What can I say, except that I wish more candidates had to print their life story in the paper?
The Caddo Herald
April 14, 1916
Claude Smith for County Attorney
To the voters of Bryan County:
I take this means of announcing to the voters of Bryan County that I am a candidate for the Democratic nomination of County Attorney of Bryan County, subject to the Democratic primary.
In offering myself as a candidate, and in asking for your support and influence in the campaign, I do so with the full knowledge of the fact that the great majority of democratic voters desire and demand some information regarding the personal history and qualifications of any person who seeks to be elected to public office. And in view of that fact I deem it proper at this time for me to give you some information regarding myself and my qualifications for the office of County Attorney.
I am the son of W. T. and Louvina Smith who reside at Caddo, Okla. My father came from Tennessee and my mother was born and raised near old Mayhew, in Choctaw county, near the Bryan county line. My mother’s maiden name was Bohannon. I was born and raised in Bryan County and have lived in this county all of my life. I was born at Jackson, seven miles east of Bennington, on the 26th day of March, 1891. When I was about one month old my parents moved to Caddo where they have resided ever since. As soon as I was old enough I started to school at Caddo and continued as a pupil of the public school there until I graduated in May, 1908. In September of that year I entered the Academic department of Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA. I was student of that department of two years and obtained a certificate in the study of Economics and History. In the fall of 1910 I entered the law department of the same University. I was out of school during a part of the year 1911 on account of trouble with my eyes. But I re-entered Washington and Lee in the fall of 1911 and resumed the study of law. I continued to study law there until I graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Laws in the spring of 1913. I immediately returned to Caddo and engaged in the practice of law, being admitted to practice by the Supreme Court of Oklahoma in June 1913. I continued the practice at Caddo until September 1914 when I entered the law department of Yale University at New Haven, Connecticut to take post-graduate work in Constitutional Law and Criminal Law. I remained at Yale until January 1915, and in February 1915 I moved to Durant where I engaged in the practice of law and where I have since resided, being at this time a member of the law firm of Smith & Stinson. I am a member of the Presbyterian Church.
If I am elected County Attorney it is my purpose to devote my every energy to the affairs of the office and I promise to perform the duties of a prosecutor fairly, honestly, earnestly, and vigorously, regardless of who a defendant may be or what station in life he may occupy. That is my conception of the duties of County Attorney and I shall do all in my powers to capably and conscientiously carry out those duties impartially without fear or favor.
It is not my purpose to make this campaign on the demerit s or lack of qualifications of my opponent. The people should choose their officers on merit and qualifications and if I am not fitted for the office by reason of my own merits and my own qualifications then I am certainly not fitted for the office because of some demerit or lack of qualification on the part of some other candidate.
I ask that you give my candidacy your carful and thoughtful consideration. I hope to see every voter personally before election day. Your support and influence is earnestly solicited and will be very greatly appreciated. Respectfully, Claude Smith