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Smith, Frances Grace

Frances Grace Smith

Frances Grace Smith was born in Springfield, MA on Dec. 27, 1870, the daughter of George B. Smith and Mary L. Stebbins. Her father was the City Assessor for Springfield, MA and she was raised in the Baptist faith. She graduated from Smith College with the Class of 1893. During her undergraduate career she focused her studies on the Classics and taught Latin at the high school in Warren, MA during 1895-1897. Frances redirected her life to Botany and returned to Smith College and received her M.A. in 1899. She continued her education at the University of Chicago and was granted her doctorate in 1906. While she was undertaking her doctoral study she also worked at Smith College in the botany department. She started as an assistant in 1900, was promoted to Instructor in 1905, to Associate Professor in 1911 and finally to full Professor in 1929. She retired from teaching in 1937 but she continued to do research until her death. Her research focused on ferns, Diellia in particular, about which she published several books and articles. Frances traveled frequently to tropical locations in search of ferns. She spent many winters in Honolulu, Hawaii where she was connected to the Bishop Museum.

Frances died May 25, 1948 in Northampton, MA after a prolonged illness.

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