• IdentificationMidwest MS SmithHJ
  • TitleInventory of the Henry Justin Smith Papers, 1912-1980, bulk 1912-1935 Midwest.MS.SmithHJ
  • PublisherThe Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts
  • RepositoryThe Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts
  • Physical Description2.3 linear feet (6 boxes)
  • Date
    • Bulk, 1912-1935
    • 1912-1980
  • Location1 31 1
  • AbstractManuscripts of works, correspondence, and mementos of Henry Justin Smith, author and Chicago Daily News reporter, city editor, news editor, and managing editor.
  • OriginationSmith, Henry Justin, 1875-1936

Gift, Katherine A. Smith, 1956; Robyn S. Haynes, 2008.

The Henry Justin Smith Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

The Henry Justin Smith Papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Henry Justin Smith Papers, The Newberry Library, Chicago.

Shannon Yule, 2006; Lisa Janssen, 2010 (addition).

This inventory was created with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this inventory do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Managing Editor of the Chicago Daily News and author.

Henry Justin Smith, a native of Chicago, IL, was born in 1875 to Justin A. and Mary L. Smith. He attended the Morgan Park Military Academy and the University of Chicago.

He became a reporter for the Chicago Daily News in 1899. He advanced as the city editor from 1901-1906, the assistant managing editor from 1906-1913, and the news editor from 1913-1924. He left the Chicago Daily News from 1924-1926, serving as assistant to the president of the University of Chicago. In 1926 he returned as managing editor. He kept this post until his death from pneumonia on February 9, 1936. Smith was survived by his wife, Katherine A. Smith.

In addition to his career as a newspaper man, Smith was also a historian and an author of fiction. He wrote several books about Chicago including Chicago: the History of its Reputation, co-authored with Lloyd Lewis. Smith wrote several popular fictional works, including Josslyn and Deadlines. In 1931, he was awarded the Chicago Foundation for Literature’s fiction prize.

This collection consists mainly of manuscripts of historical and fictional works by Smith. A small amount of incoming correspondence, photographs, a poem entitled "The Reporters Litany" by Ben Hecht, a special issue of the Chicago Daily News honoring Smith, and other mementos are also included in his papers. The correspondence includes single letters from Sherwood Anderson, Vincent Starrett, Carroll Binder (re: life as a foreign correspondent) and others. In 2008 there was an addition of a scrapbook containing letters and accolades for Smith's "It's the Way It's Written," materials by and concerning Ben Hecht, family snapshots, a portrait of Smith, and contracts and clippings relating to Smith's own works.

The papers are arranged alphabetically by type of material.

  • Names
    • Anderson, Sherwood, 1876-1941
    • Binder, Carroll, 1896-1956
    • Borowski, Felix, 1872-1956
    • Chicago Daily News, Inc. -- Employees
    • Hecht, Ben, 1894-1964
    • Smith, Henry Justin, 1875-1936
    • Starrett, Vincent, 1886-1974
  • Subject
    • Chicago
    • Journalism
    • Journalism -- Illinois -- Chicago -- History
    • Literature
    • Manuscripts, American -- Illinois -- Chicago
  • Geographic CoverageChicago (Ill.) -- History