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Hoke Smith

Hoke Smith
  • Birth: 09/02/1855, Newton, North Carolina
  • Death: 11/27/1931
Date Honored: 10/25/1985

Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame

In 1872, Mr. Smith was a reader in a law office; in 1883, he became a village schoolmaster in North Carolina; then he practiced law in Atlanta. He acquired the "Atlanta Journal" in the 1880s and built it into a successful newspaper. He was appointed as Secretary to the Interior by President Cleveland, but returned to Georgia in 1907 and was elected governor. He lost the office for one term, but was reelected in 1911. He fostered the corn club for boys and domestic science clubs for girls, forerunners of the 4-H program. He became a U.S. Senator in 1912 upon the death of Senator Alexander S. Clay. He introduced the Smith-Lever Act in 1914, which established the Cooperative Extension Service. In 1917, the Smith-Hughes Act made funds available for training in agriculture and home economics in high schools.

Occupation: Teacher; lawyer; publisher; Secretary of the Interior; Georgia governor and senator.