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Smiley Family History

Franklin Thomas Smiley 1857-1944

Family line:
Francis Smylie/Smiley 1689Hugh Smiley 1723William Smiley 1757Hugh Smiley 1785Shepherd Parkman Smiley 1828 → Franklin Thomas Smiley 1857-1944.

Franklin (Frank) Thomas Smiley
10 May 1857, Sandridge, Victoria
Died: 16 August 1944, St Kilda, Vic, age 87
Occupation: Cobb and Co. coach driver
Married: Mary Bowden Camp, 15 June 1881, Warrnambool, Vic
Children: 1

Frank Smiley Franklin Thomas Smiley was the first of the seven children of Shepherd Parkman and Margaret Phoebe (Ward) Smiley. He was born at Sandridge (now Port Melbourne) on 10 May 1857 at a time when his father identified himself as a farmer.

In Warrnambool on 15 June 1881, Franklin (known as Frank) married Mary Bowden Camp, who was born in July 1858, daughter of Jonathon and Mary (Hocking) Camp. At the time of their marriage at the Camp family home, Mary described herself as a dressmaker living at Warrnambool.

Like his father, Frank Smiley was a coach driver for Cobb and Co. and for many years was a driver on the Colac to Camperdown run. He started driving for Cobb and Co on 7 May 1877 when he was just short of his 20th birthday, on a coach run from Wickliffe to Warrnambool. The run required him to cover 60 miles (96 kilometres) daily, and his pay was 15 shillings ($1.50) a week plus food.

Frank drove in Victoria's Western District for many years and before his retirement from Cobb and Co. he was on the Colac-Warrnambool day coach. He took his last coach drive, from Colac to Camperdown, just before the railway opened on 2 July 1883.

Following his retirement, the family moved to Melbourne and Frank and his brother William Joseph operated the Smiley Brothers butchers shop at 22 High Street, St Kilda. The partnership was dissolved in March 1893 with Frank continuing the business alone. Trading conditions became difficult and Frank was declared insolvent in June 1900 and the business wound up.

Later in life (1912) he was appointed a court probation officer, undertaking supervision of offenders who were subject to court orders.

In 1935 he helped found Cobb and Co's Old Drivers' Association and for many years was president of the organisation.

Frank and Mary continued to live in Melbourne in later life - Mary died at Prahran on 28 August 1934 when aged 76, and Frank died at St Kilda on 16 August 1944, aged 87.

Cobb and Co information

Information about the development of the Cobb and Co business, including a 1925 photograph of Frank Smiley at the reins of a horse team, can be found on the ToMelbourne website.

Child of Franklin and Mary (Camp) Smiley


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