Name: Thomas SMITH
Birth: 1816 in New York City, NY
Death: 21 AUG 1874 in Yonkers, Westchester County, NY
Burial: 24 AUG 1874 St. John's Cemetery, Yonkers, Westchester Co., NY
Thomas Smith published the first newspaper in Yonkers, NY, the Yonkers Herald. He was a register Democrat and held many civic posts in Yonkers, including Justice of Peace.
Brooklyn City Directory
Smith Thomas B printer 11 High 1840
Williamsburg City Directories
Smith Thomas printer 56 South 3rd 1851-52
Smith Thomas printer 138 Grand 1852
Smith Thos printer 81 Second 1850-51
1850 US Federal Census, New York State, Kings Co., Williamsburg, p 499
dwelling 1895, family 2530
Thomas Smith, 32, printer b NY
Amanda Smith, 23, b NY
James Smith, 4, b NY
Henry Smith, 3, b NY
Townsend Smith, 1, b NY
1860 US Federal Census, NY state, Westchester Co, Yonkers, p 457
dwelling 163, family 231
Thomas Smith, 43, printer, b NY
Amanda Smith, 30, b NY
James Smith, 15, b NY
Henry smith, 12, b NY
Emma Smith, 6, b NY
Augustine Smith, 4, b NY
Thomas Smith, 2, b NY
William Smith, 41, printer, b VT
Nathaniel Smith, 45, printer, b NY
1870 US Federal Census, NY state, Weschester Co, Yonkers, p 570
dwelling 128, family 208
Thomas Smith, 54, printer, b NY
Amanda Smith, 42, keeping house, b NY
Henry Smith, 23, printer, b NY
Emma Smith, 15, attends school, b NY
Agustus Smith, 14, attends school, b NY
Anna Smith, 8, attends school, b NY
Isabelle, 6, b NY
Lillie, 2, b NY
A DOCUMENTARY HISTORY OF YONKERS, NY
Volume Two, Part One: The Unsettled Years, 1853-1860
by Joseph P. Madden
NOTE: Author used the newpaper, Yonkers Examiner for his documentation which was a rival newspaper, both politically and business wise, to the one that Thomas Smith owned, therefore, his commentary is very biased but gives a picture of the time period and Thomas Smith's influence on it.
Smith, Thomas in 1857 he was elected Secretary of the village President nominating committee, and also was a teller during the nomination procedure. On Tuesday, September 1, 1857 he was elected as a James Buchanan delegate to the County Democratic Convention to be held at West Farms on September 2, 1857. During the 1857 he was a Poor Master and during the depression of 1857-1858 he took $50 from the poor fund for services rendered. The Yonkers Examiner admonished him for doing so by stating "We doubt the propriety of placing such a charge among monies expended. If it be deserved compensation, and this we do not dispute, it should be passed upon the Board of Town Auditors and paid like all other officers' accounts. It can not be taken before it is audited from the Poor Fund of the Town." He was a member of the Committee of Arrangements for the first annual Fire Department Fund Ball held to raise funds to help widows and orphans of deceased Yonkers fireman. The ball was held on Thursday evening, March 30, 1858. He was also secretary of the committee. Durning 1857 and 1858 he was a Justice of the Peace. On March 30, 1858 he was defeated by James L. Valentine 515 votes to 320 votes for Justice of the Peace. His major support came from Spuyten Duyvil and the voters who came to Yonkers to vote for stayed the day, go drunk, and interrupted the voting several times. He was also the publisher of the Yonkers Herald. On July 22, 1858 he signed a petition calling for a meeting of eligible voters in School District #2 to decide if the school district should become a Union Free School District. On Wednesday evening, August 18, 1858 he was elected trustee for School District #2. On September 23, 1858 the Yonkers Examiner noted that he lost a bid to be Postmaster, but was rewarded by the Democratic Party by receiving a $1,100 a year position apparently in the Custom House. The paper also noted that before switching to the Democratic Party he had backed the Know Nothings. During November, 1858 he was president of the committee for the Second Annual Ball to benefit the widows and orphans of deceased Yonkers firemen. During the latter part of 1859 he was a member of the reception committee for the fourth annual ball of Protection Fire Engine Company Number 1. On Tuesday, September 4, 1860, his son George C. died at the age of 1 year, 9 months and 27 days. On Monday evening, September 17, 1860, he was elected a Trustee to fill a vacancy on the Fire Department Fund Association. In 1854 he was elected to a full term as a Justice of the Peace. In 1855 he was appointed to a town committee to secure a permanent lockup.
