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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

SMITH, Fred B.

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SMITH, Fred B. (Johnson County, IA, Dec. 24, 1865--Unknown) Smith spent his early life on the farm established by his parents when they moved from Vermont to a site near Iowa City. In 1889 he accompanied his brother to South Dakota. While there he married and established a home in a "dug out" in the side of a hill with one room, one door, and one window. He was converted in a home missionary Congregational church which held services in the home of his wife's parents. (1)

One year later under the influence of Rev. H. D. Wiard, western field secretary of the American Home Missionary Society, he began evangelical work. Smith was called to Sioux Falls, South Dakota as general secretary of the YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION (Y.M.C.A.) and remained in that work for eight years. During this time he served Sioux Falls as general secretary, in Wisconsin as assistant state secretary, and in Dubuque as general secretary. (2)

In Dubuque, Smith held Bible readings each afternoon on such topics as "the office and work of the Holy Spirit." Articles in the Dubuque Herald at the time remarked how he "did not wander off into a maze of theory nor flounder about in the fog of philosophy." Evening sermons were given to overflow crowds on the topics "The Difference Between Morality and Religion," "The Coming of Christ," and "The Two Ways." (3)

After leaving Dubuque, Smith resigned as the state secretary of the Y.M.C.A. in Tennessee to continue his ministry. (4) In 1913 Smith and others ministered in Japan, China, Philippines, Australia, South Africa, England and Switzerland. (5)



1. "Fred B. Smith," Dubuque Herald, February 3, 1897

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. "Fred B. Smith," Dubuque Herald, December 13, 1896, p. 7

4. Smith, Gary Scott. The Search for Social Salvation: Social Christianity and America, 1880-1925. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2000, p. 359. Online: http://books.google.com/books?id=YC3Qn1ZyLUgC&pg=PA359&lpg=PA359&dq=Fred+B.+Smith+%28evangelist%29&source=bl&ots=veyPm0vETw&sig=VyIRhthbbRUBgP-gmuUurR1XCG4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=5mNlVLz2NZL_yQTC1oGgBw&ved=0CDYQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=Fred%20B.%20Smith%20%28evangelist%29&f=false