Frank Leslie Smith (LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, BAIN NEWS SERVICE)

Frank L. Smith

This article was written by Bill Pearch


Frank Leslie Smith (LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, BAIN NEWS SERVICE)During his lifetime, Col. Frank Leslie Smith (1867-1950) adhered to a simple credo: the ends justified the means. The motto served him well as he built formidable business connections and amassed political clout on local, regional and national stages. By that same measure, it established the framework for his ultimate downfall. But during his youth, Smith’s primary ambition was not to earn political accolades; he wanted to become a famous baseball player.

Smith was a devoted follower of the national pastime, and during his youth was considered an expert ballplayer.1 He once recounted a tale about a permanent memento of his boyhood passion for baseball — two bent fingers. During his playing days, Smith patrolled every infield position. One day while serving as catcher, he was clipped by a foul ball that connected directly with his hand. With a flair for the dramatic, rather than exit the game early, the young backstop attempted to gain favor from his hometown Dwight, Illinois, rooters and had his fingers taped together tightly and returned to action.2

Dwight has long been noted for its semi-professional baseball team, the F.L. Smiths, named in his honor.3 Located southwest of Chicago, its baseball history dates back to 1871 when the Dwight Renfrews — named after Lord Renfrew, the alias used by the Prince of Wales while visiting the area on a hunting expedition in 1860 — were organized.4 Rockford’s Register-Gazette suggested in 1892 that Dwight, a first-class community that lacked any form of amusement, would be ideal for a minor league team in the Illinois-Iowa League.5 Dwight never became the home of a minor league franchise, but Col. Smith eventually played a significant role in the community’s baseball landscape.

He is best remembered as a former one-term congressman and chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission who was elected as a senator from Illinois, but was never formally seated due to campaign fraud and corruption.6

The nation was still healing from wounds suffered during the American Civil War when Frank Leslie Smith was born in Dwight on November 24, 1867. He was the second of three children born to John Jacob Smith (1840-1895) and Jane Elizabeth Ketcham Smith (1847-1886).7 His father was a German blacksmith and his mother a homemaker.8 Smith was not born into a wealthy family, but he transformed himself into a slender and dignified man with an immaculate sense of fashion.9

“I went to grade school here, then through high school,” Smith said. He was one of six high school graduates in 1885. “No, nothing spectacular, just a normal boy who got that much education from schools and the rest from the school of experience. I worked in a telegraph office for a while, then went to Chicago to work in the Englewood office of the Rock Island Railroad.”10 Details of Smith’s early childhood remain sparse, but many of the traits that defined his professional career — aggressiveness and a will to dominate — manifested themselves early in life. He had a passion for playing sandlot baseball games, but his temperament oftentimes led to fisticuffs that forced premature conclusions to games.11

During the decades that bridged the 19th and 20th centuries, Smith played for, championed, and served as benefactor to a first-rate, semi-professional baseball team in a community of roughly 2,500 residents. The team’s superior play and Smith’s savvy political exploits attracted many former professionals and soon-to-be stars to this team. Top-notch competition and notorious barnstorming teams from the National, American and Federal leagues traveled to Dwight.12 Barnstorming brought baseball heroes to smaller towns throughout the country, but it also provided financial support to players during the offseason.13 Smith would keep his team dressed in the latest uniform fashions and offer significant financial incentives for leading various statistical categories.14

Some of the players who donned an F.L. Smiths uniform and reached the major leagues included “Turkey” Mike Donlin, George Cutshaw and Eddie Higgins. They even signed Charles Roth, the brother of Frank and Bobby “Braggo” Roth, into their ranks.15 The majority of the players who suited up for the team never advanced beyond the semi-professional level. Some of those players included Otto Mickelson, Spike Gutel, Ed Reeb, Jim Seabert, Jim Lannon, Sam Lannon, “Big Jim” Flood, and Frank Flood.

