Scope and Contents
Papers were given to the SCPC by the daughter of Roland Smith. It was decided to name the collection after him, even though there are family papers included of his wives, parents, parents-in-law, brother-in-law (Charles Johnson), and Marcia Geiger. The diaries and letters of this collection provide a window into family relations and into the work and conditions existent at state mental hospitals and CPS camps in the 1940s.
Roland F. Smith was born on April 8, 1917 and died on April 21, 1992. Smith was from Milton, Massachuseets and belonged to the Congregational Christian Church. He was employed as a teacher. During WWII he was classified as a conscientious objector, and served in Civilian Public Service (CPS) at Buck Creek Camp (#19) in Marion, Marion, North Carolina, from November 25, 1941 to December 1942, at the Cheltenham School for Boys (#62) in Cheltenham, Maryland from January 1943 to May 30, 1943, at the Powelsville Camp (#52) in Powellsville, Maryland from May 31, 1943 to August 30, 1943, and at the Philadelphia State Hospital [Byberry] (#49) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from September 6, 1943 to December 16, 1945. Smith married Ada Mary Johnson (born February 13, 1920) on March 28, 1945; On October 5, 1945 she was hit by a car and died the next day. Roland Smith married Ada Mary’s sister, Margaret Johnson the following year.