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Smith, Laura Gibson, 1891-1973



  • Existence: 1891 - 1973


Laura Gibson was born in the 1891 in Casey, Iowa. She attended high school in Ames, graduating in 1909. After graduation, Laura Gibson taught at the country school. At the age of twenty she married Earle Sloan Smith, a reporter for the Ames Times, and attended Capital City Commercial College in Des Moines. During the second year of their marriage, both Earle and Laura Gibson Smith taught school in a small town in southern Iowa to help finance their educations.

Upon graduating from college in 1913, the couple homesteaded in Chugwater, Wyoming, filing a claim on 320 acres of land. In order to secure a patent, the couple had to maintain a residence on the acres. They lived there seven months of the year for three years, moving periodically back to Iowa to teach school in Fort Madison. Laura Gibson Smith gave birth to their son Bertel in 1915. The couple returned to Fort Madison, Iowa, in 1916, where Laura taught and Earle was principal of Jefferson High School.

Offered a teaching position in the Philippines, Earle Smith moved his family to Manila in 1917, where they remained for three years before coming back to the United States. In 1923 Earle Smith accepted another teaching position and the Smiths returned to Manila for another two years.

After taking a cruise around the world and visiting such places as Hawaii, Japan, Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore, Sumatra, Colombo, Port Sudan, Cairo, Genoa, and London, the couple moved back to Iowa. Earle Smith became Story County attorney and later joined the tax commission.

In 1936 Earle Smith developed a severe case of appendicitis and nearly died. The Smiths moved back to Wyoming, fixed up the old homestead and spent the summer there, later returning to Iowa.

Laura Gibson Smith died around 1973 in Des Moines.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Laura Gibson Smith papers

Identifier: IWA0069

Casey, Iowa native who taught country school before marrying and homesteading in Wyoming in 1913. She taught school in the Philippines in the 1910s and 1920s.

Dates: 1917-1983