The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Smith, Hon. James Thornloe
Smith, Hon. James , M.L.C., M.Inst C.E., the son of the Rev. William Smith, Wesleyan minister, was born at at Chester in August 1825, and educated at Woodhouse Grove, near Leeds. He arrived in Victoria in 1852, and entered the Civil Service of that colony as a railway surveyor in the same year. Upon a reduction being made in the staff, he went to Queensland in Nov. 1862, and after twelve months' exploration in the interior, entered the Queensland Civil Service and surveyed the upper portion of the main range above Murphy's Creek. In 1865 Mr. Smith constructed the railway from Toowoomba to Warwick, and afterwards became chief engineering surveyor of the Railway Surveys Department, and surveyed Cooktown and the interior with a view to possible railway construction. In 1873 he was appointed by the Macalister Administration Chief Engineer of the South and West Railway system, and was Acting Chief Engineer for twelve months, during the absence of Mr. Stanley, who then held that post. He then acted as Deputy Engineer-in-chief of the South and West Railways until the abolition of the office by the Griffith Ministry in July 1884. Mr. Smith was called to the Upper House in August 1888. He married in Melbourne on Oct. 31st, 1852, Miss Pauline E. Marks.