Smith, Willard Harvey (1900-1998)

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Willard Harvey Smith, North American Mennonite historian, was born 15 October 1900 near Eureka, IL, the eldest child of John J. and Katie E. Smith Smith. On 13 September 1930 he married Verna Graber. After graduating from Hesston Academy in 1920, Smith's education included: Hesston College (1920-1921), Goshen College, (BA, 1928), the University of Michigan (MA, 1929), the University of Chicago, and Indiana University (PhD, 1939). Teaching at Goshen College, 1929-1972, he became full professor of history and political science in 1942, served as dean of men (1932-1935), and chaired the social sciences division from 1949 to 1968. He directed Mennonite Central Committee work in Paraguay (1944-1945). Smith was a member and officer of a variety of professional historical, political science, and teachers' associations. His writings include: Paraguayan Interlude (Scottdale, 1950); Schuyler Colfax: The Changing Fortunes of a Political Idol (1952); William Jennings Bryan, Christian Reformer (1969); The Social and Religious Thought of William Jennings Bryan (1975); Mennonites in Illinois (Scottdale, 1983); and his autobiography, The Trail to Santa Fe: A Pilgrim's Progress (1985). Willard H. Smith died 17 November 1998 in Goshen.


"Smith, Willard." The Mennonite (22 December 1998). Reproduced in MennObits. "The Mennonite - December 1998." Accessed 10 June 2006. <>

Smith, Willard H. The Trail to Santa Fe: A Pilgrim's Progress. Goshen, IN: author, 1985.

Warkentin, A. and Melvin Gingerich, compilers. Who's Who Among the Mennonites. North Newton, KS: Bethel College, 1943: 226.

Author(s) Steven R Estes
Date Published 1989

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MLA style

Estes, Steven R. "Smith, Willard Harvey (1900-1998)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1989. Web. 20 Aug 2019.,_Willard_Harvey_(1900-1998)&oldid=121303.

APA style

Estes, Steven R. (1989). Smith, Willard Harvey (1900-1998). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 August 2019, from,_Willard_Harvey_(1900-1998)&oldid=121303.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 830. All rights reserved.

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