Charles Aurelius Smith

61st Governor of the State of South Carolina 1915

Date Born: January 21, 1861

Date Died: April 1, 1916

Place Born: Hertford County, NC

Place Buried: Byrd Cemetery in Timmonsville, SC

Timmonsville, SC

Occupation: Banker, Businessman

Wake Forest University: Graduated 1882

South Carolina House of Representatives: 1909-1910

Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina: 1911-1915

On January 14, 1915, Smith succeeded to office of Governor following the resignation of Gov. Coleman Livingston Blease. Gov. Charles Aurelius Smith served only five days in office, until Gov. Richard Irvine Manning, III was sworn in.

Charles Aurelius Smith, merchant, banker, Lt. Governor and Governor of South Carolina for five days, was born in Hertford County, NC, the son of Joseph H. Smith and Eva J. (Reddick) Smith. He was educated in the common schools before attending Reynoldson School in Gates County to prepare for college. He entered Wake Forest College in 1879 and was graduated with honors in 1882.

The year after graduating from college, Charles Aurelius Smith moved to Timmonsville, SC, and began pursuing banking and business interests, eventually becoming the president of several banks in South Carolina. In addition, Smith served as president of the South Carolina Baptist Association and was a Trustee of Furman University and Greenville Women's College.

On January 3, 1884, Charles Aurelius Smith married Fannie L. Byrd of Timmonsville, SC. They had nine children, one who died young.

In 1903, he was elected as Mayor of Timmonsville, SC.

In 1908, Charles Aurelius Smith was elected as one of three men to represent Florence County in the House of Representatives of the:
- 68th General Assembly that met from 1909-1910

In 1911, he was elected as Lieutenant Governor under Gov. Coleman Livingston Blease.

Charles Aurelius Smith ran in an 11-man field for governor in 1914 but finished seventh in the Democratic primary, getting 5,595 votes. Richard Irvine Manning, III won in a runoff.

Gov. Blease resigned five days before the end of his second term on January 14, 1915, so that he would not have to attend the inauguration of the incoming Gov. Richard Irvine Manning, III. Charles Aurelius Smith succeeded to the governorship and only performed a few ceremonial functions during his five days in office.

Although Gov. Blease's resignation was never officially explained, Blease obviously disliked Manning. An unconfirmed story says that Blease wagered that Manning would not be the next governor. The bet seemed lost when Manning was elected, but by resigning, Blease made Smith the next governor and won the bet.

After serving as governor, Charles Aurelius Smith moved to Baltimore, MD. A Mason and a member of the Knights of Pythias, he died at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD, at age fifty-five on April 1, 1916. He was buried in the Byrd Cemetery in Timmonsville and a large monument marks his grave.

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