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Papers Summary

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Correspondence 1890-1953, undated

General 1905-1912

Baylor University, W. R. Poage Legislative Library

William Robert "W.R." Smith, Sr., Inclusive: 1890-1953, undated, Bulk: 1904-1909



Papers Summary

Creator William Robert "W.R." Smith, Sr., 1863 - 1924
Title William Robert "W.R." Smith, Sr.
Dates: Inclusive: 1890-1953, undated, Bulk: 1904-1909
Abstract The William R. Smith papers represent the personal affairs of William R. Smith, spanning from his time practicing law in 1890 through his time as a federal judge and congressman, ending around 1912. Records are almost exclusively personal correspondence.
Quantity: 2 document boxes
Language of the Material English
Repository Baylor University, Baylor Collections of Political Materials

Biography/Profile

William R. Smith was born August 18, 1863, near Tyler, Texas. After an education in public schools, he graduated from Sam Houston Normal Institute in 1883 and was admitted to the bar in 1885.

Smith practiced law in Tyler until he moved to Colorado, TX in 1888, where he practiced law until he was appointed judge of the 32nd Judicial District in 1897. He served in this position until 1903, when the Democratic Party nominated him to represent the 16th District in the 58th Congress. He won the election convincingly and served in Congress from 1903-1916. In Congress, Smith served on several committees, including the Committee on Elections #3 and the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee (1910-1912). He became chairman of the Committee on Irrigation of Arid Lands in 1911, and held that position until 1917. He lost his reelection bid to Thomas Blanton in the 1916 primary but was appointed US district judge for the Western District of Texas by Woodrow Wilson in 1917. As part of this appointment, Smith and his family moved to El Paso, where he served in his position until his death.

Smith married Frances Lipscomb Breedlove in 1890, and the couple had five children. He died in El Paso on August 16, 1924.

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Scope and Content

The William R. Smith papers range from 1890-1953, and cover a portion of Smith’s personal life as well as the lives of various members of the Smith family. Included are letters between Smith and his wife Frances over the course of their courtship and marriage, discussing primarily details of their personal lives with some references to Smith’s work. Included also are a number of letters either to or from extended family members, such as Frances’ parents. There are two letters from outside sources extending congratulations on Smith’s appointment to the district court in 1897. The General series contains an investment check made out for Frances Smith (likely a daughter of W.R. and Frances) and a newspaper clipping pertaining to the 1912 Democratic Convention and the nomination of Woodrow Wilson over James Beauchamp Clark.

The papers are arranged first by primary correspondents and then chronologically. There are two series: I. Correspondence, II. General.

Series I, Correspondence, has two subseries: I. Frances and W.R., II. General.

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Arrangement

The William R. Smith papers were originally processed in 2002 by Thomas Bonura. They were previously arranged in three series: Biography, Correspondence, and Miscellaneous.
The papers are currently arranged in two series by type, and then by correspondent and date within those series. They are the following: I. Correspondence, II. General.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

All requests for copying of materials must be submitted to the W. R. Poage Legislative Library in writing. Please use the Request Form for Copying Materials sheet. Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator (s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Physical Description

General condition: Average.

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Index Terms

Legislators -- United States.
Smith, William R. (William Robert), 1863-1924 -- Archives -- Indexes.

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Related Resources

Related references

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. “Smith, William Robert (1863-1924).” Accessed August 31, 2018.
Hooker, Ann W. “Smith, William Robert.” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed August 31, 2018.
William R. Smith papers, Accession #89, Baylor Collections of Political Materials, W. R. Poage Legislative Library, Baylor University.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

William R. Smith papers, Accession #89, Box #, Folder #, Baylor Collections of Political Materials, W. R. Poage Legislative Library, Baylor University.

Acquisition Information

Accession No. 89.

Processing Information

Described by Mikah Sauskojus. Released on 2018-10-14.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Correspondence 1890-1953, undated

Administrative Information
Physical Description
General condition: Average.
Biography/Profile
The Correspondence series contains primarily letters sent or received by W.R. Smith between 1890 and 1912. The letters are almost exclusively of a personal nature, the bulk being letters between Smith and his wife Frances grouped in an eponymous subseries. Letters between Smith and other members of his family, as well as general correspondence within the Smith family, has been grouped together under the General subseries. The series is in average condition.
Frances and W.R. 1890-1912, undated
box folder
1 1 1890 August-December
2 1891 October
3 1892 July-December
4 1893 January-December
5 1895 November
6 1896 October-November
7 1897 February and October
8 1898 February-April
9 1899 October-November
10 1900 March-June
11 1901 September-December
12 1902 January-July
13 1903 November
14 1904 January-December
15 1905 January-February
16 1906 November
17 1907 August-December
18 1908 January-October
box folder
2 1 1909 January-July
2 1910 June
3 1912 July
4 Undated circa 1890s-1910s
General 1890-1953
box folder
2 5 Frances 1890-1919
6 W.R. 1890-1905
7 Breedlove Smith 1894-1910
8 Additional Friends and Family 1894-1953

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General 1905-1912

Administrative Information
Physical Description
General condition: Average.
Biography/Profile
The General series contains two non-correspondence items that accompanied the collection. One is an investment check made out to Frances Smith (believed to be the daughter, not the wife), and the other is a newspaper clipping discussing the Democratic Convention of 1912 and the failed attempt to nominate James Beauchamp Clark for the presidency. The series is in average condition.
box folder
2 9 General 1905-1912

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