Henry DeWitt Smith

Henry DeWitt Smith

AIME Past President
Member Society

The activities of Henry DeWitt Smith on behalf of the Institute which he joined in 1911 have been varied and numerous. He served as chairman of the Nominating Committee in 1939, as a Director from 1941 to 1942, chairman of the Seeley W. Mudd Memorial Fund Committee, and chairman of the 75th Anniversary Committee. As President-Elect, he has traveled widely, visiting many Local Sections and doing much to promote the growth of the Institute. His energy seems boundless and a special tribute should be paid to his selling abilities as evidenced by his success in obtaining contributions to the Metals Branch Research Publications Fund.

Born in Plantsville, Conn. in 1883, Mr. Smith received his E.M. from Yale's Sheffield Scientific School in 1910. As one of the last junior engineers trained by Josiah Edward Spurr, he saw most of the western part of the U. S. and much of Mexico. Following that period, he became foreman at Kennecott's Alaskan copper mine and successively rose to mine superintendent and assistant manager. From there he went to the United Verde in Jerome, Ariz., first as mine superintendent and later general superintendent.

In 1924, Mr. Smith became associated with the New York Trust Co. in the industrial department but after a few years mining proved too great a lure and he returned to United Verde. In 1930 he joined the Newmont Mining Corp. with whom he has remained associated ever since except for the period from 1941 to 1944 when he was Executive VicePresident of Metals Reserve Co., a Reconstruction Finance Corp. subsidiary.

In 1939, the British liner "Athenia" was torpedoed with Mr. and Mrs. Smith and one of their daughters aboard. Although the family was separated in their lifeboats, they were eventually picked up and reunited-just one more act of Fate for which AIME is grateful.

Mr. Smith retired as Vice-President of Newmont in September 1954 but is still a member of the board, chairman of O'okiep Copper Co., Ltd., and consulting engineer for O'okiep and Tsumeb. It is with the development of Newmont's South African ventures that Mr. Smith is most closely identified.

Mr. Smith's loyalty to the Institute and his efficient handling of the many positions he has held in its service are bound to create a feeling of confidence in and gratitude for his leadership in 1955.