African American Library at the Gregory School

C.F. & Hortense Smith Collection: MSS.0003

An Inventory of Records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library

creator Smith, C. F.
creator Smith, Hortense
Title: C.F. & Hortense Smith Collection
Dates: 1922-2008
Identification: MSS.0003
Quantity: 0.75 Linear feet
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: African American Library at the Gregory School

Biographical note

C. F. Smith grew up in Houston’s Fifth Ward. He attended Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, where in 1938 he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Commercial Industries with an emphasis in electrical engineering. After a brief period during which he was the first black movie projectionist in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Smith served in the Navy Seabees during World War II. He returned to Houston after his discharge from service, and in 1943 became the first African American to pass the City of Houston Electrician’s exam. In 1945, Smith opened his business, the C. F. Smith Electric Co. In addition to his business, Smith has been involved in various community organizations throughout his life, from the Boy Scouts to the Houston chapter of the Associated Builders & Contractors. He was an active member of the Tuskegee Institute Alumni group. He died in 1989.

Eva Hortense Dugar was born September 19, 1916 to Richard and Adeline Dugar of Houston, Texas. She attended Crawford Elementary School and graduated from Phyllis Wheatley High School in 1933. She went on to study at Xavier University in New Orleans where she graduated in 1937. In 1942 She was married to C.F. Smith. They had 2 daughters, Patricia Smith Prather and Brenda Smith Long. An active member of her community and church, she served as a leader of the Girl Scouts in Houston, Texas. She was member of Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church. She served as a National Officer for the Ladies Auxiliary of Knights of Peter Claver, a Catholic organization. She served as a volunteer for the March of Dimes. She was also a member of the school of Ikebana of Houston, which is the Japanese art form of arranging flowers which brings nature and humanity into harmony. Despite being a mother and housewife she returned to pursue her graduate studies at Prairie View A&M University. She preceded her husband in 1983 and is buried at Paradise Cemetery in Houston, Texas.


Arrangement note

This collection is arranged by material type in 1 document box.

Smith, C.F.
Smith, Hortense
Long, Brenda Smith
African American women--Texas--Houston
African American men--Texas--Houston
African Americans
African American businesspeople
African American families--Texas--Houston
African American business enterprises

Related Material

PH 0006 C.F. & Hortense Smith Photo Collection

(HMRC) MSS 249 C.F. Smith Collection

Detailed Description of the Collection


Printed Materials

Box Folder
1 1 Prayer Book
2 Phi Beta Sigma-Shadows Cookbook
3 The Claverite (1956 and 1959)
4 Mayor's Report on Minority Group Problems And Progress


Publicity and Press

Box Folder
1 5 News Clippings
6 Letterhead and Stationary



Box Folder
1 7 Graduation Book
8 High School Autograph book


Professional Achievements

Box Folder
1 9 Awards
10 Bachelor of Science Degree-Tuskegee Institute
11 Diploma for Stenograpy-Johnson Business College


Tuskegee Institute

Box Folder
1 12 Parents' Day Committe



Box Folder
1 13 C.F. Smith Photo Album (photocopies)
14 Oversized prints


Vital Records

Box Folder
1 15 Death Certificate