Biography of Col. Henry B. Smith
Franklin County, NY Biographies





Henry B. Smith, son of Colonel Thomas Smith of 1812 war fame, was born in Chateaugay January 5, 1805, and in his youth worked on a farm and in his father's tavern. As soon as he was old enough to assume responsibilities himself he became a merchant, ama, generally expanding his activities, engaged in large real estate and lumbering operations, so that after a time he dominated most enterprises in both Chateaugay and Burke. First and last, he served his town as supervisor for a dozen years, and held, also every other town office that he would consent to accept. He was the Democratic leader and autocrat in all the eastern part of the county for a long time, became judge of the court of common pleas in 1833, its first judge ten years later, State Senator in 1852-3, was deputy collector of customs at Chateaugay for a number of years, and for nearly a decade was collector of the district of Champlain, the only Franklin county man who ever held that office. In a business way, in politics and in mentality Mr. Smith was one of the biggest men that the county ever had in his time, though it is found in his record that as a member of a special committee of the board of supervisors he recommended about 1850 a sale of the site of the existing county buildings, which, as it has turned out, would have been a wise procedure, and the erection of new structures on the Arsenal Green, which would have been an unfortunate encroachment on the park, and also in disregard of the restrictions contained in the deed of conveyance of the property of the State. Mr. Smith accumulated a probably larger property than any one else in the county had ever possessed up to that time. He died August 22, 1863.

From:
Historical Sketches of Franklin County
and its several towns.
By: Frederick J. Seaver Malone, New York.
J. B. Lyon Company, Printers Albany, NY 1918.


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