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George Baldwin Smith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

George B. Smith
4th Attorney General of Wisconsin
In office
January 2, 1854 – January 7, 1856
Preceded byExperience Estabrook
Succeeded byWilliam Rudolph Smith
3rd and 16th Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin
In office
April 1, 1878 – April 7, 1879
Preceded byHarlow S. Orton
Succeeded byJohn R. Baltzell
In office
April 5, 1858 – April 1, 1861
Preceded byAugustus A. Bird
Succeeded byLevi Baker Vilas
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the Dane 5th district
In office
January 13, 1869 – January 12, 1870
Preceded byLevi Baker Vilas
Succeeded byAlden Sprague Sanborn
In office
January 13, 1864 – January 11, 1865
Preceded byGeorge Hyer
Succeeded byJames Ross
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the Dane 6th district
In office
January 12, 1859 – January 11, 1860
Preceded byAlexander A. McDonell
Succeeded byCassius Fairchild
Personal details
George Baldwin Smith

(1823-05-22)May 22, 1823
Parma Corners, New York
DiedSeptember 18, 1879(1879-09-18) (aged 56)
Dane County, Wisconsin
Resting placeForest Hill Cemetery
Madison, Wisconsin
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Eugenia Weed Smith
  • James S. Smith
  • Anna (McConnell)
  • 3 others (died young)
MotherBetsy (Page) Smith
FatherReuben Smith
Occupationlawyer, politician

George Baldwin Smith (May 22, 1823 – September 18, 1879) was an American politician and lawyer. He was the 4th Attorney General of Wisconsin, and the 3rd and 16th Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin.[1][2]

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Legal and political career

Smith was admitted to the federal bar in to Southport, Wisconsin Territory (present-day (Kenosha, Wisconsin) in 1843. In 1845, he moved to the territorial capital of Madison, where he was appointed district attorney for Dane County in January 1846. He served in this role until 1852. He was elected to represent Dane County at the 1846 Wisconsin Constitutional Convention.[3]

Smith was elected Attorney General of Wisconsin in 1853, serving from 1854 to 1856; he declined a re-nomination in 1855. After leaving office, his name was drawn into the scandal involving the fraudulent re-election of William A. Barstow in 1855.[1][3]

He then served as mayor of Madison from 1858 to 1861. He represented the city in the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1859, 1864, and 1869. The Democratic Party selected him as their candidate to run for his district's congressional seat in 1864 and 1872, but he failed to win both times. Smith was also the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Senate in 1869, losing to Matthew H. Carpenter.[3]

In 1876 he helped to supervise the canvass of electoral votes in Louisiana in the heavily-disputed 1876 presidential election. He was re-elected as mayor of Madison in April 1878, and served until just a few months before his death, in Madison, in 1879.[4][3]

Personal life and education

Smith was born in Parma Corners, New York to Reuben Smith and Betsy Page Smith; his mother died ten weeks after his birth.[5] His family moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1825,[5] then to Medina, Ohio in 1827. Smith studied law with attorneys in Medina and Cleveland before moving with his father to Wisconsin in 1843.[5][3][6]

Smith married Eugene Weed in 1844. They had five children, two of whom survived to adulthood:[5] James and Anna.[3]


  1. ^ a b "A Loss to Wisconsin: Death of Gen. George B. Smith, a leading lawyer and Democratic politician" New York Times, September 22, 1879 at 2. Reprinting article from the Milwaukee Sentinel, September 19, 1879.
  2. ^ "Smith, George Baldwin", Dictionary of Wisconsin History
  3. ^ a b c d e f Gen. David Atwood, Speech to the Wisconsin Historical Society, November 10, 1879. Reprinted Report and Collections on the State Historical Society of Wisconsin for the years 1877, 1878 and 1879 vol. VIII. Madison, Wisconsin:David Atwood, 1879, p. 111–120.
  4. ^ "Gen. George B. Smith". Waukesha Daily Freeman. September 25, 1879. p. 2. Retrieved May 29, 2019 – via open access
  5. ^ a b c d "George B. Smith". Green Bay Advocate. September 25, 1879. p. 7. Retrieved May 28, 2019 – via open access
  6. ^ Letters of George B. Smith, Wisconsin Historical Society

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Experience Estabrook
Attorney General of Wisconsin
Succeeded by
William Rudolph Smith
This page was last edited on 20 June 2019, at 05:19
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