Wint Smith papers
Kansas native Wint Smith, a lawyer by profession, served in the military and the United States Congress. This collection includes correspondence, records related to Smith's military and Congressional career, speeches, photographs, diaries, maps, and other related materials.
- 1877 - 1977
- Smith, Wint, 1892-1976 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
No access restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.
Biography of Wint Smith (1892-1976)
Wint Smith served in the military in both World War I and World War II, as well as serving as a member of Congress in the House of Representatives as a Republican from 1947-1961. By profession a lawyer, Smith earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas, his law degree from Yale, and practiced in Salina and Kansas City, Kansas. Born in Mankato, Kansas in 1891, Smith died in Wichita, KS in 1976.
Chronological timeline of Wint Smith's life:
- Born in Mankato, Kansas, son of William and Ella Chilcott Smith
- Graduated from Mankato High School
- Married Blanch Kingsley
- Entered University of Kansas. Studies interrupted when he accompanied U.S. forces under Gen. Pershing into Mexico
- Accompanied U.S. forces in England and France (WWI)
- Graduated from University of Kansas
- Served in the 114th Cavalry Regiment of the National Guard, part of the 24th Calvary Division [in 1940, the regiment was converted to the 127th Artillery Regiment]
- Graduated from Yale Law School
- Admitted to the Kansas Bar. Practiced in Salina and Kansas City, Kansas
- Appointed and served as Attorney General for the State of Kansas
- Acting attorney for the State Highway Commission
- circa 1933
- Became Superintendent of the newly-created Kansas Highway Patrol
- Organized, trained, and commanded the 635th Tank Destroyer battalion (spent 2 years overseas); participant in the Omaha Beach landing and the Battle of the Bulge
- Returned to Mankato, Kansas; elected to Congress from 6th Congressional District to 6 consecutive terms
- Retired from Congress
- Died April 27 in Mankato, Kansas
14 Linear Feet (20 boxes + 2 oversize boxes + 4 oversize folders)
Scope and Contents
The bulk of the papers span the years 1946 to 1960 and include, for the most part, the various materials collected by Smith while a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Such material includes correspondence and subject files (RH MS 201 boxes 4-6, 8, 10-11); speeches and the congressional report series Wint Smith Reports on Congress and News and Comments from Congress written by Smith for his Kansas constituents (RH MS 201 box 9); and congressional election returns (RH MS 201 box 7).
Smith's varied interests and concerns while a member of Congress are well reflected by the correspondence and subject files he maintained. The congressional subject files, for example, contain manuscript items dealing with communism, biographical sketches of prominent individuals of the times, the United Nations, labor and labor hearings in the United States, and other materials related to major events of the day. Similarly, the congressional correspondence files reveal a variety of material concerned not only with political issues, but also with such domestic interests as veterans claims and legislation, social security, taxes, and other subjects. The so-called "General Files" of congressional correspondence, and also the speeches of Representative Smith, cover a wide range of topics and are arranged in a chronological sequence. Generally speaking, there exists no apparent gap in any of the collection's designated congressional files.
Also included in the collection are genealogical records and family correspondence (RH MS 201 box 1; 1877-1970); personal correspondence (RH MS 201 box 2; 1916-1974); University of Kansas material (RH MS 201 box 2; 1916-1920); Kansas Highway Patrol clippings (RH MS 201 box 2; 1933-1937); and military records (RH MS 201 box 3; 1917-1959; oversize materials located at RH MS R30 and RH MS R440). Diaries from Smith's time in the military are located at RH MS C55 and RH MS B61, and photographs from the collection are located at RH MS-P 201 (oversize photographs at RH MS-P 201(f).) Additional materials related to Smith's serving in the military during both World War I and II are available at RH MS 1062.
Researchers should bear in mind that, where feasible, Representative Smith's own file headings have been left intact since, oftentimes, they adequately described the contents of a given file. This holds particularly true for congressional correspondence and subject files.
RH MS 201
RH MS B61
RH MS C55
RH MS R30
RH MS-P 201
RH MS-P 201(f)
RH MS 1062
RH MS R440
RH MS S73
Other Finding Aids
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gifts, Mrs. Blanche Smith, 1976; Mr. Welther, 1992; Frederica Murphy, 2019.
- Guide to the Wint Smith Collection
- Wint Smith papers
- Finding aid prepared by lgg, April and June 1977; js, lgg, 1978-1979. Finding aid encoded by mg, 2004. Finding aid revised by mwh, anm, 2018; cmp, 2021; mwh, 2021.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Finding aid written in English.
- Finding aid permalink
- Preferred citation
Wint Smith Collection, RH MS 201, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.