William Winfred Smith

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
November 26, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 321

WILLIAM WINFRED SMITH. To those who are interested
in the facts concerning the development of their community
there is something attractive in the lives of those who have
been connected with the law. The jurist and legist occupy
a place which can be filled by no others in our country and
under our form of government. While all may aspire to
and attain positions of high distinction in public life, the
man versed in the laws of the country must be depended
upon to conserve human rights and to see that each class
of our citizenship may have its representation in a legal
way. Of the lawyers of Cabell County who have attained
distinction in their profession during recent years, one whose
career has been more than ordinarily successful and who
has been the recipient of numerous honors is William Win-
fred Smith, of Huntington.

Mr. Smith was born in York County, Pennsylvania, Febru-
ary 24, 1877, a son of Henry N. and Mary A. (Hildebrand)
Smith, and received his early education in the public schools
of his native county and of Ceredo, Wayne County, West
Virginia, where he was a member of the first graduating
class, of 1894, graduated from the Ceredo High School. He
then entered Marshall College, Huntington, graduating in
1896, following which, in 1897 and 1898, he was principal
of the public schools of Kenova, West Virginia. In 1898 he
entered West Virginia University, from which he was
graduated with the class of 1902, receiving the degree of
Bachelor of Arts, and in the year 1904 was given his
Master of Arts degree from the same institution. He com-
pleted the law course ..in 1905 and received the degree of
Bachelor of Laws and was admitted to the West Virginia
bar in the same year at Morgantown. Mr. Smith had a
somewhat remarkable college career. He was admitted to
membership in the Phi Sigma Kappa Greek letter fraternity,
was president of the college Young Men’s Christian Asso-
ciation in 1901, was president of the Parthenon Literary
Society during 1901, was editor-in-chief of the College
weekly, The Atheneum, in 1902, and during his senior year
of the academic course took the Wiles prize in oratory,
$100 in gold; the W. C. T. U. prize for an essay, and the
State Tax Commission prize for an essay, the subject of the
last named being “Taxation in West Virginia.”

On leaving college Mr. Smith practiced law at Morgan-
town from 1905 until 1910 and then came to Huntington,
where he has since carried on a general civil and criminal
practice, his offices being located at 300 and 301 First
National Bank Building. During his residence at Morgan-
town Mr. Smith was elected a member of the city council,
and rendered the service of compiling the ordinances of that
city. At present he is attorney for the town of Ceredo.
He holds membership in the Cabell County Bar Association,
the West Virginia Bar Association and the American Bar
Association. He took an active part in all local war move-
ments, helping in all the drives, serving on the Legal
Advisory Board of Cabell County and speaking throughout
the county as a “Four-Minute Man” in behalf of the
Liberty Loan campaigns, Red Cross and other patriotic
organizations, which he also assisted liberally with his
means. He is the editor and compiler of “The Honor
Roll of Cabell County, West Virginia,” an illustrated his-
torical and biographical record of Cabell County’s part in
the World war, perhaps the most elaborate work of its kind
of any county in the United States. In January, 1922, Mr.
Smith was appointed by Governor E. F. Morgan as a West
Virginia representative to the Illiteracy Commission of the
National Educational Association, and attended the first
conference, held at Chicago, February 24 and 25, 1922, at
which conference the slogan coined by Mr. Smith, “No
Illiteracy by 1930,” was adopted. He is also a member of
the Advisory Board of the Prisoners’ Belief Society of
Washington, D. C., and served as its managing director for
a time, and his interest in this direction is also indicated
by his membership in the American Sociological Congress.

Mr. Smith has a number of important business connec-
tions, being secretary of the Bungalow Land Company,
president of the Park City Oil & Gas Company, secretary
and treasurer of the Huntington Cannel Coal Company, and
secretary of the Cabell Oil and Gas Company, all of Hunt-
ington, and secretary of the Williams Sanitarium Company
of Kenova. He owns a modern residence at 232 Sixth
Avenue, a comfortable home in an attractive and exclusive
residential section of the city, and also holds some suburban
property. In polities he is a republican, and during 1904
and 1905 was a member of the city council of Morgantown.
His religious connection is with the Congregational Church,
of the movements of which he has been an active and gener-
ous supporter, and formerly served as state president of the
West Virginia Christian Endeavor Union.

Mr. Smith has been very prominent in fraternal affairs.
He is a member of Reese Camp No. 66, W. O. W., and is
past head consul of the jurisdiction of West Virginia of
the Woodmen of the World, this jurisdiction including West
Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia.
He was twice sovereign delegate to the national conventions
and is a member of the sovereign law committee of the
Woodmen of the World. He is also a member of Hunting-
ton Lodge No. 33, Knights of Pythias, of which he is past
chancellor, and was for four years chairman of the judiciary
committee of the Grand Lodge of West Virginia of the
Knights of Pythias, now being grand inner guard of the
Grand Lodge of West Virginia of this order. He belongs
also to Huntington Council No. 191, Junior Order United
American Mechanics, and Huntington Lodge No. 347, Loyal
Order of Moose, and is treasurer of the Fraternal Society
Law Association of Chicago, Illinois, a national fraternal
legal association. Mr. Smith likewise holds membership in
the Huntington Chamber of Commerce and the Kiwanis
Club of Huntington.

On March 7, 1907, at Morgantown, Mr. Smith was united
in marriage with Miss Lide Allen Evans, a daughter of
Thomas R. and Delia (Allen) Evans, the latter of whom re-
sides with Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Mr. Evans, who died at
Morgantown in December, 1920, was a business man of that
city. The Evanses were pioneers into that part of Virginia
now included in West Virginia. Mrs. Smith is a member
of the Daughters of the American Revolution and of the
Mayflower Society of Connecticut, and is a direct descend-
ant of Elder William Brewster.