Chard Powers Smith (1894-1977)
Where: Cornwall Hollow
Smith was born in Watertown, New York, and studied at the Pawling School and Yale University, graduating in 1916. Powers served as a U.S. Army Field Artillery captain during World War I, after which he obtained a law degree from Yale in 1921.
Powers practiced law for a short time before choosing to pursue a career in writing. During the 1920s Powers traveled and, intermittently, lived in Europe. He also briefly studied in Oxford during 1921. After his first wife’s death in childbirth, he wrote Along the Wind while living in Italy in 1924. Smith traveled in many literary circles and became a regular at the McDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, after he returned to the United States.
In 1929 Smith remarried, soon purchased a home in Cornwall (1930), and had two children. Under the Works Progress Administration Smith wrote The Housatonic: Puritan River for the Rivers of America Series, published in 1946. He also maintained a home in New York and based much of his writing on his childhood home town. After his divorce from his second wife, Smith sold his homes in Cornwall and New York and moved to Massachusetts. Over the course of his life Smith wrote seventeen books, five of which were poetry. Smith lived in Massachusetts until his death in 1977.
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