During the team’s heyday, the F.L. Smiths regularly matched up against other semi-professional teams throughout Central Illinois, including the Morris Reds, Livingston Parks (Odell), Cabery Defenders, Coal City Maroons, Braceville Senators, Joliet Standards, Gridley Tigers, Henry Greys, and Saunemin Stars. They even challenged some of Chicago’s top-tier competition: the Gunthers, McKennas, Marquettes, Carrolls, Union Giants and West Pullmans. Perhaps Smith’s strong ties to the Illinois Republican Party prompted the May 23, 1915, game between the F.L. Smiths and Chicago’s Sixth Ward Republicans at Dwight’s West Side Park.

Smith, who always identified with the Grand Old Party, took his first step toward the active pursuit of political affairs in 1892 when he launched his campaign for the circuit clerk position, but lost.16 In 1894, Smith won Dwight’s election for village clerk.17

Following a short stint working in Chicago, Smith returned to Dwight and ventured into the real estate and loan business after becoming acquainted with Charles L. Romberger.18 In 1895, the two partnered and Smith became the junior member of Romberger & Smith, a real estate firm that ranked among the most extensive dealers in Illinois outside of Chicago.19 The firm rapidly grew into one of the largest real estate businesses in Central Illinois, and became the sponsor of a semi-professional baseball team, the Dwight R&S. Still in his twenties, Smith found time to play. Accounts from the time credited Smith with making solid defensive plays and being proficient with the bat.20

In January 1897, Illinois Governor John Riley Tanner appointed Smith as colonel on his staff and elevated his profile within Livingston County Republicans. In that capacity he attended many significant political events, such as President William McKinley’s inauguration and christening of the battleship Illinois.21 With that title, he also commanded the Illinois National Guard’s Third Infantry.22

With a thriving business, Col. Smith was no longer able to don his team’s uniform on a regular basis. Now a 32-year-old infielder, he was still sporadically contributing to Dwight’s on-field success. During a three-game tournament against Kankakee and Cardiff in August 1900, Smith was credited with a fine display patrolling second base. He handled nine errorless chances and his work with the lumber was more than average.23 Dwight edged Cardiff in the deciding game, 3-2, to claim the tournament banner.24

During the summer of 1901, Dwight newspapers promoted an upcoming contest against the famed Native American barnstormers, the Nebraska Indians, who had embarked upon their fifth annual tour of the nation.25 Nearly 1,000 fans descended upon Dwight’s baseball grounds to witness the home team square up against an opponent known for winning games wherever they traveled, or simply the novelty of the event.26 Dwight’s batters plated four first-inning runs against White Eyes, the Indians’ starting pitcher, and maintained that score until the third. The visitors responded with one in the third, six in the fourth, five in the fifth and lone runs in the sixth and seventh. Despite a two-run rally in the eighth, the travelers added two additional runs in the ninth to win, 16-6.27 The game proved a great success and the Indians would return to Dwight again the following June.

Smith took control of his partner’s portion of the real estate business when Romberger became secretary and business manager of Dwight’s renowned Keeley Company in 1902.28 With the new business arrangements, change also came to its baseball team. The Dwight R&S adopted its new moniker of the F.L. Smiths and played in the 4-City League with teams from Lexington, Odell and Pontiac.

Every year, West Side Park hosted a light-hearted all-star game between Dwight’s East Side and West Side players. In 1904, the 36-year-old Smith suited up for the West Siders and played second base. Always in pursuit of the limelight, Smith’s West Siders stormed the field dressed in formidable and handsome blue uniforms. On the other hand, the East Siders lacked all baseball paraphernalia save for a secondhand cap worn by their first baseman.29 To celebrate the Fourth of July that year, the F.L. Smiths hosted a three-game series against Ratsch’s Peerless from Chicago, of which the home team won two.30

