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The town is named after Thomas Smyth, a United Empire Loyalist who in 1786 was granted of land for his services to the crown. The name "Smith's Falls" came into official use only in 1832 when the village was first incorporated. It has been speculated that Smith fell from his horse while riding near the falls and drowned; however, there is no evidence to support this theory. In 1854 William Brown started a water-powered mill on 2nd Creek which marked the beginning of industrialization in Smiths Falls (then known as Victoria). In 1865 Andrew Geddes left Scotland and bought property at Smiths Falls with $5,000 he had saved working at an iron foundry near Glasgow over ten years previously. He established a general store with goods imported from England and Scotland which also sold yarn spun by local women using their own spinning wheels.