Smyth, Rawleigh Portues (1855–1941)

By: Seymour V. Connor

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: July 1, 1995

Rawleigh Portues Smyth, lawyer, legislator, and soldier, son of William and Eliza Ann (Dowman) Smyth, was born in Austin, Texas, on August 4, 1855. He attended Texas Military Institute, graduated from Texas A&M in 1877, and joined the Texas National Guard, in which he was promoted to captain in 1879 and to colonel in 1886. In March 1887 he moved to Estacado to practice surveying. In 1888 Smyth moved to Plainview, where he read law and was admitted to the bar in 1892. That year he married Florence P. Tucker of Fort Worth; she died in April 1894. In 1896 he was elected to the House of the Twenty-fifth Legislature and served one term. Smyth was made a brigadier general in the National Guard in January 1893; during the Spanish American War he served as a colonel in command of the Third Regiment, Volunteer Infantry. He returned to Hale County to practice law until 1904, when he became county attorney. He retired from law practice in 1907 and from 1908 to 1910 and again from 1918 to 1924 was county surveyor of Hale County. In 1932 he was elected mayor of Plainview. He died on February 3, 1941.

Amarillo Daily News, February 4, 1941. Mary L. Cox, History of Hale County, Texas (Plainview, Texas, 1937). Rawleigh Portues Smyth Papers, Southwest Collection, Texas Tech University.
  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Lawyers
  • General Law

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

Seymour V. Connor, “Smyth, Rawleigh Portues,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 11, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995