That same year, Col. Smith became one of the rising stars of Illinois’ Republican party.31 He joined forces with Illinois gubernatorial hopeful Frank O. Lowden and was named as candidate for lieutenant governor.32 Though unsuccessful at the polls, Smith was installed as internal revenue collector for the central Illinois district.33 He also made strides with his own business ventures. In 1905, Smith established the First National Bank of Dwight and secured legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright to design a unique structure located in the heart of downtown Dwight across from the train station.34

While riding a wave of success, Col. Smith and his baseball team experienced tragedy on August 4, 1907. Following a 3-2 win over the Pontiac Pastimes, the team returned home via the interurban train line. Manager Robert Orr was killed instantly during a collision due to brake failure on the Bloomington, Pontiac and Joliet Electric Railway just south of Odell.35

Despite the tragedy, Col. Smith was captivated by the World Series’ energy and nationwide popularity, so he made arrangements to bring some of the baseball enthusiasm closer to home. Smith collaborated with James J. Callahan, owner of Chicago’s semi-professional Logan Squares, to bring one of the two pennant-winning teams to Dwight’s West Side Park and test their mettle against his own F.L. Smiths.36 They were able to secure a date against the American League’s pennant-winning Detroit Tigers in Dwight. The world-champion Chicago Cubs traveled to neighboring Pontiac.

On October 22, 1907, the Tigers arrived via train at Dwight’s Chicago & Alton depot and were warmly greeted by a throng of local baseball fans before being escorted to the Livingston Hotel.37 Leading businesses were encouraged to close shop that afternoon and obliged.38 More than 1,500 fans flooded Dwight’s West Side Park and watched as the Tigers thumped the F.L. Smiths, 8-1.39 The game remained scoreless until the fourth inning, when Ty Cobb reached first base on a Mike Donlin error. He quickly stole second base, then scored on a Claude Rossman single to left field. The Tigers padded their lead with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings.40 Detroit sealed Dwight’s fate with a four-run eighth inning and an insurance run in the ninth.

Pitcher Eddie Higgins limited the Tigers to nine hits, and perhaps if the F.L. Smiths had played stronger defense, the final result would have been closer. Dwight’s defense committed five errors that afternoon. After the game, Cobb noted that Higgins displayed major-league potential. Smith, who played shortstop, recorded four assists and one putout. He reached base on a fielder’s choice in the ninth inning, but the game ended when he interfered with a Donlin groundball toward first.41

The umpires sought every opportunity to cut the F.L. Smiths some slack. During one at-bat, Donlin singled to right field. Cobb, aware that Donlin was loafing toward first base, fielded and fired the ball to Rossman and beat the runner. Donlin was ruled safe and caused Cobb to break into hysterics at the blatant hometown favoritism of the call. Spectators at the game acknowledged that the major league batting champion collapsed to the ground and rolled over unable to contain his laughter.42

In 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Col. Smith as collector of internal revenue in Illinois’ Springfield district.43 That role would prove beneficial as it strengthened his connection with William Howard Taft, the man Roosevelt handpicked to succeed him to the presidency.44 Years later, Smith would be appointed as Taft’s re-election campaign manager in Illinois and established his headquarters in Chicago’s LaSalle Hotel.45 During 1908, Smith made a second unsuccessful run at winning the Illinois lieutenant governor position, even with the support of the Inter-City and Park Owners’ Association and the Amateur Managers’ League.46

Smith’s political ambitions did not dilute his passion for bringing baseball teams to his hometown. Several hundred fans packed Dwight’s West Side Park on October 15, 1908, to see Burt Keeley, a Wilmington, Illinois, native, and a hodgepodge of players identified as the American League’s Washington Senators. Keeley, who completed his rookie season with the Senators, served as manager of a team consisting of opponents who were selected at the last moment from Chicago’s amateur ranks. Washington’s regular second baseman, Jim Delahanty, mentioned that a Delahanty lookalike fielded second base that afternoon.47 Higgins, who had faced the Tigers the previous October, was slated to pitch against the American League opponents. The F.L. Smiths jumped on Keeley’s crew early, but Washington managed to hold on to win, 4-3.48

