American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Joseph Cooke Smith, 1863-1942

  • In Memoriam
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1944


Joseph Cooke Smith died at Vevey, Switzerland, on June 9th, 1942. Born in Providence, R. I., March 1st, 1863, he was graduated from M. I. T. in 1888; was later employed by the Union Cotton Co. as a chemist; sent abroad by them, he contracted dysentery on board ship, and while recuperating in Switzerland (a country he already knew well in his early youth), he met Annie Melicent Collins, whom he married in London, December 3rd, 1898. He then spent most of his life at Champéry, Switzerland, in his villa “Chalet des Terrasses.” During these many years, he became an outstanding authority on the mountains along the Swiss- Haute Savoie boundary, among which he climbed very extensively, chiefly with the guides Isaac Clement and Henry Gex-Collet. He had also climbed at Zermatt, where he did the traverse of the Matterhorn with Joseph Biener.

In addition to membership in the American Alpine Club, which he joined as a Life Member in 1920, Mr. Smith was a member of numerous Swiss historical societies, of the Swiss Alpine Club and the Alpine Club of London.

J. E. F.

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