Lieutenant Theodore Schuyler Smith Papers

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Lieutenant Theodore Schuyler Smith papers
Creator: Smith, Theodore Schuyler, 1894-1966
Call Number: D.497
Dates: 1917-1918
Physical Description: .25 Linear Feet
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Table of Contents:

Biographical/Historical Note
Scope and Content
Subject(s)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Access
Use
Citation
Content List
Series 1: Correspondence
Collection Overview
Title: Lieutenant Theodore Schuyler Smith papers
Creator: Smith, Theodore Schuyler, 1894-1966
Call Number: D.497
Dates: 1917-1918
Physical Description: .25 Linear Feet
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Biographical/Historical Note
Theodore Schuyler Smith was born on January 11, 1894, the son of Theodore James Smith (1863-1943) and his first wife, Alice Schieffelin (1861-1894), a daughter of Sidney A. Schieffelin (1818-1894) and Harriet A. Schuyler (1836-1882). Theodore Schuyler Smith had a brother, named Sidney. His father Theodore James Smith went into the family nursery business becoming the vice president of W. & T. Smith Nursery, a large nursery with over 1,000 acres planted. The company was founded by his father Thomas Smith (1820-1895) and his uncles William Smith (1918-1912) and Edward Smith (1822-1895). William Smith, Theodore Schuyler's father's uncle, was the founder of William Smith College at Geneva, which eventually merged with Hobart College, becoming today's Hobart and Smith Colleges.

Schuyler, as Theodore Schuyler Smith, was called, lived in Geneva, New York between 1900 and 1910. He likely graduated from Hobart College, and then went into military service.

As World War I began, Schuyler joined Officers Reserve Training Camp at Madison Barracks, New York, which he was engaged in when the draft began. He began his active military service on November 17, 1917 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Infantry, having taken basic training at Fort Niagara, New York. He then appears to be stationed with the 165th Depot Brigade at Camp Travis, Texas.

One source states that Schuyler served in France at Meuse-Argonne and Lorraine with the American Expeditionary Forces. His overseas duty lasted from June 20, 1918 to March 23, 1919, and he was honorably discharged on April 11, 1919.

Schuyler joined the family business, eventually becoming the company's treasurer. A and although business had slowed during World War I, it revived afterwards. By 1928, however, many new nurseries entered the market and competition increased. Theodore Smith continued the business until his death. There was a partial bankruptcy prior to this period. Under his son Schuyler, who had never expressed interest in being a nurseryman, the company continued to struggle until the remnants of the business were finally sold off to Dan Quigley in 1960.

In 1922, Schuyler married Helen Radney Sholes ( 1896-1988). Together Helen and Theodore had a son, Theodore Schuyler Smith, Jr. (1937-2015).

Schuyler died on December 8, 1966, in Geneva, New York, and was buried at Glenwood Cemetery. Helen died in 1988 and was buried beside him.

Scope and Content
The Lieutenant Theodore Schuyler Smith Papers consists of one series: Correspondence. The majority of the letters in the collection date from May 15, 1917-September 14, 1918. Several of the letters are undated, but are presumed to fall within this date range. Items include: 24 letters written by Theodore Schuyler Smith to his mother, Mrs. Theodore J. Smith; 8 letters written to his father, Theodore J. Smith; 3 letters written to his brother Sidney S. Smith; 1 letter written to his sister-in-law Mrs. Dora Smith, wife of Sidney Smith; and 1 letter written to his Aunt, Mrs. H. H. Schieffelin, also of Geneva, New York. There is also 1 postcard, and one letter composed using cuttings from newspaper and magazine headlines.

Subject(s):
World War (1914-1918)
Correspondence
Smith, Theodore Schuyler, 1894-1966
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Lieutenant Theodore Schuyler Smith Papers was purchased from Michael Brown, Rare Books Company, 2016.Access
The Lieutenant Theodore Schuyler Smith papers is open for research use. Researchers are advised to contact Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation prior to visiting. Upon arrival, researchers will also be asked to fill out a registration form and provide photo identification.Use
Reproductions are made upon request but can be subject to restrictions. Permission to publish materials from the collection must currently be requested. Please note that some materials may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information contact rarebks@library.rochester.eduCitation
[Item title, item date], Lieutenant Theodore Schuyler Smith papers, D.497, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Administrative Information
Author:
Publisher: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Address:
Rush Rhees Library
Second Floor, Room 225
Rochester, NY 14627-0055
rarebks@library.rochester.edu
URL:


