Scope and arrangement
Family correspondence, 1848 to 1893, is between William Smith of Massachusetts and later Ohio, his wife Caroline Cobb Smith, their children, and various relatives. Early correspondence consists chiefly of letters from Caroline Cobb to William Smith, documenting their courtship and eventual wedding; trips taken by Cobb to various locations in Massachusetts and New England; local news; and social matters. Letters from their children and other family members predominantly discuss family affairs. Also present is a medical recipe for "common bowel complaints" and an abstinence pledge.
Family papers and business records relate to investments and business ventures undertaken by William Smith in Cleveland, and by his son, mechanical engineer and inventor Frank C. Smith of Delaware, Ohio. These records include the will of William Smith; land papers for properties in Ohio and Massachusetts; a certificate of military exemption for William Smith; material pertaining to oil drilling ventures; and receipts. Frank C. Smith's patents, and his work on behalf of various automotive and locomotive interests, is documented through considerable professional correspondence, clippings, and ephemera.