaining years as a merchant, dying in 1891. His ancestry was Scotch-Irish. He married Rebecca A. Cory, a daughter of William Cory, a West Virginian and a farmer near East Liverpool, Ohio. Mrs. Smith resides with a daughter in Lambertsville, New Jersey, and is the mother of: Fremont, of El Reno, Oklahoma; William C., our subject, and Lavilla, wife of John Lilly, of Lambertsville, New Jersey.

The high school at Leavenworth, Kansas, finished William C. Smith’s literary education. He manifested a decided tendency for music and he was put to the piano at ten years of age and at the age of fourteen had finished his work under Professor Francis Simon, a pupil of one of the German universities. Beginning life while yet a mere youth, Mr. Smith went into a piano house in Atchison, Kansas, and was an important adjunct to the place until he entered the mail service in 1876. At that time he was made delivery clerk of the Atchison office and passed through every branch of the service to and including superintendent of carriers. In 1886 he went on the Santa Fe railroad as postal clerk, his run being from Santa Fe to Deming, New Mexico, but abandoned his run to accept the superintendence of carriers in the Atchison post office. In 1886 he removed with his family to California, where, in Los Angeles, he remained four years, a brief portion of which time he passed in the Los Angeles office at the urgent request of the postmaster, who knew of his efficiency in the handling of Uncle Sam’s mails. In 1890 he returned to Atchison for a year and in 1891 located in El Reno, where he joined his brother in a mercantile venture in that city. He remained there three years and came to Bowie, in July, 1896, to take the position of the firm of R. W. Greathouse and Company. Following this employment he was appointed postmaster of the city to succeed E. A. Gwatlney and took the office, as previously stated, in July, 1897.

November 3, 1886, Mr. Smith married, in Atchison, Kansas, Florence, a daughter of Samuel Guerrier, an Englishman who came from Shropshire, where at Oaken Gates, Mrs. Smith was born July 25, 1868. Mr. Guerrier is a leading citizen of South McAlester, Indian Territory, where as a corporation lawyer he is widely known. George S. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s only son and heir, is fourteen years of age and was made an Elk at McAlester, Indian Territory, in 1903, being, therefore, the youngest Elk in the world. He is intensely musical, has a fine voice and sings everything in original keys.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, p. 174.