Gov. William ‘Extra Billy’ Smith at Capitol Square


Governor William 'Extra Billy' Smith at Capitol Square in downtown Richmond, VirginiaWHAT: Governor William ‘Extra Billy’ Smith at Capitol Square in downtown Richmond, Virginia.

LOCATION: Capitol Square, along the Northern Boundary. 

ARTIST: William Ludwell Sheppard.

DEDICATED: May 30, 1906.

DESCRIPTION: Standing bronze figure 7 1/2 foot high on a pedestal 9 foot high. The pedestal is heavily inscribed on all four sides illuminating Smith’s career. He was twice Governor of Virginia and a member of the US Congress. Sculptor F. William Sievers enlarged in bronze Sheppard’s model.

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William "Extra Billy" Smith grave at Hollywood CemeteryWilliam Smith was born Sept. 6, 1797 in King George County and died May 18, 1887. He was a lawyer, congressman, twice a Governor of Virginia and one of the oldest Confederate generals in the Civil War.  He is buried in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery.

He earned the nickname “Extra Billy” through one of his early career moves, according to Wikipedia:

He established a line of United States mail and passenger post coaches through Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia in 1831. It was in this role that he received his nickname. Given a contract by the administration of President Andrew Jackson to deliver mail between Washington, D.C., and Milledgeville, Georgia (then the state capital), Smith extended it with numerous spur routes, all generating extra fees. During an investigation of the Post Office department, Smith’s extra fees were publicized and he became known as “Extra Billy” in both the North and South.

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