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Glanville Smith Oral History


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Biographical Information:

Glanville Smith was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota, in 1901. Smith attended school in St. Cloud throughout his childhood and adolescent years. He then attended the University of Minnesota for four years, where he majored in architecture. Much of the work that Smith pursued following his college years involved writing travel pieces for various publications, including The Atlantic and the New Republic, along with a brief stint in the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s. In addition to his professional work, Smith also dedicated much of his life to educational institutions like the Stearns County Historical Society, serving as that organization’s president for a time. He also donated 125 acres of land to St. Cloud State for use as a wilderness laboratory. Smith passed away on February 14, 1987, at the age of 86 and buried in St. Cloud's North Star Cemetery.

Transcript Summary:

In a series of interviews conducted between March 29 and November 3 of 1976, Glanville Smith recounted his career and personal life as a citizen of Minnesota. Smith noted that he originally aspired to be an architect, but ultimately pursued his passion for travel and writing instead, publishing various articles and travel guides on the Caribbean and Polynesia for publications like The Atlantic and the New Republic. Smith also spoke about several important historical events and developments that he lived through, recounting the celebrations at the end of World War I, along with his life in Cold Spring, Minnesota, during the Great Depression. Smith affirmed many of his friends and family experienced economic difficulties with finding steady work. Aside from his brief service in the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s, his life remained largely unchanged. Additionally, Smith noted his family’s close ties to several prominent and well-to-do Minnesotans, including his father’s close friendship with Charles Lindbergh Sr. and Jr.

Interview conducted by John Decker


Image ID: 13663

See additional files below for full transcript.

13663_transcript.pdf (247 kB)
Glanville Smith oral history transcript

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