Houston Philanthropist William A. Smith Dies
HOUSTON (AP) _ William A. Smith, a philanthropist and railroad builder, has died following a long illness. He was 92.
Smith died Tuesday at his home, said James Allen of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Home.
Born Feb. 17, 1899, in El Paso, Smith attended the University of Texas and served in the Army during World War I.
He worked for Southern Pacific Railroad before organizing the William A. Smith Construction Co., which became one of the nation’s leading railroad construction companies. The company was the nucleus of similar companies in Kansas City and Los Angeles. They built railroad track throughout the nation and in Jamaica and Madagascar.
Smith also served as board chairman of South Texas Equipment Co., South Texas Truck Equipment Co., Southern National Bank and Citizens State Bank. He was a director of Texas Eastern Transmission Corp.
He and his wife, Madeline, donated a wing for Texas Children’s Hospital in memory of her nephew, James D. Welder III; provided for the Welder Building at the University of St. Thomas; and founded a scholarship at Iowa State University that has benefited more than 4,000 students.
Smith also provided grants and fellowships at Baylor College of Medicine, St. Luke’s Hospital, Houston Baptist University, Rice University, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Texas Southern University, the University of Houston, Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin.
Survivors include a nephew, two nieces, and a granddaughter.
Funeral services were set for Thursday in Houston.