WWI Snapshot: William Barclay Smith 1880-1935

NC WWI Service Cards

William Barclay Smith was born in Brechin, Scotland, on February 16, 1880. According to his passport application, his family immigrated to the United States on January 4, 1888, when he was nearly 8 years old. He became a citizen of the United States on October 3, 1902.

The 1930 Census indicates he served in the Spanish-American War in 1898. Various enlistment registers in Ancestry indicate multiple enlistments in the early 1900s.

His NC WWI Service Records show he re-enlisted from the Regular Army at Fort Caswell on August 10, 1914, at age 34. His residence at the time was Southport, NC. He was initially a Sergeant First Class. Employment records from these years show he served in the Panama Canal Zone.

On September 6, 1918, he accepted a commission and was appointed as 1st Lt, serving at Newport News, VA. He was honorably discharged on December 5, 1918.

The 1920 Census lists him, his wife, and two children living in Panama as his passport application indicated. This photo is included in his passport application.

His wife’s parents were born in Norway. His children were born in Panama, and as the 1930 Census shows, an additional child was eventually born in Minnesota.

On July 7, 1935, William Barclay Smith passed away from pneumonia at age 55. He had been employed for two years as the assistant finance officer for the Minnesota district, Civilian Conservation corps, Fort Snelling. The following obituaries were found.

Source: The Winona Daily News, 8 July 1935, p. 3.

Source: Star Tribune [Minneapolis, MN], 8 July 1935, p. 7.
Captain W.B. Smith

Captain William B. Smith, 54, of 912 Thirtieth avenue north, assistant finance officer for the Minnesota district, Civilian Conservation corps, Fort Snelling, died Sunday morning at the Fort Snelling hospital after a week’s illness. Captain Smith had been in the finance department of the CCC since the corps was originated more than two years ago.

Prior to that, he had been an accountant at the Minneapolis post office for 12 years. He came to Minneapolis shortly after the close of the war, in which he served as a lieutenant in the quartermaster corps. Captain Smith had been in the army, either in active service or in the reserves for 27 years.

He was born in Scotland, but came to this country with his parents when young. His boyhood was spent in Massachusetts. He was a member of Minnesota lodge, No. 224, A.F and A.M., the Minneapolis Consistory of the Scottish Rite Masons, and of Zuhrah temple of the Shrine.

Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Lillian Bye Smith; three children, William B. Jr., Dorothy Elizabeth, and Robert Allan; and a sister, Mrs. George Tarbell, Revere, Vt.

Military funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Fort Snelling post chapel, following by Masonic services at the Lakewood chapel at 3.15 p.m. Burial will be in Lakewood cemetery.

According to his findagrave page, his ashes were scattered at the lake in the cemetery.

To view this or an earlier profile or snapshot at any time, click on the veteran’s name on the WWI Brunswick County Veteran list, which is also accessible by the blue button on the top right of the webpage.

If you would like to help us honor William Barclay Smith or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

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How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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