forced to return home, where he remained for several years upon the old homestead. During this time he was solicited to take charge of the district school at Edgmont Central Seminary, and taught there two winters.
Convinced that his health required an active outdoor occupation, Mr. Smedley determined to adopt the profession of surveying, which was congenial to his tastes, a love for which he inherited. Accordingly, in the spring of 1853 he removed to Philadelphia and engaged with Joseph Fox, who had laid out most of the northern portion of the city of Philadelphia, and had then recently been engaged to extend the city plan on the west side of the Schuylkill. Possessed of mathematical talent, and being an apt draughtsman, Mr. Smedley soon mastered the minutiae of his profession, and his promotion was rapid. In 1856 he was engaged by the commissioners of Blockley to layout the streets in that township. He also carried on conveyancing, and entered largely into the purchase and sale of real estate. About this time he published a complete atlas of the city of Philadelphia, a laborious and expensive undertaking, but one which was very successful, and the book remains to this day a standard work for conveyancers, and is highly prized by them. In 1858, Mr. Smedley was elected a member of the Board of Surveyors, and was subsequently chosen by the people of the district for three terms of five years each.
In 1871 his name was presented to the Republican State Convention as a candidate for the position of Surveyor-General of the State. The novelty of naming a professional surveyor for that position met with much favor, but the policy of placing soldiers upon the ticket prevailed, and Gen. Robert B. Beath was nominated and elected, he being the last to hold the office, as, by the provisions of the new Constitution, it was merged into that of Secretary of Internal Affairs. In 1872, Mr. Smedley was elected by the City Councils to the responsible office of chief engineer and surveyor, the position he now holds, having been chosen for the third time in March, 1882, his present term expiring in 1887. In this position he has had charge of many extensive public works, among which have been the building of Penrose Ferry bridge, and the Fairmount and Girard Avenue bridges, and numerous smaller ones over railroads, canals, and other streams within the limits of the city.
Mr. Smedley, in 1865, visited Europe on a tour of recreation and study, and returned impressed with the thought that Philadelphia, to keep pace with other great cities, should avail herself of her great natural advantages for establishing a grand park for the enjoyment of the people, and he entered with enthusiasm into the project of securing Lansdowne, an estate of one hundred and fifty acres, from its English owners, as a nucleus for the park, and was largely instrumental in bringing about the purchase of that beautiful section of land as a pleasure-ground for the public. He was appointed by the park commissioners to make the original surveys of the territory embraced in the park, and many of the walks and drives therein were designed and laid out by him. Since 1872, as a park commissioner, by virtue of his office, he has been active in securing improvements to the territory under the control of the board.
Mr. Smedley has been a member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania since 1857, and for fourteen years was recording secretary of the association. He has taken much interest in local history and genealogy, and has collected a large number of the records of his own family, which became of special interest during the bicentennial year. He is also a member of the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia; honorary member of the Delaware County Institute of Science; member of the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Franklin Institute, and of the West Philadelphia Institute; of the latter he was for many years a director and secretary. In addition he is a member of the American Public Health Association, of the executive committee of the Philadelphia Social Science Association, the Engineers' Club of Philadelphia, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and of the Union League and other political clubs. In religion he is a member of the society of Friends, as his ancestors have been from the first settlement of the State. Mr. Smedley is unmarried, and lives in West Philadelphia, with which section of the city he has long been identified.
Joseph Fox, a native of Edgmont, was born Third month 9, 1786. He taught school in Westtown, and married Hannah, daughter of Aaron James, of the latter place. In 1815 he kept store at Seven Stars, in Aston, in partnership with Isaac Massey, and in 1818 married Priscilla Griffith. In 1820 he married Edith, daughter of Abraham Hibberd. In 1822 he removed to Philadelphia, and taught school there for several years. The northwestern limit of the city at that time was in the vicinity of Tenth and Spring Garden Streets. Mr. Fox was an excellent mathematician, and in 1826 turned his attention to surveying, in partnership with Philip M. Price. He laid out the streets in a large portion of the city between Spring Garden and Germantown, and in 1843 retired to a farm in New Jersey. He was a surveyor of such large experience and high reputation for accuracy that he was solicited to take charge of the intricate work of making a good city plan out of the numerous small villages which had grown up independently in West Philadelphia, and accepted the appointment in 1852, and returned again to the city, remaining there until his death, Second month 14, 1873. He left several children. Samuel L. Fox, proprietor of J. W. Queen's optical and mathematical instrument establishment, in Philadelphia, is one of them.
Everatt Griscom Passmore, farmer, of Edgmont, had a great reputation as a "gilt-edge" butter-maker forty years ago. While on his way to Goshen Meet-