Content List
Series 1: Correspondence
Box 1, Folder 1May 15, 1917-June 28, 1917
Box 1, Folder 1Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith, ca. May 15, 1917
Box 1, Folder 1Letter to Theodore J. Smith, May 15, 1917
Box 1, Folder 1Letter to Theodore J. Smith, May 20, 1917
Box 1, Folder 1Letter to Theodore J. Smith, May 23, 1917
Box 1, Folder 1Letter to Sidney S. Smith, May 24, 1917
Box 1, Folder 1Letter to Sidney S. Smith, June 6, 1917
Box 1, Folder 1Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith, June 8, 1917
Box 1, Folder 1Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith, June 28, 1917
Box 1, Folder 2July 11, 1917-September 19, 1917
Box 1, Folder 2Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith, July 11, 1917
Box 1, Folder 2Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith, July 17, 1917
Box 1, Folder 2Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith, July 27, 1917
Box 1, Folder 2Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith, August 1, 1917
Box 1, Folder 2Letter to Aunt [Bernie?], Mrs. H. H. Schieffelin, September 3, 1917
Box 1, Folder 2Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith, September 10, 1917
Box 1, Folder 2Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith, September 19, 1917
Box 1, Folder 3October 9, 1917-February 21, 1917
Box 1, Folder 3Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith, October 9, 1917
Box 1, Folder 3Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith, October 25, 1917
Box 1, Folder 3Letter to Theodore J. Smith, January 3, 1918
Partial transcription: "(Unit B. Detention Camp) 165th Depot Brigade Camp Travis, Tex Jan 3118 Dear Dad, I want to thank you personally for your fine Christmas gift and I appreciate it very much and hope I may be able to save it for the future. So far I have only drawn $7.00 out of my bank account here for board and with my pay check in my pocket for $155 to add to that, why I expect I must have about two hundred &fifty on hand. Being stuck out here is a good place to save as I haven't left the grounds in quite a while. This past few days & more we have been working nights so as to get th4e men and their papers, clothes etc ready to ship. Since the 1st we have shipped out about 350 men to various camps. They are called Casualty Detachments and will go across sooner or later to fill up the gaps. Tomorrow we expect to send out 400 more to New York and that will clean us out, except for about thirty who will be sent back to their companies because of sickness or not properly vaccinated or inoculated I had hopes that I might be picked. for one, to help take the bunch to N. Y., but nothing doing. A few days ago they shifted the job of handling the incoming men to me and that means I will have to stick around and settle up affairs after this last bunch leaves. When we are through here I don't know where we will be sent. You see the rest of the men who came down with me, except the few over here, have been attending school in bayonet, machine gun, paper work, etc., but that will be over in a couple of weeks. Then quite a number go over to Kelly Field (aviation) to drill the men over there and possibly take up flying. Possibly they may keep me on this works they are organizing a battalion to handle such work. But whatever happens I expect I'll be here for several days more....The trouble with this place is one doesn't know how to dress as the changes are very rapid The country certainly is a desolate strip and everything plastered with dust. It's a wonder anything can be made to grow here at all. .. . I don't know whether I have told you or not, but we have moved to what are known as Officers Quarters. A one story affair with separate rooms about 8' x 8' and steam heat whenever there is afire built in the stove or furnace as you wish to call it...Your loving son, Schuyler"

Box 1, Folder 3Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith, January 15, 1918
Box 1, Folder 3Letter to Sidney S. Smith, February 18, 1918
Box 1, Folder 3Letter to Theodore J. Smith, February 21, 1918
Partial transcription: "Co. A, J 65th Depot Brigade Thursday 2121I18 Dear Dad, You probably have seen my letter to Dora by this time and noticed I said something about telegraphing regarding the Income Tax. After I had written I found that it is not due until thefirst of April and hence no need of telegraphing. But the question is do I come under the law? You see I pulled in six hundred at the Training Camps and about onefifty for December as 2nd Lt. Then there are my dividends etc. This is where I am at sea, as I am not sure of the exact amount and whether or not they are all taxable. Ifyou will please help me out I will be much obliged as I am having a terrible time handling my millions. Not in the spending line though. You should have heard the howl the men set up when they brought the Income Tax proposition up. They couldn't see paying itfor dust and thefact that state salaries are exempt and not gov't helped the argument greatly. Since my Sunday letter nothing special has happened. One day is practically the same as the next. The grenade school finishes up this week so I don't know what will happen after Saturday. Probably some of us will be detailed as instructors. I don't imagine I will be really busy until the next draft comes in, unless I get assigned to a company. I sort of doubt this happens and expect to be here for some months to come. There are men coming in all the while, but they are filling the shortages. I don't know when this Division will be ready to move and if I did it probably wouldn't befor publication. I ran off myfirst movie show Tuesday night and I guess there were about a couple of thousand present. That makes quite a crowd when you get them in one building. I got away with it all right at least I haven't heard any complaints sofar. And tomorrow night I put on another show. Friday we have a holiday and parade of the whole Division (Camp) around San Antonio and these parades aren't what they are cracked up to be asfar as pleasure is concerned ....You loving son, Schuyler"

