Edward Curtis Smith, Governor

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Edward Curtis Smith

Birthplace: St. Albans, Franklin, VT
Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of J. Gregory Smith, Governor and Ann Eliza Smith
Husband of Anna Bailey James
Father of <private> Smith; <private> Smith; <private> Smith and <private> Smith
Brother of George Gregory Smith; Annie B. Smith; Lawrence Brainerd Smith; Julia Burnett Smith and Helen Lawrence Nellie Smith

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Immediate Family

About Edward Curtis Smith, Governor


Edward Curtis Smith (January 5, 1854 – April 6, 1935) was an American politician from the US state of Vermont. He was a Republican. He was married to Anna Bailey James, the granddaughter of Amaziah Bailey James on October 3, 1888, and they had four children; James Gregory, Edward Fairchild, Curtis Ripley and Anna Dorothea Bradford.

Early life

The son of Governor J. Gregory Smith, nephew of Congressman Worthington Smith, grandson of Congressman John Smith, and grandson of Senator Lawrence Brainerd he graduated from Yale University in 1875, and was a member of the Skull and Bones Society. He received a law degree from Columbia University in 1877 and became an attorney in St. Albans, Vermont. The Smith family was one of Vermont's most prominent, with business holdings in railroads, manufacturing and other enterprises.

Business career

Edward Smith succeeded his father as President of the Central Vermont Railroad. He was also President of Welden National Bank, and a founder of People's Trust Bank of St. Albans and New York City's Sherman National Bank. His other holdings included an ammunition manufacturing company and various mining ventures.

In 1876 Smith enlisted in Company D, 1st Vermont Militia Regiment, in which he served for several years.

Political career

A Republican, Smith served as a Colonel in the Vermont Militia and was a member of the Vermont House of Representatives from 1891 to 1892, serving as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. In 1892 he declined the Republican nomination for Vermont State Senator from Franklin County, and in 1896 he was a delegate to the Republican national convention.

Election as governor

In 1898 Smith received the Republican nomination for Governor. As the Republican nominee in a state that elected only Republicans to statewide office from the 1850s to the 1960s, Smith easily won the general election and served the one two year term available to Governors under the "Mountain Rule".

(Under the Mountain Rule, the Republican party alternated candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor between the east and west side of the Green Mountains, identified nominees years in advance, and restricted governors to two years in office. Smith was from the west side of the Green Mountains, and his predecessor, Josiah Grout and successor, William Wallace Stickney were from the east. Republicans also apportioned the state's two U.S. Senate seats between each side of the Green Mountains. The Republican party maintained this rule, with few exceptions, for more than 100 years, winning every election for Governor from the 1850s until 1960, and every U.S. Senate election from the 1850s until 1974.)

As Governor from 1898 to 1900 Smith was a strong opponent of all efforts to regulate or tax corporations.

In 1899 he officiated at the welcome home ceremony in Bennington for Admiral George Dewey, hero of the Spanish American War. Smith was also the organizer of Old Home Week, the fair and festival designed to celebrate rural life and the Vermont roots of Americans living in other states.

Later career

After serving as Governor Smith returned to his railroad, manufacturing and banking interests.

In 1901 he received an honorary degree from Norwich University.

Smith was active in the Society of Colonial Wars, the Sons of the American Revolution and the Vermont Historical Society.

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Edward Curtis Smith, Governor's Timeline

January 5, 1854
St. Albans, Franklin, VT
June 4, 1880
Age 26
June 1, 1900
Age 46
Gov & Pres. Bank & RR
January 2, 1920
Age 65
April 6, 1935
Age 81