1931 + 1934 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARIES [2] HANDWRITTEN BY A WELL ACQUAINTED ARKANSAS BUSINESSMAN WITH FINGERS IN OIL, TRANSPORTATION AND INSURANCE AND WHO SERVED HIS COUNTRY AND STATE WITH DISTINCTION

By: WILBUR A. SMITH

Price: $3,355.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good


On offer are 2 diaries of a southern businessman with clear links to his state government. Dating from the 1930's, these small volumes measure 4 1/2 inches by 3 inches and 4 inches by 2 1/2 inches respectively. They each contain 52 pages plus memoranda and are 100% complete. The handwriting is small but legible. Wilbur A Smith was a businessman in Little Rock, AR in the 1930's. He notes that he was born in 1866 and a Wilbur A. Smith born that year is recorded as having died in 1940. He mentions his wife, Lucy and a daughter, Lucille. Based on this information it can be said with surety that the author is Wilbur Andrew Smith (1866-1940), grandson of William Andrew "Uncle Billy" Smith, who was a pioneer of eastern oil and helped Edwin Drake to drill the first oil well starting the oil boom. Wilbur himelf was a noted businessman prominent in Arkansas transportation business. According to "Arkansas Democrat" he was born in Titusville, PA, at the age of 26 he was assistant superintendant at the John Hancock Fire Insurance Company for Buffalo, in 1900 he became a manager of small picture theater "Lyric" in Little Rock, and by 1918 became an owner of one of the largest auto liveries in the South and of a mammoth Smith Auto Livery Garage, since 1920s he owned the Smith-Arkansas Traveler Bus Lines, then the largest motor coach operation in the state of Arkansas. He was married to Lucy M. King from Franklin, they had a daughter, Lucille and a son, Harry W. Smith, who served in Arkansas National Guard, participated in Mexican war and WW1, and is mentioned in relation to the last lynching in Little Rock in 1927, when he was one of the officers leading Arkansas guardsmen that dispersed a rioting mob. Since January 1937 Wilbur was a superintendent of the Arkansas State Capitol. He keeps a meticulous, if brief, daily record of happenings in his life. He notes that he is in his office most days of the week - Saturday and Sundays included. Here, he meets quite a number of people, although the nature of their business is not recorded: "Office 9 to 12 noon. Lake Side Directors Mtg 12:15 to 2 P.M. Office Bal of Day Mitchell in [ ] Army Navy Club" [Jan 13, 1931] "At Joes office and Wilson's office. Settled claim ... " [ Jan 21, 1931]. He spends a great deal of time at the State Capitol building, visiting frequently: "Office 6:40 A. M. Will B[ ] and R. Kirby called ... " [Apr 5, 1931]. In October of 1931, he makes several references to canvassing for an electoral candidate. His activities at the State Capitol continued in 1934. For months, he makes repeated references to a "State Cap job" where he attended from about 7:30 until 4:00 PM. Part of his role is apparently to reduce the workforce which certainly reflects the impact of the Depression: "On State Cap job to help lay off..." [Jan 20, 1934], "Went to Cap job to stop men going to work ... " [Jan 26, 1934]. "At State Cap job 7:30 til 3:30. Let 10 painters go" [Feb 14, 1934]/ "On job St Cap 7 AM til 5:30. 22 men laid off" [Feb 22, 1934] His affairs take him out of town and trips include to Brinkley, Texarkana and St. Louis. On one trip to Marion, he comments: "Went to Marion 10 AM till noon. Kirby and I met a bunch of hill billies ..." [Jan 7, 1934] "In late 1934, he notes transfer of prisoners and meeting at US Marshall's office and at Governor's office. As well, on at least 2 occasions, he is involved in the transfer of prisoners. All-in-all, these are 2 fascinating diaries that paint a picture of a man very much involved in his community. An urban or social historian would find it a valuable resource illustrating business life in the American South during the Depression. His connection to the State government would be very interesting to explore as it seems that he has a lot of influence and/or power. This would be an intriguing aspect of the state government history during the Depression to investigate as well.

Title: 1931 + 1934 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARIES [2] HANDWRITTEN BY A WELL ACQUAINTED ARKANSAS BUSINESSMAN WITH FINGERS IN OIL, TRANSPORTATION AND INSURANCE AND WHO SERVED HIS COUNTRY AND STATE WITH DISTINCTION

Author Name: WILBUR A. SMITH

Illustrator: /

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 20th Century Diary, 20th Century Manuscript,

Publisher: LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS, 1931

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 32mo - over 4" - 5" tall

Seller ID: 0008080

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, 20TH CENTURY, 1930s, GREAT DEPRESSION, UNITED STATES, PULASKI COUNTY, WILBUR A. SMITH; WILBUR ANDREW SMITH, LITTLE ROCK, AR; ARKANSAS IN THE GREAT DEPRESSION; LITTLE ROCK BUSINESSES, ARKANSAS STATE CAPITOL, STATE CAPITOL SUPERINTENDENT, SMITH GARAGE (LITTLE ROCK, AR), SMITH AUTO LIVERY (LITTLE ROCK, AR), SMITH-ARKANSAS MOTOR COACH COMPANY, SMITH-ARKANSAS TRAVELER COMPANY, TRANSPORTATION IN ARKANSAS, LITTLE ROCK BUSINESSMEN, ARKANSAS STATE GOVERNMENT, ARKANSAS BUS COMPANIES, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNALS, PERSONAL HISTORY, SOCIAL HISTORY, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL