Monroe and Isabel Smith

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Monroe & Isabel Smith with globe
Monroe W. Smith
Born (1901-01-22)January 22, 1901
Sunderland, Massachusetts
Died January 8, 1972(1972-01-08) (aged 70)
Delray Beach, Florida
Resting place Arvada, Colorado
Nationality American
Other names Money
Occupation Youth Leader, Outdoorsman, Pilot, Businessman
Known for Cofounder of American Youth Hostels, Youth Argosy
Isabel B. Smith
Born (1898-12-12)December 12, 1898
Hartford, Connecticut
Died May 3, 1985(1985-05-03) (aged 86)
Boulder, Colorado
Resting place Arvada, Colorado
Nationality American
Occupation Artist
Known for Cofounder of American Youth Hostels

Monroe William Smith, a former Boy Scout executive and wife Isabel Bacheler Smith, art teacher, founded American Youth Hostels as a young couple, in 1934, in Northfield, Massachusetts. Monroe Smith, also founded Youth Argosy, an organization intended to "provide travel opportunities for worthy young people of slender means"[1] and resigned his directorship of American Youth Hostels in 1949 to devote time to Youth Argosy. After a promising start, Youth Argosy went bankrupt in 1951, largely due to a new Civil Aeronautics Board regulation aimed at small charter groups.[1][2]

Monroe went to the Mount Hermon School for boys in 1919. After graduation, he became a Massachusetts school teacher and boy scout leader. During a scout trip to Europe, Monroe and Isabel met Richard Schirrmann and learned about his German Hostelling Organization. They later attended the second International Hosteling Meeting in 1933 and brought the idea of Hosteling back to the United States where the American Hostelling International (AYH) movement was born.[3]

Monroe was born on January 22, 1901 in Sunderland MA and died December 8, 1972 in Delray Beach FL. Isabel was born December 12, 1898 in Hartford CT and died May 3, 1985 in Boulder, CO. Monroe and Isabel had three children, Elizabeth (Betty), Steve, and Jonathan Smith. At age 16, Steve was featured in the February 23, 1948 edition of Life magazine for building a planetarium at their home in Northfield MA.[4]


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