William Henry Smith (American politician)

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William Henry Smith
William Henry Smith (American politician).jpg
16th Ohio Secretary of State
In office
January 9, 1865 – January 14, 1868
Preceded by William W. Armstrong
Succeeded by John Russell
Personal details
Born (1833-12-01)December 1, 1833
Columbia County, New York
Died July 27, 1896(1896-07-27) (aged 62)
Lake Forest, Illinois
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Emeline Reynolds
Children Delavan Smith

William Henry Smith (December 1, 1833 – July 27, 1896) was a newspaper editor, Republican politician who was Ohio Secretary of State 1865–1868, consolidated and managed the Associated Press, and was a compiler and editor of several historic works.


William Henry Smith was born December 1, 1833 at Columbia County, New York. In 1836 his parents moved to Ohio, where he received the best educational advantages the state afforded. He was a tutor, editor of the Literary Review at Cincinnati, and was an editor at the Cincinnati Gazette when the American Civil War broke out. He was active in promoting enlistments for the Union.[1]

Smith was active in securing the gubernatorial nomination for John Brough, and became his private secretary upon his election to Governor in 1863.[1] In 1864 he resigned when nominated by the Republicans for Ohio Secretary of State, and defeated incumbent Democrat William W. Armstrong in the general election.[2] He was nominated again in 1866, and defeated Democrat Benjamin Le Fevre.[3]

Smith's estate in Lake Forest, Illinois

Smith resigned as Secretary January 14, 1868[4] to run the Cincinnati Chronicle for a short time until failing health caused his resignation. In 1870 he took charge of the Western Associated Press in Chicago. In 1877, President Hayes appointed him Collector of the Port of Chicago. In January, 1883, he led the merger of the Western Associated Press and the New York Associated Press, and was General Manager of the company.[1]

Smith's monument in Lake Forest Cemetery

Smith also compiled and edited historic works, including the St. Clair Papers in 1882. He died July 27, 1896 in Lake Forest, Illinois, and was interred at Lake Forest Cemetery.[5]




Political offices
Preceded by
William W. Armstrong
Secretary of State of Ohio
Succeeded by
John Russell