Gilded Age Collections

Collection ID: GA-74
Location: GA-74

(Description ID: 594328)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums

Emma Almira Smith Williams


Biographical Sketch
Scope and Content

As the daughter of William Henry Smith (journalist and political adviser to Rutherford B. Hayes), Emma Almira Smith was present at many Washington, D.C. social events and political functions. Her father's political efforts on behalf of Hayes brought "Allie" in close contact with Hayes and the Hayes family both in Washington, D.C. and during Hayes' visits to the Smith home in Lake Forest, Illinois. The Center holds manuscript material on William Henry Smith and Charles Richard Williams as well as microfilm of the William Henry Smith Papers at the Indiana Historical Society.

Biographical Sketch
Born in 1859, Emma Almira Smith spent much of her childhood in Ohio where her father, William Henry Smith, served as Ohio's secretary of state and pursued a career in journalism in Cincinnati, Ohio. The family, including a brother, Delavan, moved to Lake Forest, Illinois when Smith took over the Western Associated Press in Chicago. An early Free Soiler, Smith became friends with and later backed Hayes' bid for the presidency, becoming his political adviser. As a result, Ms. Smith and her family were frequent guests at political functions and social events. Ms. Smith met Charles Richard Williams, editor, author, and classical scholar, during his tenure as a professor of Greek at Lake Forest University. The couple married in 1884 in Lake Forest at Ashwood, the country home of William Henry Smith. Following their marriage, the couple moved to New York where Charles Richard Williams became the literary editor of the New York World, and later, the assistant general manager of the New York Associated Press. In 1892, the couple moved to Indianapolis where Williams took over the editorship of the Indianapolis News. Allie died childless May 24, 1895. In retirement, Charles Richard Williams wrote The Life of Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1914) and edited The Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1922-1926). The project was first begun by his father-in-law. Later, Smith asked Williams to complete the work. During those years, Williams and his second wife, Bertha Rose Knefler, spent much time at Spiegel Grove.

Scope and Content
The collection consists of a sixty-six page album belonging to Allie Smith Williams. It contains: correspondence, invitations, menus, autographs, newspaper clippings, photographs, and memorabilia from 1875 to 1885. Much of the material relates to Ms. Smith's wedding, including newspaper clippings, an invitation, marriage certificate, and notes from invited guests. Many of the autographs, invitations, and some of the correspondence are from Gilded Age political and military friends of Ms. Williams' father, William Henry Smith. Among the photographs are several of Hayes' presidential party during its September 1878 journey to Chicago and Hastings, Minnesota. The final pages of the album contain images of Ashwood as it appeared in the late 1870's and early 1880's.

Ac. 5495
One volume

Correspondence, Invitations
Baird, Miss, Invitation to meet Miss Hale, Jan. 29, 1878, p. 9
Blaine, James G. to W. H Smith, dtd., House of Representatives, Dec. 14, 1875, p. 32
Blodgett, Henry Williams to W. H. Smith, dtd., Waukegan, Oct. 2, 1844, p. 53
Burnside, General, Invitation to Miss Smith, dtd., Feb. 1, 1878, p. 13
Christmas, Mr. and Mrs. Richard, Invitation to Miss Smith, dtd., Feb. 5, 1878, p. 14.
Clarke, Robert To Miss Allie E. Smith, dtd., Cincinnati, Feb. 4, 1882, p. 64
Coleridge to Proprietors of The Central News, dtd., Petersfield, England, Aug. 15, 1885, p. 44
Gladstone to family of U. S. Grant, dtd., Whitehall, July 23, 1885, p. 39
Gresham, Walter Q. to W. H. Smith, dtd., Washington Sept. 24, 1884, p. 51
Halstead, Murat to W. H. Smith, dtd., New York, Sept. 24, 1884, p. 51
Hayes, President and Mrs., Invitation to Miss Smith, dtd., Jan. 23, 1878, p. 8
Hayes, President and Mrs., Invitation to Miss Smith, dtd., Jan. 28, 1878, p. 10
Hayes, Rutherford B. to W. H. Smith, dtd., Spiegel Grove, Sept. 19, 1884, p. 49
Hayes, Rutherford P. to Grand Reception of Cornell Navy, Feb. 21, 1879, p. 24
Hayes, Rutherford P. Senior Class of Cornell University Commencement Reception, June 16, 1880, p. 25
Hewitt, John H. to W. H. Smith, dtd., Williams College, Sept. 25, 1884, p. 52
Humphreys, General and Mrs., Invitation to Miss Smith, dtd., Jan. 21, 1878, p. 24.
Japan, Minister and Mrs. Yoshida, at home, dtd., Feb. 4, 1878, p. 13
Logan, Mary (Mrs. John) to W. H. Smith, dtd., Chicago, Sept. 23, 1884, p. 52
Lowell, James Russell to C. R. Williams, dtd., Deerfoot Farm, Feb. 7, 1877, p. 29
Matthews, Senator and Mrs., Invitation, dtd., Jan. 30, 1878, p. 9
McClellan, George B. to W. H. Smith, dtd., Oct. 3, 1884, p. 37
Miller, Lida to Emily Platt, dtd., Jan. 17, 1878, p. 5
Neil, Mr. and Mrs. Robert, at home, dtd., Jan. 17, 1878, p. 5
Platt, Emily to Miss Smith, dtd., Executive Mansion, Jan. 29, 1878, p. 4
Sheridan, Lieut. General and Mrs., at home, dtd., Nov. 11, 1878, p. 28
Smith, Emma Almira and Charles Richard Williams, Invitation to wedding, Oct. 2, 1884, p. 48
Spain, Minister and Madame Mantilla, Invitation, dtd., Jan. 23, 1878, p. 7
Washington Assembly Club Dance, dtd., Wed. Jan. 30, Feb. 13 and 27. p. 12
Webber, C. T. to W. H. Smith, dtd., Cincinnati, Oct. 1, 18__ , p. 54
Yale College Junior Class Promenade Concert, Feb. 4, 1879, p. 22
Yale College Senior Class Promenade Concert, June 24, 1879, p. 23

