Daniel Morris Smith, Sr., was the fourth child born to Perry Monroe Smith and Priscilla Juliet Anderson Smith. He was born in Mound Bayou, Mississippi and attended the public school there, graduating from high school in 1934. His college work was done at Tuskegee University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Agriculture in 1938. He received a Master’s degree from Michigan State University in 1956. Additional study was done at Memphis State University, Peabody College and Delta State University.
He began a teaching career during the fall of 1938 in Shelby, Mississippi as a teacher of vocational agriculture. Highlights of his teaching career included: vocational agriculture teacher in Cleveland, Mississippi – January, 1944 (also headed a food preservation center during the war crisis); member of the non-resident teacher training staff for vocational agriculture of Alcorn College; superintendent of the Cleveland Colored Consolidated School District from 1954 to 1957 when the county school system was reorganized; and principal of East Side high School until his retirement in 1980.
At an early age he confessed Christ at First Baptist Church in Mound Bayou, Mississippi. Upon moving to Cleveland, he joined St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, where he served faithfully as a deacon and church clerk.
His dedication to public education was evident in his work: from 1960 to 1962, he was chairman of the Mississippi Third District Literary and Athletic Activities. In 1962 he was elected president of the Third District Supervisors and Principals Study Council 1964-66. He was elected and served as president of the Mississippi Teachers Association 1968-70. In 1970 he was chosen to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Education Association and served in that capacity until 1974. He served on the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Association of Educators from its beginning in 1976 until 1979, and as chairman of the budget committee from 1976 to 1980.
He was affiliated with numerous professional, civic and fraternal organizations: Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America from 1940 to 1952 and later served as a member of the executive board of the Cleveland Negro Civic Club, secretary of Sunshine lodge number 99 F. & A.M., member of Phi Delta Kappa educational fraternity, member of the Governor’s Policy Advisory Council, Chairman of the Senior Companion Advisory Committee, board of directors of the Mississippi Retired Teachers Association, President of the local chapter of the Mississippi Retired Teachers Association, member of the Knights and Daughters of Tabor, and a member of the Tuskegee University National Alumni Association. In November, 1981 he was elected a member of the board of trustees for Bolivar County District Four Schools. He served on the school board until April, 1987.
To cherish his memory, he leaves his loving and devoted wife, Arzola Williams Smith; one son, Daniel M. Smith, Jr. of Poughkeepsie, New York; two daughters, Etta Smith Waugh of Hillcrest Heights, Maryland and Mildred Smith Washington of Bloomfield, Connecticut; two sons-in-law, Charles Waugh and Avery Washington; two grandchildren, Natasha Waugh and Avery Washington, II; a special nephew, Lawrence Williams and wife, Denise; tow brothers, Oswald G. Smith and Kemper H. Smith and wife, Verna; one sister, Zeraline Smith Verner and husband, Edward; one sister-in-law, Alice C. Smith; six brothers-in-law, Nathaniel Williams, Percy Williams, Leandrew Williams and wife, Margaret; five sisters-in-law, Midred Dorsey, Wilma Harper, Ethel Terrell, Johnetta Webb and husbandm Eugene, Mary Lee Williams; one aunt, Zee A. Barron; a special cousin, Earline Anderson and a host of other relatives and friends.
(Funeral Program: Daniel Morris Smith, Sr.)