Source: Mercantile Library Collections
Born: 1873
Died: 1951


For seventeen years St. Louis Lawyer Luther Ely Smith served as a guiding force behind the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association. He worked along side mayors and congressmen to guarantee the fruition of the Jefferson National Memorial Expansion. He was part of the Association's drive in the community to collect funds to hold a national architecture competition that resulted in the selection of the Saarinen Arch, which now stands as a symbol for the city of St. Louis. His commitment to the project and the improvement of the city of St. Louis was recognized by the city in 1941 when he received the St. Louis Award. When he died the project was still trapped on paper, but less than a decade later his work paid off with the start of construction on the memorial grounds.