Biography of Willard A. Smith
Cook County, Il Biographies

SMITH, WILLARD A. - Born at Kenosha, Wis., Sept. 20, 1849. Son of William H. and Mehitabel (Allen) Smith. His father was a native of New Hampshire, where his ancestors had settled as early as 1640, and his mother was born in New York state. They came west in the thirties and were among the early settlers of the state of Wisconsin. The early education of Willard A. Smith was obtained in the public schools of his native village up to 1861, when the family removed to Rocklord, Ill., where he graduated from the high school. In 1865 he entered the freshman class of Shurtleff College at Upper Alton, graduating with class honors in 1869. In the same year he entered the law school of Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., graduating in 1871 as valedictorian of his class. He was admitted to the bar of the state of Missouri in 1870, and in the following year was admitted to practice in the United States court. Before his graduation he had begun the publication of a monthly paper devoted to postoffice matters. He sold this in 1871, and established a weekly paper known as the St. Louis Railway Register, which is still in existence. Three years later, in June, 1874, he disposed of his interest in St. Louis, and coming to Chicago purchased the Railway Review, a weekly paper which had been started in this city in 1868, but which, owing to the great fire and other causes, was not in a flourishing condition. Under his ownership and control it attained the position which it occupies to-day as the leading railway technical journal of the west. Mr. Smith has since acquired other extensive publishing interests in the same technical line. On July 10, 1892, he was appointed chief of the department of transportation exhibits of the World's Columbian Exposition, and conducted that department with intelligence and ability. He has now resided in Chicago over nineteen years, and has a family consisting of a wife, two daughters and a son. He is a member of the Union League Club, and various social and technical societies, local and national.


FROM:
The Handbook of Chicago Biography
Edited by John J Flinn.
The Standard Guide Company
Chicago 1893

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