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Biography of Charles J. Smith

Charles J. Smith, Manager of the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company, was born in Nicholasville, Kentucky, March 13, 1854, and is the son of Charles F. and Z. A. ( Jackson) Smith. His father was a merchant at Nicholasville for several years, but in 1857, removed to Kansas City, Missouri, where he died in 1877. In the latter city, the subject of this sketch was educated in a private school until he reached the age of fourteen, when he entered Blackburn University at Carlinville, Illinois, from which institution he graduated in 1870. After graduation he spent one year as a clerk in a real estate office in Kansas City. In August, 1871, he began his railroad career as store-keeper in the employ of the Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf railroad, now known as the Kansas City, Springfield & Memphis railroad, being thus employed for a year and a half. This service was followed by a period of clerk-ship in the office of the Master Mechanic and as chief clerk of the motor power. He then spent three years as clerk in the auditor’s office of the same road and of the Leavensworth, Lawrence & Galveston railroad, afterwards known as the Kansas City, Leavensworth & Southern. In 1878, he became acting or assistant auditor of the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf; Kansas City, Lawrence & Southern; Atkinson & Nebraska, and Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluff railroads, holding these various positions for two years, and during this period resided in Kansas City. In July, 1880, he came to Portland when he was appointed assistant comptroller of the...

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