The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968 Page: 9
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Broker to the British: Francis Smith and Company
opportunity. Accordingly, in the summer of 1875, forty-one-year-old
Francis Smith embarked for England. Smith was far from a stranger
to the British Isles, for he had been born near London on May 28,
1834.1" Francis Smith recalled in his autobiographical sketch, "My
father realizing that without strong family influence in England
there would be but little opportunity for a family of boys to 'get on,'
as it was called ... decided upon emigrating."'- The Smiths first
settled near Toronto, Canada, where they established a candle factory.
After eight years, this business failed and they moved to Canadaigua,
New York. Between 1850o, when Francis Smith started his wanderings
which took him to California and to England, and the time that he
finally settled in the capital of Indiana, in the late sixties or early
seventies, he managed to acquire a legal training."
Whatever his peregrinations, by 1872 he had opened a brokerage
office, Francis Smith and Company, in Indianapolis. As a stockholder
in the recently organized Equitable Trust Company of New York,
Smith was constantly seeking clients with investment funds. After
three years in Indianapolis, Smith had enough insight to be convinced
that the British Isles offered the most fertile field for his brokerage
abilities. He made a business trip to England and so successful was
his visit, that in nine months he returned to Indianapolis as the
American agent for the Dundee Mortgage and Trust Company, "resi-
dent" agent for the Edinburgh-American Land Mortgage Company,
and adviser to the Scottish-American Mortgage Company."
"1Pieces of Francis Smith's personal history can be found in several places: Francis Smith,
"My Family," and "The Revival of the South, Due to Foreign Money," Carlile Bolton-
Smith Collection (Washington); and "Historical Memorandum," Francis Smith Collection
(H. P. Drought and Company, San Antonio).
"Francis Smith, "My Family."
1"The author deeply appreciates the co-operation of Thomas Drought of San Antonio
and Carlile Bolton-Smith of Washington, both of whom provided unrestricted access to
the files of their grandfathers, H. P. Drought and Francis Smith, respectively.
"The corporate nomenclature of Francis Smith and Company went through several
transmutations between its founding in Indianapolis and the close of the nineteenth
century. Initially the firm carried the appellation of Francis Smith and Company. When
Francis Smith moved south, he absorbed as partners, A. S. Caldwell, John M. Judah, and
later Bolton Smith, his son. The Company then became known to the planters on the
Yazoo River as Francis Smith, Caldwell and Company. In 1887 this firm was dissolved,
with Francis Smith retaining the San Antonio office, A. S. Caldwell and Bolton Smith
remaining in Memphis, and John M. Judah retiring. On January 1, 189o, Francis Smith
again decided to add "Company" to the gilded name on his door, and H. P. Drought
entered the firm. From the correspondence, this appears to have been one of Smith's
wisest decisions. Drought, a young lawyer, had been associated previously with another
San Antonio loan agency, Ballyntyne, Patterson and Scudder. Intelligent, astute, diplo-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968, periodical, 1968; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/m1/27/: accessed March 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.