by Sue Jenkins, 2000-2001
C. P. Smith Elementary School was named after Charles Plympton Smith, Jr. who was born on
April 22, 1891 in Burlington, Vermont. The son of Charles P. Smith and Anna (Pease) Smith, he was one of six children.
A graduate of the University of Vermont, Mr. Smith founded several Burlington businesses such as the Ford Agency (an auto dealership) and C. P. Smith, Jr., lncorporated (a petroleum business). Smith was president of the agency from 1924 until it was sold in 1960 and was also president of the Vermont Auto Dealers Association. He founded the C. P. Smith Petroleum Corp., and the C. P. Smith Supply Company, an appliance company.
ln 1942, Mr. Smith served as president of the Burlington Community YMCA and was treasurer
of the Vermont State YMCA. He was also a national associate of the Boys Club of America.
From 1947 through 1949, he was a member of the Vermont Senate where he helped to pass one of the first state aid to education bills in Vermont history. Mr. Smith also served on the Vermont Board of Education and was its Chairman in 1949. Mr. Smith did not think of himself as a real politician, but he liked people and enjoyed working for the improvement of education in the legislature. He felt that his work there was an important form of community service.
ln 1954, Mr. Smith was president of the Mary Fletcher Associates Hospital, and named a director of the hospital in 1956. He had also been appointed as trustee and governor of the Medical Center
Hospital of Vermont. ln 1958, the University of Vermont Alumni Association presented him
with its Distinguished Service Award. He was also conferred with an honorary Doctor of Law
Degree from the University of Vermont in the same year. He was a trustee of the University of
Vermont and served as Chairman in 1960.
On August 18, 1958, C. P. Smith broke ground for our school. Charles P. Smith was 68 years old at the time. He thought it was very special to have a school named after him and he visited our school
many times after it was built. His picture hangs in the school lobby, and there is more
information about C. P. Smith in a binder catalogued in the school learning center.