Ribbons, Badges, Tickets
Reception Committee National Firemen's Tournament, 1878, p. 18
Regular Dinner of the Commercial Club, Chicago, Dec. 6, 1879, p. 21
Reception to General and Mrs. Grant by Calumet Club, Nov. 17, 1879, p. 27
Philadelphia International Exhibition, 1876, p. 36
Wedding of Charles R. Williams and Emma A. Smith, p. 55
Souvenir of first trip across the Northern Pacific Railroad, p. 60

Republican National Convention, 1880, p. 19
Republican National Convention, 1884, p. 36
Democratic National Convention, 1884, p. 36
Inauguration of President, March 4, 1885, p. 36
Inauguration Ball, March 4, 1885, p. 38
Missouri Pacific Railway Co. Pass, p. 33
Memorial Service for General Grant, Westminster Abbey, Aug. 4, 1885, p. 40

Memorial Service for General Grant, Westminster Abbey, Aug. 4, 1885, p. 451
Last Appearance of the Entre-Nous Club, p. 62

Dinners, Menus, etc.
Dinner for President Hayes and Party, Grand Pacific Hotel, Chicago, Sept. 3, 1878, p. 15
Place Card and Seating Chart for Presidential Dinner, Jan. 29, 1878, p. 11
Seating Chart, Dinner to U. S. Grant, n. d., p. 20
Regular Dinner of the Commercial Club, Chicago, Dec. 6, 1879, p. 27
Reception to General and Mrs. Grant by Calumet Club, Nov. 17, 1879, p. 27
Dinner for Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Smith, n. d., p. 47
Dinner at Bohemian Club, Feb. 10, 1885, p. 47
Annual Game Dinner at Grand Pacific Hotel, Nov. 13, 1880, p. 63
Dance Card, Yale College Senior Promenade Concert, June 24, 1879, p. 23

Mt. Vernon, p. 1
White House, p. 2
Presidential Party, Sept. 1878, p. 15
English Castles, Abbeys, pp. 42, 43
House (Smith Residence ?), p. 66
Foot Bridge and Shore (unidentified), pp. 66, 67

Signatures and Autographs
Astor, John Jacob, p. 34
Augur, C. C. p. 33
Bancroft, George, pp. 31, 46
Blaine, James G. p. 32
Blodgett, Henry W., p. 53
Brough, John, p. 30
Bryant, William Cullen, p. 30
Clay, Henry, p. 30
Chase, S. P., p. 30
Farragut, D. G., p. 35
Garfield, James A., p. 35
Grant, U. S., p. 31
Gresham, Walter Q., p. 50
Halstead, Murat, p. 51
Harrison, William Henry, p. 35
Hewitt, John H., p. 33
Howard, O. O., p. 33
Massie, Nathaniel, p. 33
Morrow, Jeremiah, p. 33
Porter, F. J., p. 35
Putnam, Rufus, p. 34
Seward, William H., p. 30
Sheridan, P. H., p. 33
Sumner, Charles, p. 33
Wheeler, W. A., p. 30

Newspaper Clippings
President At Lake Forest, p. 16
Account of President Hayes and Party's trip to Chicago, Sept. 1878, p. 17
Accounts of wedding of Charles R. Williams and Emma A. Smith, Oct. 2, 1884, pp. 57-59
Articles regarding William Henry Smith, p. 61
Account of Birthday Party for Miss Alice Smith, n. d., p. 65

Marriage Certificate for John Duke, Baron Coleridge and Amy Augusta Jackson Lawford, Aug. 18,
    1885, p. 44
Poem for Col. Hayes' Wedding Day, Oct. 1912, p. 45
Marriage Certificate for Charles Richard Williams and Emma Almira Smith, Oct. 2, 1884, p. 56
Poem for Wedding of Charles R. Williams and Emma A. Smith, p. 59