 

With success against many other semi-professional teams, especially some of Chicago’s better teams, the F.L. Smiths developed a reputation for preferring not to travel away from their home park.49 In 1911 the Joliet Standards enticed the F.L. Smiths to travel to Dellwood Park — a lavish park constructed by the Chicago and Joliet Electric Railway to encourage ridership — for a series of games in July and August.50 Following the hype surrounding the matchup of the two teams, The Joliet News described the July 30 affair as “a slow game crowded with many stupid, asinine plays, faulty work and rotten judgment.” Dwight won, 11-10.51

 

Nearly one decade after the Nebraska Indians’ initial visit to Dwight, the team returned to challenge the F.L. Smiths. This time, Col. Smith’s squad had them solved. Harry Miller, a lefty hurler, mesmerized the visitors and limited their offense to two singles on August 17, 1911. Conversely, the Smiths hammered the ball around the field in a 14-0 victory.52

As the curtain fell on the 1912 season, the team lamented its competitive regression from the previous season. One year earlier, the F.L. Smiths had finished 21-8-1 after playing 30 games. The team barely broke even in 1912 and finished 14-12.53 But the season ended on a grand note with the long-awaited contest against the Chicago Cubs. Originally slated for Friday, October 18, at Dwight’s West Side Park, the game was rescheduled for Thursday, October 24, due to Chicago’s annual City Series between the Cubs and White Sox. The series extended longer than expected when the first two games ended in ties, then the Cubs won three games, and the White Sox claimed the final four.54 Due to the date change and questionable road conditions, the crowd was smaller than anticipated; yet nearly 1,000 baseball enthusiasts filled the stands.55

That afternoon, the Cubs played their regular season lineup with the exception of Johnny Evers, who was detained in Chicago due to business needs.56 The F.L. Smiths were unable to persuade their former star, George Cutshaw, to don his old uniform for the game. They were able to recruit the Chicago White Sox’s Polly Wolfe.57

Heinie Zimmerman, the Cubs’ third baseman, electrified the crowd with his hard hitting.58 The Cubs pounced on the F.L. Smiths with five runs in the opening frame and never relinquished the lead. Chicago plated another run in the second and three in the fifth. Spectators were buzzing after Zimmerman clubbed a home run and Jimmy Archer hammered a long foul ball that cleared a neighboring barn.59

As the calendar flipped to 1913, Col. Smith announced that he and his wife would embark upon an elaborate world tour. Despite missing most of the 1913 season, he provided the financial support for another campaign. Their trip began in March in California and wound through Japan, the Philippines, China, Korea, Russia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, France and England. Members of the F.L. Smiths were waiting at the train depot when the couple returned home during August.60

With the Smiths traveling the world, his team opened the new season in April with a game against a collection of old-timers who remained in good condition, but were a little rusty. All proceeds generated from the game were used to prepare the field for the upcoming season.61 The youngsters defeated the older players, 9-2.62

On June 4, 1913, the F.L. Smiths welcomed the Chicago Keeleys of the six-team minor-league incarnation of the Federal League to Dwight63. The F.L. Smiths outhit the minor leaguers and stretched a 5-4 lead into the fifth inning. The Keeleys plated five runs in the top of the fifth and two more in the seventh.64 Seven of the 10 Chicago players who entered that game — including Jim Stanley, Tom McGuire, and Burt Keeley — would eventually end their careers with major league service. Chicago won, 11-7.65

As the baseball season neared its close, another novelty barnstorming team passed through Dwight that September. Green’s Hawaiians, who had lost only eight of the 84 games they played, visited West Side Park. Guy Green, the baseball promoter behind the Nebraska Indians, attempted to replicate his success with different demographics.66 The team, consisting of mostly native Hawaiians, displayed great speed and hit Dwight’s pitching hard. F.L. Smiths’ starting pitcher, Otto Mickelson, scattered seven hits and allowed only one run. The home team knocked in six runs to win the game.67

