Thomas Yorke Smith

Thomas Yorke Smith - 1924

Thomas. Yorke Smith, more commonly known as T. Yorke Smith, born around 1873 in New Jersey, entered matrimony with Harriet A. Smith at the age of 21.

Around the turn of the century, T. Yorke Smith, initially a banker, formed a business alliance with David Baird Sr. In 1902, at the dawn of Parkside’s development, T. Yorke Smith established the Forest Hill Realty Company, actively participating in the neighborhood’s growth. His pivotal role included orchestrating deals that provided the land for Forest Hill Park and Camden High School in 1904. During the 1910s, he was affiliated with the Broadway Trust bank.

By the 1920 Census, he assumed a corporate managerial role, residing in an apartment with his wife at 532 Cooper Street.

As a close associate of David Baird Sr., T. Yorke Smith immersed himself in Republican politics in Camden. Following the May 10 election, he, along with four other Republicans, took office as City Commissioner on May 17, 1927. The Commissioners included General Winfield S. Price, Mayor; William D. Sayrs Jr., Dr. David S. Rhone, and Clay W. Reesman.

T. Yorke Smith actively contributed to the Centennial Anniversary Committee, appointed by the Camden City Commission on November 3, 1927. This committee oversaw the publication of “Span of a Century 1828-1928: 100 Years in the History of Camden as a City” and coordinated celebratory events for Camden’s 100th birthday. The committee comprised Charles S. Boyer, Chairman; T. Yorke Smith, E.G.C. Bleakly, Mahlon F. Ivins Jr., Fred S. Caperoon, and Frank S. Albright.

Appointed to the South Jersey Port Commission’s board in 1927, T. Yorke Smith held this position until his demise ten years later.

During the 1930 Census, T. Yorke Smith and his wife Harriet resided in a self-owned home at 515 Cooper Street. His service on Camden’s City Commission continued until 1931.

T. Yorke Smith passed away on March 23, 1937.

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