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RG3916.AM:  Hiram Leslie Smith, 1828-1921

Papers:  1868-1925

Geneva, Fillmore County, Nebraska:  Physician and civic leader

Size:  0.25 cu.ft.; 1 box


Hiram Leslie Smith was born October 19, 1828, in Franklin County, New York.  When he was nine years old, his family moved to Granville, Ohio, where he attended the Granville Seminary and studied medicine under two physicians.  In 1857 Smith graduated from the Eclectic Medical College in Cincinnati.

Dr. Smith practiced medicine in Flint and Orland, Indiana, before moving west.  His arrival in Geneva, Nebraska, in 1875, gave the town its first doctor.  There he became a civic leader.  Following service in the Nebraska State Senate (he was elected in 1885), Smith became Geneva’s first mayor (in 1889) and served two later terms in that office (1895 and 1897).  The doctor was an important benefactor of the Geneva library, having donated the bulk of his personal library and space he owned in the Citizens National Bank for the location of that institution.  He also participated in the establishment of the Geneva waterworks, the Economy Paint Mill, and the Geneva Dairy Company.

H.L. Smith married Phoebe Ann Williams in 1855 at Defiance, Ohio.  She died in Indiana in 1875.  A toe infection forced the amputation of Dr. Smith’s right leg above the knee in 1911 and the loss of his left leg four years later.  Although severely disabled, Dr. Smith remained an avid reader and correspondent up to his death on September 18, 1921.  He died in Geneva at the home of his son, Curtis A. Smith.


This collection consists of one box of manuscript material dating from 1868 to 1925.  The bulk of this collection relates to the business and personal lives of Dr. H.L. Smith and his son, Curtis A. Smith in Geneva, Nebraska.  Folder 1 contains correspondence which touches on a wide variety of subjects, including various real estate transactions involving Dr. Smith.  The business papers in folder 2 include personal memoranda, bonds, titles, bill and receipts.  The diaries in folder 3 are a day-to-day record of the personal and business careers of H.L. and Curtis Smith.  Folder 4 contains a variety of printed matter including weather maps and forecasts, pamphlets, magazine advertisements, circulars and a highway map.  Folder 5, Miscellany, consists of a set of German grammar notes.


Box 1


  1. Correspondence, 1879-1921

  2. Business papers, 1868-1925

  3. Diaries, 1911-1920

  4. Printed matter, including weather maps, forecasts, circulars

  5. Miscellany


Subject headings:

Banks and banking — Fillmore County — Nebraska

Fillmore County (Nebraska) — History

Geneva (Nebraska) — History

Physicians — Geneva (Nebraska)

Real estate business — Nebraska

Smith, Curtis A., 1857-1944

Smith, Hiram Leslie, 1828-1921


DHH/cat               11-26-1976

Revised TMM      08-14-2018