The Federal League’s Pittsburgh Rebels had a nearly one-week gap in their schedule and stopped in Dwight for a mid-season exhibition game against the F.L. Smiths on June 7, 1915. Pittsburgh manager “Rebel” Oakes refused to play his starting roster that afternoon due to players wading through ankle-deep mud at West Side Park. The Rebels were locked in a pennant race with the Kansas City Packers. As the Pittsburgh Press reported the next morning, “Manager Oakes will probably take defeat from the future greats rather than risk injuring his men.”68 The F.L. Smiths stretched a 3-1 lead into the top of the fifth inning until second baseman Steve Yerkes belted a two-run blast. Dwight held a 6-4 lead after the eighth. Then Pittsburgh first baseman Hugh Bradley socked a game-tying two-run homer to send the game into extras. Pittsburgh scored what became the game-winning run in the 11th inning on a double steal.69

Due to the team’s strong play, professional scouts regularly attended F.L. Smiths games. On July 22, 1915, following the disbandment of the Bi-State League, the team enlisted the services of pitcher Harry Halstead.70 One month later, on August 22, Halstead garnered attention from a Brooklyn Robins scout who traveled to Dwight’s West Side Park. That afternoon, he quickly dominated the Fairbury Stars by a score of 5-2. Both runs crossed the plate due to fielding errors.71 That same season, Halstead generated interest from the Federal League’s St. Louis Terriers following a 21-strikeout performance. The pitcher received a telegram from Fielder Jones asking him to name his terms. Halstead requested to wait until spring of 1916, but unfortunately, the Federal League folded following the 1915 season.72 Former F.L. Smiths star, George Cutshaw, played a key role in Halstead’s signing with Brooklyn.73

In early August, the F.L. Smiths traveled to Henry, Illinois, and dealt a crushing blow to the vaunted Henry Greys. Earlier that season, the Greys had defeated the Chicago White Sox in an exhibition game. Entering that game, the Greys had only lost one game, to Peoria’s Three-I League team. Leading up to their game against the F.L. Smiths, Henry had strung together 15 consecutive victories. Halstead limited the Greys to two hits that afternoon. Dwight scored all four of their runs in the ninth inning and blanked the Greys, 4-0.74 Henry exacted revenge with two wins on September 2 and 3.

On September 19, the F.L. Smiths made quick work of Chicago’s Jake Stahls, Halstead beating them, 5-0, at West Side Park. The only time the game was in jeopardy came in the eighth inning. The bases were loaded with only one out, but Halstead proceeded to strike out the next two batters.75

A large crowd descended upon West Side Park on October 12, 1915, to watch Joe Tinker and his Federal League team, the Chicago Whales, battle the F.L. Smiths. But those in attendance witnessed a game that The Pantagraph labeled, “neither interesting nor spectacular.” Chicago’s George McConnell and Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown combined for pitching duties and puzzled the Smiths’ batters for nine innings. The Whales scored three runs in the third, and never looked back en route to a 9-0 victory.76

As Smith became an official Republican candidate for governor, he made an appearance at a baseball game at the Grundy County Fair in Mazon between his F.L. Smiths and Morris Reds. He gained a hearty reception from the nearly 5,000 fans in attendance.77 The F.L. Smiths won the game, 3-1, featuring outstanding defense.78 Years earlier, he had stated, “Frankly, I confess that since boyhood I have had an ambition to be governor of my native state.”79 Positioning himself as a downstate man, he mentioned the need to limit Chicago’s influence on the entire state. At the time, Smith was viewed as a rambling speaker who lacked confidence.80 Perhaps he did not fancy himself a public orator, but Smith captivated audiences with his sincere and empathetic speeches.81 His wife urged him to travel to Chicago to take oratory lessons from a well-known instructor noted for teaching many other politicians. “I sat down in the reception room and through the walls I heard this teacher giving a lesson to some women,” Smith said. “The office girl asked me if there was anything else I wanted. I said that I had thought there was, but I now knew there wasn’t and I rushed out of the door and over to see a ball game.”82

