Smith, Temple Doswell (1846–1926)

By: Martin Donell Kohout

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: June 1, 1995

Temple Doswell Smith, Fredericksburg banker, son of John Snelson and Pauline Thilman (Doswell) Smith, Jr., was born at Walnut Hill Plantation in Hanover County, Virginia, on August 22, 1846. His family moved to Indiana in 1860. Smith was educated in public school and by his father, who was an alumnus of Randolph-Macon College and the University of Virginia. Smith taught school briefly, then worked for an Indianapolis hardware company and a New York finance firm. He married Mary Alice Francis of Indianapolis on January 19, 1876; they had one daughter. Smith came to Texas in 1884 to join his brother Frank in a banking and mercantile venture in Anson. In San Antonio he heard that Fredericksburg needed a bank, and upon visiting the town he decided to stay. He founded the Bank of Fredericksburg in the Edward Maier Building in 1887 and two years later built a two-story building with a stone cupola and carved fa├žade for the bank. Also in 1889 he sold half interest in the bank to Fred Walter and Adolph Gold. Smith also organized and became president of the First National Bank of Carthage in 1894 and the Cotton Belt State Bank of Timpson in 1897. He headed the committee that brought the Fredericksburg and Northern Railway to Gillespie County and drove the last spike on the track in 1913. The town of Bankersmith on the new railroad was named in his honor. Smith was an Episcopalian and a Democrat. He and his family regularly summered in New York. Smith died on April 24, 1926, in San Antonio and was buried in Bayview Cemetery, Jersey City, New Jersey. His daughter taught English at Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas.

Gillespie County Historical Society, Pioneers in God's Hills (2 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1960, 1974).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Martin Donell Kohout, “Smith, Temple Doswell,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 02, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995