C.P.Smith Elementary School Home Page

About C. P. Smith

C. P. Smith Elementary School was named after Charles Plympton Smith, Jr., who was born on April 22, 1891, in Burlington. The son of Charles P. Smith and Anna (Pease) Smith, he was one of six children.

Mr. Smith founded many Burlington businesses such as the Ford Agency, C. P. Smith, Jr., Inc.  He was president of the agency from 1924 until it was sold in 1960.  He was also president of the Vermont Auto Dealers Association.  He founded the C. P. Smith Petroleum Corp., and the C. P. Smith Supply Company, an appliance company.

In 1942, Mr. Smith served as president of the Burlington Community YMCA and was treasurer of the Vermont State YMCA. He was also a National Associate of the Boys Club of America. From 1947-1949, he was a member of the Vermont Senate, seat #8, where he helped to pass one of the first State Aid to Education bills.

Mr. Smith also served on the Vermont Board of Education and was its Chairman in 1949.  Mr. Smith did not think of himself as a real politician, but he liked people and enjoyed working for education in the legislature.  He felt that his work there was more a form of community service rather than being involved.
In 1954, Mr. Smith was president of the Mary Fletcher Associates, and named a director of the hospital in 1956.  He had also been appointed as trustee and governor of the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont.  In 1958, the University of Vermont Alumni Association presented him with its Distinguished Service Award.  He was also conferred with an honorary Doctor of Law Degree from the University of Vermont in the same year.  He was a trustee of the University of Vermont and served as Chairman in 1960.

On August 18, 1958, C. P. Smith broke ground for our school.  He was 68 years old at the time.  He thought it was very special to have a school named after him and he visited our school many times after it was built.  His picture hangs in the school lobby, and there is more information about C. P. Smith in a binder catalogued in the school Learning Center.
(Research and article by former C.P. Smith teacher, Sue Jenkins)
Family Update: February, 2017

In 1958 our school was built and named after Charles Plimpton Smith II, a prominent community leader, owner of the first car dealership in Vermont in the 1920’s, state legislator, and state education board chair. His father, Charles Plimpton Smith I (1847-1937) had been president of the Burlington Savings Bank for forty-five years and represented Burlington in the State Legislature and later Senate. 
The son of C.P. Smith II, C.P. Smith III, died in World War II. Younger cousin C.P. (Charlie) Smith IV (1954-present), and his son C.P. (Chas) Smith V (1989-present), live in Burlington and are involved in a variety of local businesses and community organizations.  Chas (C.P. Smith V) visited C.P. Smith Elementary School in February, 2017 to tell students about his family’s history and encouraged them to study hard and be good citizens in their school and community.