In the Republican primaries on September 13, 1916, Smith finished third behind Frank O. Lowden and Morton D. Hull. Smith’s home congressional district voted overwhelmingly in his favor. But throughout the rest of Illinois, he only made a mild impact.83

Col. Smith was elected to the 66th Congress and served from March 4, 1919, through March 3, 1921.84 For all his political drive, there is nothing significant on record that distinguished his service in the House of Representatives.85 Rather than run for reelection, he sought the Senate nomination. His efforts proved unsuccessful and he returned to his prior business pursuits in Dwight.86.

In April 1921, Illinois Governor Len Small appointed Col. Smith as chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission, a regulatory body overseeing public utilities. He served in that role until September 1926,87 and built strong relations with Samuel Insull, a business magnate who controlled much of Chicago’s public transportation.88

In 1926, Col. Smith ran against incumbent Illinois Senator William B. McKinley. During his campaign, rumors began circulating about excessive expenditures during the primaries. Despite the rumors, Smith defeated McKinley in a landslide and proceeded to win the November election. The Senate launched a campaign-spending investigation headed by Missouri’s James Reed.89 When McKinley died unexpectedly in December 1926, Governor Small appointed senator-elect Smith to fill the remainder of his term that would expire in March 1927. When his credentials were presented before the United States Senate, he was not permitted to assume the role due to fraud and corruption charges.90

On January 19, 1928, the United States Senate, by a vote of 61-23, determined that Col. Smith was not qualified to fill Illinois’ vacant seat.91 The investigation determined that Smith spent more than $400,000 during the campaign and received $125,000 from Insull.92 Smith claimed, in an August 1931 open letter, that Chicago millionaire, Julius Rosenwald, offered him $555,000 worth of Sears Roebuck stock to withdraw from the 1926 elections, but rejected the offer without pause.93

Smith made a final unsuccessful run at political office in 1930. Following his defeat, he remained an active member of the Republican National Committee and continued his business pursuits and serving on the board of directors of the First National Bank of Dwight.94

Col. Frank L. Smith passed away at his home early in the morning on Wednesday, August 30, 1950, following a two-week illness. He was 82 years old. Smith was interred alongside his wife, who had passed away in 1936, at Oak Lawn Cemetery just outside Dwight.95 At the time of his death, Smith’s estate was valued at $400,000 (equivalent to $4.4 million in 2020).96

 

Acknowledgments

In addition to the sources consulted below, the author would like to extend a special thank-you to SABR member Bruce Allardice and the Dwight Historical Society’s Mary Flott and Kim Drechsel.

This biography was reviewed by Paul Doutrich and fact-checked by Chris Rainey.

 

Notes

1 “‘Maple Lane’ Col. Frank L. Smith’s Model Farm,” The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois), July 22, 1916.

2 Paul R. Steichen, “Dwight Baseball of Bygone Days Full of Interest,” Dwight (Illinois) Star & Herald, September 9, 1938.

3 “‘Maple Lane’ Col. Frank L. Smith’s Model Farm.”

4 Dwight Centennial Committee. Dwight Centennial, 1854-1954: A Great Past-A Greater Future (1954), 18.

5 “A Good Base Ball Scheme,” Dwight Star & Herald, April 16, 1892.

6 Steichen, September 9, 1938.

7 “Col. Frank L. Smith Dies at Dwight Home,” The Pantagraph, August 30, 1950.

8 Sue Cummings. “Stormy Career Marked Dwight’s ‘Big Mover,” The Times-Press (Streator, Illinois), November 22, 1982.

9 “‘Big Bill’ Uses Spicy Lingo in Talks at Election Rallies,” The Baltimore Sun, April 8, 1928.

