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Members’ biographical register

Henry Teesdale Smith

Date: 22 December 1858
Place: Merino, Victoria, Australia
Arrival in WA
Son of George William, district road board collector, and Ellen Teesdale
Marriage and Family
Married 30 September 1885, Wesley Church, Melbourne, Victoria to Lydia Kate Johnson (born circa 1863), daughter of Samuel and Emily Littlewood
Children: five sons and one daughter
Date: 25 February 1921
Place: Menzies Hotel, Melbourne, Victoria
Cemetery: Stirling East Crafers Cemetery, South Australia?
Hamilton College, Victoria
Miller and businessperson
Employment History
From 1874 worked for C and E Millar, railway contractors and sawmill proprietors
1877 set up business as railway contractor on own account, built Ulverstone Railway in Tasmania, also worked in New South Wales
To WA 1893 to construct Picton–Busselton Railway
Obtained timber leases, 1894 general manager for C and E Millar, opened many timber mills, encouraged the formation of combine in 1902 by merger of eight companies of Millar Karri and Jarrah Company
Resigned as manager 1908
Owned numerous grazing properties including Elorby and Marranup (Northam district), Mt Barker estate, Esperanza (Harvey district) and Wokalup and Coast Run
Resumed operations as rail contractor often in partnership with J Timms, constructed electric tramway system in Adelaide, 1908–1910 as well as several railways
Invested in Sydney newspapers but political controversy in 1918 over acceptance of his tender to build a huge terminal wheat silo in Sydney
Date Elected
24 April 1901
Inaugural Speech
Smith, Henry Teesdale, Inaugural Speech.pdf
Inaugural Video
Search for speeches by Henry Smith
Year Retired/Resigned
Parliamentary Service
  • MLA Wellington 24 April 1901–24 June 1904
Living in Victoria 1885
To WA 1893
Moved to Adelaide, South Australia
In later life lived near Adelaide, but had houses in Sydney and Melbourne
Member Perth and Adelaide Clubs
D Black and G Bolton, eds, Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia: volume one 1870-1930, Parliamentary History Project, Perth, WA, 2010, p. 182–183.
Further Information
G. C. Bolton and Jenny Mills, 'Smith, Henry Teesdale (1858–1921)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1988, accessed online 16 December 2015.
Bulletin, 3 March 1921.
Dictionary of Western Australians 1829–1914, Vol. 5, The Golden Years 1889–1914, compiled by Rica Erickson, Nedlands: University of Western Australia Press, 1986.
Sydney Morning Herald, 26 February 1921.
Twentieth Century Impressions of Western Australia. Anon. P.H.W. Thiel: Perth, 1901,35.
Who's Who in Australia, (1906)