Smithville, having once been a Police Village and reverted to the Township, decided to try it again, and in November, 1914, it again be- came the Police Village of Smithville. The first Trustees were Roy J. Goring, W. F. H. Patterson and Charles Grassie. The first business meeting was held on January 11th, 1915. The Trustees in 1911 were Ellis Murgatroyd, M. Simmerman and William Trembley.
The village has it own electric light and power system, obtaining power under a long lease from the Hamilton Cataract Power, Light and Traction Co., in 1915.
Natural gas was obtained in 1920 from the Chippewa Oil and Gas Co.
The main streets of the village, Griffin and Canboro, were paved with tarvia in 1919 and completed in 1921.
In 1922 the population of the village was 750.
Mr. Roy Goring was President of the Board of Trade, a live or- ganization which has done splendid work during the past few years in local improvement and development. Mr. H. G. Parrott, manager of the Union Bank of Canada, was secretary of this organization.
The largest mercantile establishment in the village, that of Messrs. R. Murgatroyd and Sons, was sold in 1910 to Messrs James R. Goring and Son, who have built up a large business and remodelled the store, so that it compares favorably with the finest stores in the cities.
Mr. Roy I. Goring, the junior member of this firm, has done much toward the improvement of Smithville. As a village Trustee and as President of the Board of Trade, he has been an active leader in all movements for the advancement of Smithville.
Another adopted son of Smithville is Mr. Hanson Gracey, who for a number of years conducted an implement business in the village. He later became engaged in real estate transactions and was honored by the Reeveship of the Township in which he has done splendid work for education and progress. It is impossible to estimate the debt which Smithville owes to the sons of other communities who have come to the village, shown a confidence in the future of the place and put their shoulder to the wheel of progress. While it was the work of the ancestors of the native villagers topioneer the district and lay the foundations, it has fallen to the lot of the adopted sons and daughters to, in a large measure, start the village on the road to growth and progress.
In the year 1922 there were ten new houses constructed. The houses which have been built in the village during the past few years have been large and of good appearance.
The places of business are the following. The up-to-date flour mill of E. B. Acton, flour and feed store of Isaac Collins, saw mill of Robert E. Book, saw mill of Wm. Mitchener, The Smithville Metal Industries, Bakery of Bert Shrum, Garage of W. E. Sheppard, Garage of Vail and Wilcox, Implements and Automobiles Business of M. B. Cosby, butcher shop and grocery of Mr. Boulter, shoe store of J. M. Martin, general store of R. J. Goring and Son, general store of L. P. Killins, general store of Mr. McMillan, furniture and undertaking business of Ernest Merritt; Merritt House Hotel, Charlie Adams, proprietor; Village Inn, proprietor, Ransom Cooper; law office of J. S. Davis, law offices of Bradford and Bradford, Red Front Store of Mr. Smith, tailor shop of J. A. Schnick, blacksmith shop of J. Teeter and Son, blacksmith shop of H. Couse, drug store of Mr. Henderson, Samuel Fisher’s machine shop, hardware store of F. Hays, and creamery of Mr. Bartlett.
It may be noted here that very few of the proprietors of businesses in Smithville in 1922 are Smithville citizens by birth.. They are, however, energetic men who have the best interests of the village at heart, and are striving unitedly to make it a bigger and better place in which to live.
A moving picture theatre is operated by Mrs. Jack Shepard.
The Postmaster at this time was Mr. Vance; the Principal of the High School, Mr. Judge; the Librarian, Bert Griffin, a descendant of the founders of the village. The Reeve of the municipality was Hanson Gracey; the station agent, Mr. Kelly, the night operator, Jack McDonald, the dentist, Dr. Lymburner; the medical doctors, Dr. Zumpstein, Dr. Munro and Dr. Robertson; the Presbyterian minister, Rev. Mr. Radford; the Methodist minister, Rev. Mr. Ayers.
The village has a Masonic Lodge with a fairly large membership.
The Women’s Institute branch is a splendid community organization.
With its schools and churches, wide streets and attractive homes, its electric lights, its two lines of railway, its connection with the good roads systems of the Province, with its law-abiding and contented population, Smithville can truly be said “a desirable place in which to live.” What a transformation from the days when Richard Griffin and his son cleared the first acre of land, when the tread mill ground the grain, when the hum of the spinning wheel was drowned by the cry of the wolf. As we recall those early days and compare them with those of our generation we can readily see the advantages, the conveniences, the luxuries which are ours to enjoy, of which our sturdy forefathers knew nothing.
As we accept these privileges of our day and generation, may we recall with grateful hearts the story of the struggle of our ancestors to carve out for their posterity a home and a community under the old British flag for which they had fought, and under whose protection they had lived all their lives. May we realize that it is our privilege and duty to pass on to our children and to future generations the privileges, the ideals, the liberty under British institutions, which have been handed down to us. May we continue to dwell in harmony and good-will together in the spirit of helpfulness and good-fellowship, ever mindful of our common ancestry and common heritage.
The Story Of Smithville: