Edward Curtis Smith

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Edward Curtis Smith
Edward Curtis Smith.jpg
Governor Edward Curtis Smith
47th Governor of Vermont
In office
October 6, 1898 – October 4, 1900
Lieutenant Henry C. Bates
Preceded by Josiah Grout
Succeeded by William W. Stickney
Member of the Vermont House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born (1854-01-05)January 5, 1854
St. Albans, VT
Died April 6, 1935(1935-04-06) (aged 81)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Anna Bailey James

Edward Curtis Smith (January 5, 1854 – April 6, 1935) was an American politician from the US state of Vermont. He was a Republican. The son of Governor J. Gregory Smith, Edward C. Smith also served one term as governor of the state.

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[edit]

Edward Curtis Smith was born into a political family. His father J. Gregory Smith became Governor of Vermont, and his uncle was Congressman Worthington Smith. His grandfathers were Congressman John Smith Senator Lawrence Brainerd. The Smith family was one of Vermont's most prominent, with business holdings in railroads, manufacturing and other enterprises.

Edward Smith graduated from Yale University in 1875, where he was a member of the Skull and Bones Society.[1] He received a law degree from Columbia University in 1877 and returned to Vermont to set up a law practice in St. Albans, Vermont.

Business career[edit]

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 Sherman National Bank in New York City. 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. He served as a Colonel in the Vermont Militia.

Political career[edit]

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

Election as governor[edit]

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. He served the single 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. 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. They won 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 ceremony in Bennington for Admiral George Dewey, hero of the Spanish American War. Smith organized Old Home Week, the fair and festival designed to celebrate rural life and the Vermont roots of Americans living in other states.

Later career[edit]

After serving as governor, Smith returned to his railroad, manufacturing and banking interests. Smith was active in lineage societies such as the Society of Colonial Wars and the Sons of the American Revolution, and in the Vermont Historical Society.


In 1901 he received an honorary degree from Norwich University.


  1. ^ "Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale University Deceased during the Year 1934–1935" (PDF). Yale University. October 15, 1935. Retrieved March 26, 2011. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Josiah Grout
Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by
William W. Stickney