Skip to main content

Guy Watson Smith Papers

Guy Watson Smith Papers

1 of 2
Open Finding Aid
small (250x250 max)
medium (500x500 max)
Extra Large
large ( > 500x500)
Full Resolution

Guy Watson Smith Papers, 1915-1991

Douglas County History Research Center
Douglas County Libraries
100 S. Wilcox Street
Castle Rock, Colorado 80104
Phone: 303-688-7730

© 2017

Profile Description

Creation: Encoded by Sarah Stevens 2018-08-04
Language: Finding aid is in English

Collection Summary

RepositoryDouglas County Libraries / 100 S. Wilcox St. / Castle Rock, CO 80104 / Phone: 303-688-7730
Creator Guy Watson Smith, Lucy Smith,
Title Guy Watson Smith Papers
Dates: 1915-1991
Dates: 1920-1970
Size 1 Hollinger box; 1 separated file folder
Abstract: The Guy Watson Smith Papers are an accumulation of personal and professional memorabilia, photographs, and personal journals of Guy Watson Smith and his family, particularly his daughter, Lucy Ashbury Smith.
Collection Number 1995.046
Language: English

Arrangement of the Collection

Collection is arranged into the following series:
Series I. Correspondence
Series II. Diaries
Series III. Memorabilia
Series IV. Photographs

Scope and Content

The Guy Watson Smith Papers contain the personal papers, correspondence, diaries, photographs, and assorted memorabilia of Guy Watson Smith and Lucy Smith. Central to the collection are seven diaries of Guy Watson Smith spanning from 1915 to 1970. The diaries detail the daily life of Guy Watson Smith, his wife, Linda Purnell Smith, and their daughter, Lucy Smith. The early diaries reflect Guy's life at the time, including his time in graduate school at the University of Illinois, where he earned his doctorate studying mathematics. Throughout the diaries, Guy refers to his life in academia: teaching, research, and his various relationships with other faculty members at the universities in which he taught and studied. Trips and visits to Castle Rock and Colorado, more broadly, are also depicted on the pages of the diaries. The diaries are notable for the picture they present of daily life during the time period.

Also within the collection resides memorabilia of the larger Smith family, including narratives of family vacations taken by Guy, Linda, and Lucy Smith, a poem written by his brother, Edwin Whitney Smith, about the couple, notes on historical facts and events, and short poems written on scrap paper. A narrative written by Guy's mother, Lizzie Smith, on the origin of their ornate family table is included in the collection, along with genealogical notes and funeral pamphlets compiled by Lucy Smith, Guy's daughter.

Correspondence regarding donations Guy made over the course of career can be found in the collection, including a donation to the University of Kansas Endowment Association establishing a lecture series in mathematics, letters to Lucy Smith from the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity regarding a donation of Guy's memorabilia and from the University of Illinois to whom Lucy donated Guy's doctoral hood.

An assortment of forty-four loose photographs comprises part of the collection. Photographs depict Guy Watson Smith and his wife, Linda, and daughter, Lucy, with other members of the Smith family. Many of the photographs were taken on various outdoor excursions around the state of Colorado, particularly in Boulder.

Biography / History

Guy Watson Smith was born to Colorado pioneers, Upton Treat Smith and Elizabeth Sarah Grout Smith, on October 7, 1985 in West Plum Creek, Douglas County, Colorado. His parents homesteaded in the area after arriving from Maine in the 1870s. Guy had two brothers, Edwin Whitney and Roger Putnam, and one sister, Hattie Avis Smith Hall Short. 

Guy Watson Smith studied electrical engineering at the University of Colorado and earned a bachelor of science degree in 1908. He then earned a master of science degree from the same institution the following year. Guy Smith taught engineering mathematics at the University of Colorado from 1909-1913.

He earned a doctoral degree from the University of Illinois studying mathematics in 1917. He taught at universities in Wisconsin and Kentucky before moving to Lawrence, Kansas to teach from approximately 1920 until he retired in 1956.

In 1921, Guy Watson Smith married Linda Purnell in Lexington, Kentucky. Their daughter, Lucy Ashbury Smith, was born on December 10, 1923. The couple established the Guy W. and Linda P. Smith Fund with the University of Kansas Endowment Association to support lectures in mathematics in 1965.

Access Terms

Boulder (Colo.)
Castle Rock (Colo.)
Smith, Edwin Whitney, 1878-
Smith, Guy Watson, 1885-1968
Smith, Linda Purnell
Universities and colleges
Universities and colleges--Alumni and alumnae
Universities and colleges--Faculty
University of Colorado


Access Restrictions

Douglas County History Research Center material is non-circulating, requires staff retrieval and is available by appointment during normal library hours.

Copy Restrictions

The collection is used in the presence of the Douglas County History Research Center staff. Some items may be fragile and may only be duplicated with permission of the Douglas County History Research Center staff.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Guy Smith Papers 1915-1991 Douglas County History Research Center. Douglas County Libraries, Castle Rock, CO.

Acquisition Information

Donated to the Douglas County History Research Center in 1995.

Processing Information

Processed by Sarah Stevens


No accruals are expected.

you wish to report:

Select the collections to add or remove from your search