Wilmot Moses Smith

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Wilmot Moses Smith (March 1, 1852–1906) was an American jurist and songwriter. He was on the New York Supreme Court, but is perhaps more famous for co-writing "Far Above Cayuga's Waters", Cornell University's alma mater.

Born in Hauppauge, New York, to Moses R. Smith and Mary H. (Wood) Smith, Smith went to schools in Smithtown, New York. He attended Cornell University and earned a law degree in 1877.[1] While there, in 1872 he and his roommate, Archibald Croswell Weeks, composed the lyrics to the song that would become Cornell's alma mater.[2]

Smith was admitted to the New York bar in 1877, and began practicing law in Patchogue, New York in 1879. He married Lizzie L. Mott on November 24, 1881. He was the district attorney of Suffolk County in 1884 until he became a county judge in 1891.[1] He was later elevated to the New York Supreme Court, representing the 2nd district.[3] He and his wife are buried in the Cedar Grove Cemetery in Patchogue, New York. In 1970 his crypt was broken into by a group of teenagers. Lizzie Smith's skeleton was discovered floating in the Patchogue River. Both he and his wife were re-interred in a new Crypt in Cedar Grove. The Wilmont M. Smith Elementary School aka. Bay Avenue built in 1908 in Patchogue, New York was named for him. Have Photos I will post later.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Delta Upsilon fraternity, The Delta Upsilon Decennial Catalogue (1903), p. 626
  2. ^ Cornell Songs, from the Cornell University Glee Club
  3. ^ Smith, Wilmot M. at the Political Graveyard. This source says he was a NY Supreme Court justice from 1900 to 1903, but the Delta Upsilon Decennial Catalogue claims he became a justice to that court in 1895.