10 Genevieve Forbes Herrick. “Frank L. Smith is a Hero in His Own Home Town,” Chicago Tribune, April 15, 1926.

11 Carroll H. Wooddy, The Case of Frank L. Smith: A Study in Representative Government (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1931), 71.

12 Paul R. Steichen, “Dwight Baseball of Bygone Days Full of Interest,” Dwight Star & Herald, August 11, 1938.

13 Thomas Barthel, Baseball Barnstorming and Exhibition Games, 1901-1962: A History of Off-Season Major League Play (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2007), 4-5.

14 “Baseball Notes,” Dwight Star & Herald, May 11, 1912.

15 “Roth to Play with Dwights,” The Joliet (Illinois) Evening Herald-News, September 17, 1920.

16 Wooddy, 75.

17 “Elections,” Dwight Star & Herald, April 21, 1894.

18 Anonymous. The Biographical Record of Livingston and Woodford Counties, Illinois (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1900), 32.

19 “Col. F.L. Smith of Dwight,” Chicago Tribune, January 28, 1897.

20 “Dwight Wins Three Fast Games and Holds the Championship,” Dwight Star & Herald, August 25, 1900.

21 The Biographical Record of Livingston and Woodford Counties, Illinois, 33.

22 “The Twentieth District Political Mix-up,” Woodford County Journal, February 16, 1900.

23 “Dwight (R. & S.) A Winner,” Dwight Star & Herald, August 11, 1900.

24 “Dwight Wins Three Fast Games and Holds the Championship.”

25 “Around Home,” The Pantagraph, August 21, 1901.

26 “Nebraska Indian Ball Players,” Dwight Star & Herald, August 17, 1901.

27 “Took Dwight’s Scalp,” Dwight Star & Herald, August 31, 1901.

28 Wooddy, 72-73.

29 “The East and West Siders Play Ball,” Dwight Star & Herald, July 16, 1904.

30 Steichen, August 11, 1938.

31 Dwight Star & Herald, June 11, 1904.

32 Wooddy, 78-79.

33 “Smith is Collector,” Dwight Star & Herald, September 17, 1904.

34 Dwight Centennial Committee, 2.

35 “One Killed, Sixteen Hurt When Trolley Cars Crash,” The Inter Ocean (Chicago, Illinois), August 5, 1907.

36 “Detroit Tigers Coming,” Dwight Star & Herald, October 19, 1907.

37 Paul R. Steichen, “Dwight Baseball of Bygone Days Full of Interest,” Dwight Star & Herald, August 19, 1938.

38 “Detroit Tigers Coming.”

39 “Tigers Whale Dwight,” Detroit Free Press, October 23, 1907.

40 “Ee-Yah!,” Dwight Star & Herald, October 26, 1907.

41 Steichen, August 19, 1938.

42 Steichen, August 19, 1938.

43 Herrick.

44 Doris Kearns Goodwin, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and the Golden Age of Journalism (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013), 11.

45 “Col. Smith Honored,” Dwight Star & Herald, March 9, 1912.

46 “Ball Players Will Support Smith,” Chicago Tribune, July 30, 1908.

47 The Washington Herald, April 15, 1909.

48 “F.L. Smiths Play Against the Washington Senators of the American League,” Dwight Star & Herald, October 17, 1908.

49 “Dwight Team Will Come Next Sunday,” The Joliet (Illinois) News, July 18, 1911.

50 http://lockporthistory.org/dellwoodpark/dellwoodpark.htm (accessed on February 16, 2020)

51 “Dwight Takes Farcical Game,” The Joliet News, July 31, 1911.

52 The Joliet News, August 18, 1911.

53 “A Resume for the Year of the F.L. Smith Club,” Dwight Star & Herald, December 7, 1912.

