Smith, G. Hubert (George Hubert), 1908-1972

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From the description of G. Hubert Smith papers, 1935-1937. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70980530

George Hubert Smith was born on January 11, 1908 in Miller, South Dakota, son of Daniel H. Smith. His family later moved to Minneapolis, where he attended the University of Minnesota.

During the 1930s and 1940s Smith was involved in a variety of federally funded projects. Under the National Park Service (NPS) he was assistant supervisor at both the Grand Portage and Fort Ridgely excavations (1936), and senior foreman and archaeologist in charge of excavation and restoration at Fort Ridgely (1937-1938). While attending the University of Chicago graduate school (1939-1941), he spent summers as an NPS excavation crew supervisor at Fort Laramie National Monument in Wyoming. He also served in the WPA as Minnesota Statewide Archaeology and Historic Research Survey assistant supervisor (1941), and as the Minnesota Art Project museum unit supervisor (January 1942).

In late January 1942 he was inducted into the U.S. Army and assigned to the Medical Department. He served in hospitals in Denver and Charleston (South Carolina), and in the Atlantic on board the hospital ship Acadia . He was released in October 1945 with the rank of sergeant.

He was appointed Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) museum curator in January 1946, a position he held until 1949. During 1950-1951 he again worked for the NPS, undertaking a research project about the LaVérendryes, a family of French-Canadian fur traders and explorers.

In 1951 he began his 17-year career with the Smithsonian Institution's River Basin Surveys, attached to the Missouri Basin Project based in Lincoln, Nebraska. His career revolved mainly around salvage archaeology excavating historic sites before the flooding caused by construction of the various Missouri River reservoirs. He spent winters in the Lincoln office and most summers supervising field work at such sites as forts Stevenson, Berthold, Pierre II, George, Defiance, Sully, and Manuel; Regis Loisel's trading post; and the Red Cloud Agency.

For a short time in 1953-1954, while Smith was separated from the MBP (due to staff reductions), he worked for the MHS Grand Portage Committee conducting an excavation near that site.

In 1955 he was "loaned" to the U.S. Department of Justice to prepare an ethno-historical sketch of the Omaha People and present it before the Indian Claims Commission. On several occasions he was also "loaned" to other NPS regions, including Georgetown (D.C.), Fort McHenry National Monument and Historical Shrine (Baltimore), the Chattahoochie River Basin (Alabama-Georgia), and Yorktown (Virginia). Smith retired from the MBP in August 1968.

An accomplished author and researcher, Smith both presented and published numerous papers dealing with archaeology, ethnology, ethno-history, folklore, history, and photographs as historical documents. He was also a collector of stereographs documenting Minnesota and upper Missouri River history and culture.

He died unexpectedly of a brain tumor on March 25, 1972, in Lincoln.

Biographical data was taken from the collection.

From the guide to the G. Hubert Smith papers., 1900, 1930-1986., (Minnesota Historical Society)

Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Andreani, Paolo. person
associatedWith Andreani, Paolo. person
associatedWith Beaubien, Paul L. person
associatedWith Beaubien, Paul L. person
associatedWith Carver, Jonathan, 1710-1780. person
associatedWith Champe, J. L. person
associatedWith Clark, Adaline. person
associatedWith Clark, Adaline. person
associatedWith Featherstonhaugh, George William, 1780-1866. person
associatedWith Hubachek, F. B. (Frank Brookes), b. 1894, person
associatedWith LaVerendrye family. family
associatedWith LaVérendrye family. family
associatedWith Mather, William W. person
associatedWith Minnesota. Department of Conservation. Division of State Parks. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota. Division of State Parks. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota Historical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota Historical Society. Grand Portage Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith National Geographic Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Nicollet, J. N. (Joseph Nicolas), 1786-1843. person
associatedWith North American Fur Trade Conference (1965 : Saint Paul, Minn.) corporateBody
associatedWith North American Fur Trade Conference (1965 : Saint Paul, Minnesota). corporateBody
associatedWith OAC Review Index. corporateBody
associatedWith Sacagawea, 1786-1884. person
associatedWith Scott, Martin, 1788-1847. person
associatedWith Smithsonian Institution. River Basin Survey. Missouri Basin Project. corporateBody
associatedWith Stewart, Isaac. person
associatedWith Surrey, Nancy Maria Miller. person
associatedWith United States. National Park Service. corporateBody
associatedWith Wheeler, Richard Page. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Berthold (N.D.)
Pacific Ocean
Fort McHenry (Md.)
Fort Berthold site (N.D.)
Loisel's Trading Post (S.D.).
Grand Portage National Historic Site (Minn.)
Fort George (N.D.)
Fort Ridgely (Minn.)
Like-A-Fishhook (N.D.).
Verendrye National Monument (N.D.).
Fort Laramie (Wyo.)
Fort McHenry (Md.)
Fort Apalachicola (Ala.)
Missouri River Valley
United States
Missouri Valley
Charlotte (Minn.)
Chattahoochie Valley (Ala. and Ga.)
Missouri River Valley
Fort Pierre II (S.D.)
United States
Fort Manuel (S.D.)
Fort Apalachicola (Ala.)
Mississippi River Valley
United States
Fort Pierre II (S.D.)
Fort Snelling (Minn.)
Chattahoochie Valley (Ala. and Ga.)
Loisel's Trading Post (S.D.)
Fort Manuel (S.D.)
Berthold (N.D.)
Charlotte (Minn.)
Fort George (N.D.)
Fort Sully (S.D.)
Fort Sully (S.D.)
Like-A-Fishhook (N.D.)
Roanoke Village (Ga.)
Ohio River Valley
Roanoke Village (Ga.)
Fort Stevenson (N.D.)
Fort Laramie (Wyo.)
Verendrye National Monument (N.D.)
Fort Ridgely (Minn.)
North Dakota
Red River Valley (Tex.-La.)
Fort Stevenson (N.D.)
Grand Portage National Historic Site (Minn.)
Fort Snelling (Minn.)
Like-a-Fishhook Village site (N.D.)
Omaha Indians--Land tenure
Architecture--Designs and plans
Indians of North America--Minnesota
Photography in historiography
Omaha Indians--Government relations
Historic sites
Federal aid to historic sites
United Empire loyalists
Wool industry
Historic sites--Kentucky
Historic sites--Maryland
World War, 1939-1945
Indians of North America--Missouri Valley
Ethnology--United States
Fortification--United States
Military architecture
Archaeology and state
Cherokee Indians
Wool industry--Minnesota
Historic sites--Georgia
Historic sites--Alabama
Architectural historians
Arikara Indians
Historic sites--Missouri Valley
Historic sites--Minnesota
Archaeology and history
Chickasaw Indians
Photography in archaeology
Indians of North America
World War, 1939-1945--Pacific Ocean
Museum curators--Minnesota
Museum curators


Birth 1908

Death 1972-03-25



Ark ID: w6ft8rmb

SNAC ID: 9533262