Biography of James Smith
Tompkins County, NY Biographies





Smith, James, was born in the town of Franklin, Warren county, May 14, 1832, a son of John, who was a farmer. Our subject was educated in the common schools, after leaving which he served a three years' apprenticeship at carpentry. After serving three years as a journeyman carpenter, he entered the employ of the D. L. & W. R. R. in 1852, and for eighteen years was employed with this company, building bridges and tracks. In 1872 he removed to Ithaca to build the road between Ithaca and Geneva, and after its construction acted as its superintendent until its consolidation with the Lehigh Valley Road. He was then employed as roadmaster on the U. I. & E. R. R. between Elmira and Canastota, holding the position four years. He was then roathnaster and assistant superintendent on the Lehigh Valley Division running into Auburn, then known as the Midland, running ten years as conductor and superintendent. He spent three years in the West at the same business, building 150 miles of track in Montana, and was then in Chicago for a year, employed on the Chicago and Northwestern Road. He next came to Elmira for three years, and in 1892, returned to Ithaca. March 23, 1893 he was appointed superintendent of streets for Ithaca. He has been instrumental in constructing one of the best systems of gutters in any city, and is an authority on the sewage question. In 1854 he married Caroline J. Carr, of Wyoming county, Pa., and they have had three children: A. C. Smith, conductor on the D. L. & W. R. R.; Effie, who died June 13, 1892, aged thirty one years; the other son is a graduate of the medical department of the University of Michigan.

From:
Landmarks of Tompkins County, New York
Including a History of Cornell University
Edited by: John H. Selkreg
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, N. Y. 1894


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