54 Emil H. Rothe and Arthur R. Ahrens, “History of the Chicago City Series,” SABR Research Journal Archives (Accessed February 9, 2020).

55 “Big Leaguers Defeat F.L. Smiths,” Dwight Star & Herald, October 26, 1912.

56 Ibid.

57 Paul R. Steichen, “Dwight Baseball of Bygone Days Full of Interest,” Dwight Star & Herald, September 2, 1938.

58 “Cubs Defeat Dwight,” The Pantagraph, October 25, 1912.

59 “Big Leaguers Defeat F.L. Smiths.”

60 “Rousing Reception,” Dwight Star & Herald, August 9, 1913.

61 “Base Ball Season Opens Here Sunday,” Dwight Star & Herald, April 19, 1913.

62 “Dwight,” The Pantagraph, April 25, 1913.

63 Larkin, Kevin. “Opening Day of the 1914 Federal League Season.” An Author of, Whales, Terriers, and Terrapins: The Federal League 1914-15. Phoenix: Society for American Baseball Research, Inc., 2020, 387.

64 “Chicago ‘Feds’ Win at Dwight,” Chicago Tribune, June 5, 1913.

65 “Three Games of Base Ball,” Dwight Star & Herald, June 7, 1913.

66 https://history.nebraska.gov/publications/green-guy-w (accessed on February 17, 2020)

67 “F.L. Smiths Win Two Games,” Dwight Star & Herald, September 20, 1913.

68 “Rebels Lose in Race by Idleness,” Pittsburgh Press, June 8, 1915.

69 “Subs Defeat Dwight Club,” Pittsburgh Post, June 8, 1915.

70 “Sports,” The Times (Streator, Illinois), July 23, 1915.

71 “Smiths Defeat Fairbury,” The Pantagraph, August 23, 1915.

72 “Going Up,” Dwight Star & Herald, August 21, 1915.

73 “Brooklyn Signs Halstead,” The Times (Streator, Illinois), August 25, 1915.

74 “F.L. Smiths Beat Henry,” The Pantagraph, August 11, 1915.

75 “Dwight Beats Stahls,” The Pantagraph, September 20, 1915.

76 “Whales Defeat Dwight,” The Pantagraph, October 13, 1915.

77 “Almost a Record Breaking Crowd at Mazon Fair Today,” Dwight Star & Herald, September 18, 1915.

78 “Smiths Defeat Morris,” The Pantagraph, September 18, 1915.

79 “Col. Smith Urged to Enter Race,” The Inter Ocean, November 15, 1911.

80 “The Political Rise of Hon. Frank L. Smith,” Woodford County Journal, May 6, 1926.

81 “Col. Smith Tour Was an Ovation,” The Pantagraph, August 8, 1916.

82 Herrick.

83 Wooddy, 94-95.

84 “Smith, Frank Leslie,” History, Art & Archives: United States House of Representatives.

85 Wooddy, 96.

86 “Smith, Frank Leslie.”

87 Wooddy, 9.

88 “The (Other) Man Who Tried to Buy a Senate Seat,” NBC 5 Chicago, June 3, 2011.

89 Cummings.

90 “Smith, Frank Leslie.”

91 “Senate Bars Smith by Vote of 61 to 23; Lorimer in Running,” The Baltimore Sun, January 20, 1928.

92 “The (Other) Man Who Tried to Buy a Senate Seat.”

93 “Smith Details Offer to Quit Senate Race,” The Baltimore Sun, August 17, 1931.

94 “Smith, Frank Leslie.”

95 “Col. Frank L. Smith Dies at Dwight Home.”

96 “Frank L. Smith Estate Valued at $400,000,” The Times-Press, September 21, 1950.

Full Name

Frank Leslie Smith

Born

November 24, 1867 at Dwight, IL (US)

Died

August 30, 1950 at Dwight, IL (US)

If you can help us improve this player’s biography, contact us.

Tags

© SABR. All Rights Reserved