Box 1, Folder 4March 24, 1918-May 28, 1919
Box 1, Folder 4Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith, March 24, 1918
Box 1, Folder 4Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith, March 29, 1918
Box 1, Folder 4Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith, April 19, 1918
Partial Transcription: "Officers Bn. 165th D. B. Thursday 18th [April 1918] Dear Mother, ...I am leading a dead life ifthere ever was one. I get up in the morning so that I can go to bed at night. My movies take up a little time now and then but most of the day I lie idle sofar military training is concerned. I manage to get hold of a horse once in awhile and take a ride around the country. That's pretty good fun and helps to pass the time away. Its rather interesting to note the different types of country with its trees, plants andflowers. Don't think my term in the nursery did me much good sofar as being able to recognize many of the species in these parts as most of them are new to me.... The training goes on as usual and the last bunch of men that came in are rounding into shape, of course they aren't experts at the game, but its surprising what they pick up in about three weeks and how they change. You would .... J .... hardly realize they were the same men. I suppose we will probably get in more men thefirst of next month, but haven't heard anything definite as yet .... From the looks of things I will probably be stuck here for some time to come. Possibly I might get a seat to go over with the increasing numbers going over all the time, but I sort of doubt it. Still this is no game tofigure on. You may be here today and offfor parts unknown tomorrow and it wouldn't make me mad if I moved .. There is afiesta or carnival going on here in town this week. Don't know the reason, but anyways its here and its a rare production. They stick the tents and shows up in the streets and all over the place, and they collect thefinest bunch of Mexicans & niggers you ever saw. I went down the other night with a bunch and looked the place over - took some chances on one thing and another and managed to collect eight or ten packages of cigarettes. The last night four of us hired a Ford and toured around the city and countryfor air and amusement .... With love to all, Schuyler"

Box 1, Folder 4Letter to Theodore J. Smith, May 13, 1918
Partial Transcription: Co. 11 - 165th D.B. Sunday, 12th [May, 1918) Dear Dad, Received your letter today and while in charge of the Co. this evening thought I may as well make use of the time. This company is composed of niggers and approximately three hundred & ninety strong. Strong in more than one sense of the word too as the bathing facilities are rather poor. In fact we have none down here in the tents except a pipe line at the kitchen. We have to march up to one of the barracks to get the real thing. These niggers sure are a great bunch and have more complaints than you can think of It's usually heart trouble and the cure is a good dose of salts. You see they get more to eat here I guess than lots of them have had in many a day and they just shove it down. We have done very little drill so far as most of the time has been taken up with fixing up the camp and getting them outfitted. There are four of us (Lts) in charge and there is plenty for all. I tell you when you form the company and stand at one end you need to have a klaxon to wake them up at the other end Still on the whole they are a pretty fair bunch and most of them pick up the drill fairly quickly. There are a lot of little things you have to keep after them all the while about and they can scatter more rubbish around the place &faster than any bunch I've seen. We find the best way to discipline them & get them into good habits is to set them picking up stone, all day if necessary. They sure do hate this rock packing game when they have to turn in so many boxes fall per hour. I doubt if we keep this bunch very much longer asf rom the way things look they will be moved out as Service Battalions as soon as they are in any sort of shape. Guess it won't be long now before this Division moves, but I don't see how I can get in on it not being with any regular outfit. We expect ten thousand or so more recruits in here the last of the month so the Depot Brigade will have plenty to do.... With love to all, Schuyler"

Box 1, Folder 4Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith, May 19, 1918
Box 1, Folder 4Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith, May 28, 1918
Box 1, Folder 5June 13, 1918-October 19, 1918
Box 1, Folder 5Letter to Theodore J. Smith, June 11, 1918
Box 1, Folder 5Letter to Theodore J. Smith, September 14, 1918
Box 1, Folder 5Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith, [September?] 8, 1918
Box 1, Folder 5Letter to Sidney S. Smith
Box 1, Folder 5Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith, July 24, 1918
Box 1, Folder 5Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith, October 19, 1918
Included with a letter is a photograph. The verso reads: "For Aunt Susie."

Box 1, Folder 6Undated
Box 1, Folder 6Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith
Box 1, Folder 6Letter to Theodore J. Smith
Box 1, Folder 6Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith
Box 1, Folder 6Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith
Box 1, Folder 6Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith
Box 1, Folder 6Letter to Mrs. Theodore J. Smith
Box 1, Folder 6Letter to unknown


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