James MacCallum Smith

James MacCallum Smith

James MacCallum Smith

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James MacCallum Smith (26 April 1868 – 6 August 1939) was an Australian politician, newspaper proprietor and stock breeder. He lobbied unsuccessfully for many years for the secession of Western Australia from the Federation of Australia.

Born in Drumchardny near Inverness, Scotland, he was the son of gatekeeper James Smith and Helen née McPherson. Little else is known of his early life, but in 1884 he was working for the Northern Chronicle. Some time later he emigrated to Australia, working briefly for a country newspaper in Queensland, then moving to Sydney to manage the Australian Mining Standard. In 1893 he moved to Coolgardie where he joined a consortium which purchased the Argus newspaper for £250. He sold his share a year later for £500 on the back of prosperity from recently discovered gold. Five years later the owners had refused an offer of £150,000 for a walk in-walk out sale of the paper.

In 1894, Smith partnered with Sydney Hocking in establishing the Golden Age and the West Australian Goldfields Courier. Two years later the pair established the Goldfields Morning Chronicle. In 1898 he partnered with Arthur Reid in establishing the goldfields' first Sunday newspaper, the Sun. Two years later the two men purchased the Perth newspaper The Sunday Times from the estate of Frederick Vosper. MacCallum Smith bought out his partner in 1912 and remained as the sole proprietor and managing director until 1935. In 1899, he married Kate Louise Lawrence.

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