October 29, 2022

Thurman Amon Smith, 1877-1956 [RG1360.AM]


RG1360.AM:  Thurman Amon Smith, 1877-1956

Papers:  ca. 1900-1954

Taylor, Loup County, Nebraska:  Publisher, Writer, Poet

Size:  0.75 cu.ft.; 2 boxes & microfilm


The son of Edwin B. and Anna L. Smith, Thurman Amon Smith was born on January 13, 1877 near Lake George, New York. His family migrated to Nebraska in 1880, settling near Ord, Nebraska. In 1884, the Smith family moved to Brewster in Blaine County, where Thurman was educated in the public schools. In 1891 he became a school teacher.

Near the turn of the century, Smith began to learn the printing trade while working for the Brewster News. He published the Searchlight, a Women’s Christian Temperance Union publication. On October 26, 1902, Thurman Smith was united in marriage to Laura E. Hoyt. To them were born six children; five sons and one daughter.

During World War I, he published the Antioch News and later became owner of the Logan County Pioneer, Gandy, Nebraska. In 1920, Smith moved to Taylor, Nebraska and published the Taylor Clarion until 1940. In 1936, he became Loup County Judge, a position he held for fourteen years.

During his career, Smith published numerous articles and poems relating to Nebraska and its history. He was a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Nebraska Writers Guild, and a charter member of the Nebraska State Poetry Society. He also helped organize the Logan County Historical Society.

Thurman Amon Smith died on September 20, 1956 at the age of 79.


This collection consists of two boxes of manuscript material and one reel of microfilm arranged in five series: (1) Manuscripts and Articles (on microfilm); (2) Scrapbooks; (3) Correspondence, 1947-1954; (4) Manuscripts and Notes; and (5) Miscellany.

The bulk of this collection consists of scrapbooks and manuscripts dealing with Nebraska history. The scrapbooks contain news clippings relating to the Sioux Indians and other Plains Tribes, historical sketches of Nebraska Pioneers and locations, and clippings on Mari Sandoz, Bess Streeter Aldrich, and Willa Cather. In addition, there are original manuscripts and poetry in Series 1 and Series 4, including a history of Blaine County, 1886-1939.

Note:  See the photo component [RG1360.PH] for related images.


Series 1 – Manuscripts and Articles (on microfilm)

Reel 1

“The Breed”

“Armistice Day, November 11, 1918”

“Sandhill Tragedy”

“Word Picture of Nebraska Sandhill Region”

“Blaine County, 1886-1939”

“Ghost Town and Early Day Court in Blaine County”

“Kinkaiders – A Tale of the Nebraska Sandhills”

“He Works on W.P.A.”

“Plight of the Unemployed, 1934”

“Smith Family Genealogy”

“Songs of the Sandhills” (poems)

Series 2 – Scrapbooks

Box 1


    1. Sioux and other Indian tribes

    1. Miscellaneous news clippings and a scrapbook on Bess Streeter Aldrich, Mari Sandoz, and Willa Cather

    1. Historical Sketches and Sioux Indians

    1. Clippings from the Christian Science Monitor

Series 3 – Correspondence, 1947-1954

Box 2


    1. 1947-1954

Series 4 – Manuscripts and Notes

    1. Two manuscript notebooks of poetry, songs and short stories; and “Pioneering Westward, Ever Westward: A Tribute to George Alexander Evans”

Series 5 – Miscellany

    1. Picture postcards, recipe news clippings, and certificate of membership: Grand Lodge of the Ancient Order of United Workmen


Subject headings:

Aldrich, Bess Streeter, 1881-1954

Blaine County (Nebraska) — History

Cather, Willa Sibert, 1873-1947

Evans, George Alexander

Indians of North America

Loup County (Nebraska) — History

Sandhills (Nebraska)

Sandoz, Mari Susette, 1896-1966

Siouan Indians

Smith, Thurman Amon, 1877-1956


Revised TMM        05-04-2007

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

Marker Monday: Phelps County

Marker Monday: Phelps County

Why John G. Neihardt was named Nebraska Poet Laureate in 1921

Why John G. Neihardt was named Nebraska Poet Laureate in 1921

Emigrants along the Trails at Chimney Rock

Emigrants along the Trails at Chimney Rock

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

History Nebraska Education

Learn more about the educational programs provided at our museums, sites, and online.

History Nebraska Programs

Learn more about the programs associated with History Nebraska.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Listen to our Podcast

Listen to the articles and authors published in the Nebraska History Magazine with our new Nebraska History Podcast!

Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.