A member of the Montgomery County Council, Lathrop E. Smith was also a member of the Upper County Planning Commission and of the Board of Education. His papers, consisting of corres- pondence, conservation reports, pamphlets, and newspaper clippings, relate to his membership in these and other civic organizations, and also address the issues of parks, soil conservation, and racial discrimination.
A preliminary inventory is available for this collection in the "External Documents" section under the "Additional Description" link in this finding aid.
This collection is open for research.
Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.
8.25 Linear Feet
A member of the Montgomery County Council, Lathrop E. Smith was also a member of the Upper County Planning Commission and of the Board of Education. His papers, consisting of corres- pondence, conservation reports, pamphlets, and newspaper clippings, relate to his membership in these and other civic organizations, and also address the issues of parks, soil conservation, and racial discrimination. Important Subjects covered in the collection include: Conservation, including such topics as the Potomac River Basin, Rock Creek Park and Watershed, parks, soil conservation, forests, National Capital Parks and Planning. Non-Conservation interests of Smith recorded in the colleciton include such topics as the Board of Education, County Council, and fight against discrimination. Among the correspondents are: Daniel Brewster, Fred Bull, Bernard Frank, J. Frederick Hazen, Edward Keil, Rose Kramer.
Lathrop Smith was born in New York City and moved to the Washington, D. C. area in 1926. He attended Cornell and Georgetown Universities with a degree in economics. He and his wife, Marian, first settled in Montgomery County in 1935, when they purchased a cattle farm in Travilah. He entered the military service in World War II as a Captain, and was released from duty in 1946 with the rank of Colonel. In 1950, he was elected to the County government, and served four years. Early in his county career he served as President of the Montgomery County Farm Bureau. Soon followed an appointment to the Upper Montgomery County Planning Commission, on which he remained for five years, serving one year as chairman. He was then elected to the Board of Education Montgomery County, in which he served four years, and was its President for two years. In addition to being a member of the Board of Supervisors of the Montgomery County Soil Conservation District for six terms, on the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts, and the National Association of Soil Conservation Districts, he was an active member and officer of many related organizations. For ten years he worked with conservationist Bernard Frank to preserve Rock Creek. In 1967, the Maryland Wildlife Federation named him Conservationist of the Year. In June 1968, the National Watershed Congress named him the 1968 Watershed Man of the Year. Lathrop Smith died in January 1972.
This collection is organized as two series:
The Lathrop Smith papers were donated to the University of Maryland Libraries in August, 1972 by Mrs. Lathrop Smith.
The photographs in the Lathrop E. Collection were removed between 1972 and 1983, dry mounted on cardboard, and filed in the University of Biographical Print Files Photograph Collection. In June 2011, the Grace photographs in the Biographical files were removed and reunited with the collection. Though much of the information from the backs of the photographs was copied onto the cardboard backing, it may be incomplete. Many of the photographs in the Lathrop E. Smith Collection relate to his interest in conservation and depict construction sites and waterways. There are also pictures of Smith planting trees; meeting with politicians and dignitaries such as Maryland Governor Theodore R. McKeldin; and in group photos.