Ohio Biographies

George Bancroft Smith

A large number of his enterprises, institutions, organizations and movements that are fundamental in the character of Dayton acknowledge the vital contact, unity and membership of George Bancroft Smith. He was born in Montgomery County, Ohio, at Phillipsburg, November 16, 1867, and from the age of twelve years lived at Brookville, Ohio, where he attended the village school. Beginning at the age of eighteen he taught in a country district for two years, having sixty-five pupils in his school, some of them older than himself. At the age of twenty he began his career as a Daytonian. Following a twelve weeks' business course in the Miami Commercial College he obtained employment at $6.00 a week in Aulabaugh's Hat and Fur Store, but eight months later became bookkeeper and paymaster at $45.00 a month with the Smith and Vaile Iron Works Company, held him in their service for seventeen years, and when he resigned he was assistant secretary and acting treasurer of a $1,000,000 company. Then for a time he handled and managed the personal investments and other interests of Eugene J. Barney, the well known Dayton capitalist. Mr. Smith in 1907 was elected secretary, treasurer and manager of the Craig Reynolds Foundry Company, one of Mr. Barney's interests. In 1908 he became president and general manager of the Kinnard Manufacturing Company also one of the Barney group but since 1916 in practically all of his many business enterprises he has been associated with with Col. E. A. Deeds and Charles F. Kettering. Some of his active business connections are: Secretary and treasurer of the Domestic Building Company; secretary and treasurer of the Moraine Development Company; director of the Stemco Engineering Company; director of the Grolan Manufacturing Company; second vice president and director of the Kinnard Manufacturing Company; director of The Dayton Fan and Motor Company.

In 1907 he was elected vice president of the Chamber of Commerce of Dayton, serving four years and then two years as president, at which time the Chamber of Commerce was merged with the Greater Dayon Association, and he then became vice president of the latter. From 1902 to 1905 he was a member of the Dayton Board of Education. In 1917 he was associated with Col. E. A. Deeds, Charles F. Kettering, Arthur E. Morgan and others, in organizing The Moraine Park School of Dayton, which has since become one of the most famous experiments in progressive education in the United States. Moraine Park School has been described again and again in magazines of popular circulation. Mr. Smith was president and treasurer of the school at its beginning and holds those offices today.

Some of the other movements and organizations in the city and of still broader scope that absorb some of his energies and interests and enthusiasm are the Westminster Choral Association of which he is a director; the Central Theological Seminary, of which he is a Trustee; the Young Men's' Christian Association, which he has served as a director for nineteen years and three years as its president; the Door of Hope Association, of which he is president and director; the City Rescue Mission of which he is a trustee; the Dayton Council on Philanthropy of which he is secretary; the Dayton Air Service Incorporated Committee of which he is a director; the Church Education Board of the Reformed Church of United States of American, is a director of the Associated Church of America, is a director of the Associated Church of America, is a director of the Associated Charities of Dayton, and of the Dayton Community Chest Association, secretary and director of Compania Accionista de la India Occidental of Havana, Cuba; is acting member of the board of governors of The Engineers' Club of Dayton and a member of the official board of Hale Memorial Reformed Church. Mr. Smith is secretary and treasurer of the Dayton Chapter of the National Aeronautic Association of the United Sates of America; is secretary of the executive and finance committees of the International Pulitzer Airplane Races and is an official observer in all local aviation events, including the bringing to Dayton of many word records, those in which he has had an active part in promoting including the following: The performance of 1923 by Lieutenants Macready and Kelley in the T-2, including a new world's record in endurance and long distance flight; in the same year Lieutenant Harris in the Barling Bomber set a new world's record made in 1923 in speed flight by Lieutenants Maughan and Maitland; and in 1924 the new world's record of altitude flight set by Lieutenant Macready.

Mr. Smith has also found some time for literacy expression, has contributed a number of articles to newspapers and magazines, being the author of a small volume entitled. "Timothy and Red Clover."

He married in 1890 Miss Holly Denney of West Alexandria. They have a daughter, Miss Martha Catharine, a leader in a number of Dayton movements of the younger group, including College and Young Women's Christian Association Industrial Department activities.


From History of Ohio, vol. V, By Charles B. Galbreath, American Historical Society Publishers, 1925