SMITH, LON A. (1869~1947) Lon A. Smith, state senator, comptroller, and railroad commissioner, was born in Henderson, Rusk County, Texas on March 13, 1869, and was educated in Henderson and other Texas schools. At age 17, he began his career as a public servant when he began teaching in Rusk County. He taught for thirteen years before being elected Rusk County Clerk. He was elected to that post three times, before taking his seat in the Texas Senate in 1914.
Smith represented District 8, Harrison, Rusk, Panola, Gregg and Shelby Counties, until 1920, when he was elected Comptroller of Public Accounts. He held that position for two terms, until 1924, when he was elected to the Railroad Commission of Texas.
On the Railroad Commission, Smith fought for his native east Texas. Often holding the minority opinion, he continued to serve with distinction until his retirement on January 1, 1941. During his sixteen years on the Commission, he held the position as chairman in 1933, 1934, 1940, and 1941.
After serving the people of Texas for 45 years, Smith served on numerous religious and fraternal groups, including the Texas Baptist Convention and on the Board of Directors of the Standard Life Association.
On October 20, 1947, Smith was in Lawrence, Kansas attending a Standard Life board of directors meeting when he suffered a heart attack. He died the next morning. Smith's body lay in state in the Senate Chamber of the Capitol before funeral services were held at First Baptist Church of Austin. He was buried in the Texas State Cemetery that same day, October 23.
Honorary pallbearers included former Governors Dan Moody and Pat Neff, U. S. Senator Tom Connally, Congressman Lyndon Johnson, former colleagues of the Senate and Railroad Commission, and others who had known Smith during his 30 year involvement in state government.
Smith was survived by his wife, Kate Montgomery Smith, who passed away in 1962, and ten children, five sons and five daughters, and fourteen grandchildren.
Information taken from: April 21, 1940 Dallas Morning News article, "Lon A. Smith To Quit Seat on Rail Board;" December 18, 1940 Dallas Morning News article, "Lon Smith's Term Held To End Jan. 1;" and other unnamed articles.