FOUNDER OF THE FIRST LOCAL NEWSPAPER, THE YONKERS HERALD, THOMAS SMITH
by Gus Smith (his son)
Thomas Smith, editor and publisher of Yonkers' first newspaper (The Yonkers Herald), was born in New York City in 1816.
The first Issue of the Yonkers' first newspaper appeared June 19, 1882, and was published from North Broadway, three doors from Getty Square. North Broadway, at that time, on the westerly side, ran only as far as the bridge where, where the old-time grocery store of Thompson & Fowler stood. From there on north to within 50 feet of Dock street was the shore of Nepperhan River. The whole of the opposite side of the street was a towering rock, the foot of which came to the present curb line. This was before the Wheeler block was erected on piles, and some years later the rock on the opposite side was blasted out and you have that block of North Broadway as it is now.
In that neighborhood was The Herald born. Mr. Smith bought property at No. 3 Main street (now Butler's), upon the rear of which he moved the old Broadway House from Broadway to be used as a printing office, in front of which he erected a brick building (still standing) which he occupied with his family as a residence.
Mr. Smith, from the very first, was public spirited and through his paper advanced in every way possible the betterment of Yonkers. Through the help of The Herald the incorporation of Yonkers was effected in 1855, the establishment of a union free school district, and the organization of the Fire Department Association, of which he became the president.
He was the first president of the Board of Education (School No. 2), Justice of the Peace, Village Trustee, President of the Board of Health and a Police Commissioner.
He was a life-long Democrat; in 1857 he was appointed Deputy Collector of the Port of New York under Collector Augustus Schell, an office he held until 1861, when his political party went out of power.
He issued the first directory of Yonkers in 1860 (it covered but a few pages), and later the first daily paper, the Daily Herald.
Mr. Smith died in August 1874, two years after Yonker became a city.
THOMAS SMITH, Yonkers Gazette, August 29, 1874
As we briefly announce last week, Thomas Smith, once proprietor and editor of 'The Yonkers Herald', died on the evening of the 21st last, of dropsy, aged 58 years. Mr. Smith was a native of New York city. He came to Yonkers in 1852, and commenced the publicaton of 'The Herald', which he continued until May, 1864, when he disposed of the whole establishment to the Yonkers Democratic Publishing Association, by whom the paper was continued for a year or so, until it came into the hands of its present owner, its name having been change to 'The Yonkers Gazette' soon after its purchase in 1864. Since that date Mr. Smith has published 'The Daily Herald' which died after a sickly existence of of about two years. The he revised 'The Weekly Herald', which with its 104th number also succumbed to the pressure of the times in April last. The original 'Herald' was a power in the county and state; but the subsequent papers were very remarkable for the slanderous and libelous character of their contents. No man had a brighter prospect for a successful newspaper career than Thomas Smith, and few instances exist of a more wilful wasting of brillant opportunities. 'The Yonkers Herald', as at present issued, was started by Mrs. A. Smith and her son, Henry T., on the 5th of this month and is a reputable paper and we hope may receive a liberal support. Mr. Smith was one of the organizers of the Yonkers fire department, and fill at various times the positions of school trustee, village trustee, justice of the peace, excise commissioner and police commissioner. His funeral took place from the Reformed Church last Sunday afternoon, and was largely attended. Rev. Dr. John DeWitt conducted the services, preaching an excellent and most solemn discourse upon death. Mr. Smith's remains were interred in St. John's Cemetery, Mayor Joseph Masten, Robert P. Getty, H.I. Garrison, John W. Oliver, Peter E. Radcliff and John Stevens acted at pall bearers.
Father: James SMITH b: 1786 in England
Mother: Mary A BROWNLE b: in New York
Amanda SMITH b: 4 JAN 1828 in Flushing, Queens County, NY
- James H SMITH b: MAY 1845 in New York
- Henry Townsend SMITH b: 22 AUG 1847 in New York City, NY
- Townsend SMITH b: 1849 in New York state
- Emma Amanda SMITH b: 7 AUG 1856 in Yonkers, NY
- Augustine SMITH b: 7 SEP 1856 in Yonkers, NY
- Thomas SMITH b: 1858
- George C. SMITH b: 3 NOV 1858 in Yonkers, NY
- Amelia SMITH b: 19 MAY 1861
- Isabel SMITH b: 7 DEC 1862
- Maud Estelle SMITH b: 19 JUL 1865
- Lillie Maud SMITH b: 19 DEC 1867