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RG1360.AM:  Thurman Amon Smith, 1877-1956

Papers:  ca. 1900-1954

Taylor, Loup County, Nebraska:  Publisher, Writer, Poet

Size:  0.75 cu.ft.; 2 boxes & microfilm


The son of Edwin B. and Anna L. Smith, Thurman Amon Smith was born on January 13, 1877 near Lake George, New York. His family migrated to Nebraska in 1880, settling near Ord, Nebraska. In 1884, the Smith family moved to Brewster in Blaine County, where Thurman was educated in the public schools. In 1891 he became a school teacher.

Near the turn of the century, Smith began to learn the printing trade while working for the Brewster News. He published the Searchlight, a Women’s Christian Temperance Union publication. On October 26, 1902, Thurman Smith was united in marriage to Laura E. Hoyt. To them were born six children; five sons and one daughter.

During World War I, he published the Antioch News and later became owner of the Logan County Pioneer, Gandy, Nebraska. In 1920, Smith moved to Taylor, Nebraska and published the Taylor Clarion until 1940. In 1936, he became Loup County Judge, a position he held for fourteen years.

During his career, Smith published numerous articles and poems relating to Nebraska and its history. He was a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Nebraska Writers Guild, and a charter member of the Nebraska State Poetry Society. He also helped organize the Logan County Historical Society.

Thurman Amon Smith died on September 20, 1956 at the age of 79.


This collection consists of two boxes of manuscript material and one reel of microfilm arranged in five series: (1) Manuscripts and Articles (on microfilm); (2) Scrapbooks; (3) Correspondence, 1947-1954; (4) Manuscripts and Notes; and (5) Miscellany.

The bulk of this collection consists of scrapbooks and manuscripts dealing with Nebraska history. The scrapbooks contain news clippings relating to the Sioux Indians and other Plains Tribes, historical sketches of Nebraska Pioneers and locations, and clippings on Mari Sandoz, Bess Streeter Aldrich, and Willa Cather. In addition, there are original manuscripts and poetry in Series 1 and Series 4, including a history of Blaine County, 1886-1939.

Note:  See the photo component [RG1360.PH] for related images.


Series 1 – Manuscripts and Articles (on microfilm)

Reel 1

“The Breed”

“Armistice Day, November 11, 1918”

“Sandhill Tragedy”

“Word Picture of Nebraska Sandhill Region”

“Blaine County, 1886-1939”

“Ghost Town and Early Day Court in Blaine County”

“Kinkaiders – A Tale of the Nebraska Sandhills”

“He Works on W.P.A.”

“Plight of the Unemployed, 1934”

“Smith Family Genealogy”

“Songs of the Sandhills” (poems)

Series 2 – Scrapbooks

Box 1


  1. Sioux and other Indian tribes

  2. Miscellaneous news clippings and a scrapbook on Bess Streeter Aldrich, Mari Sandoz, and Willa Cather

  3. Historical Sketches and Sioux Indians

  4. Clippings from the Christian Science Monitor

Series 3 – Correspondence, 1947-1954

Box 2


  1. 1947-1954

Series 4 – Manuscripts and Notes

  1. Two manuscript notebooks of poetry, songs and short stories; and “Pioneering Westward, Ever Westward: A Tribute to George Alexander Evans”

Series 5 – Miscellany

  1. Picture postcards, recipe news clippings, and certificate of membership: Grand Lodge of the Ancient Order of United Workmen


Subject headings:

Aldrich, Bess Streeter, 1881-1954

Blaine County (Nebraska) — History

Cather, Willa Sibert, 1873-1947

Evans, George Alexander

Indians of North America

Loup County (Nebraska) — History

Sandhills (Nebraska)

Sandoz, Mari Susette, 1896-1966

Siouan Indians

Smith, Thurman Amon, 1877-1956


Revised TMM        05-04-2007