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Glenn M. Smith papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 542

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of the papers of Glenn Smith, Purdue faculty member known as the "Father of Golden Bantam Cross Corn." Papers primarily relate to agriculture, in particular growing, breeding, and developing corn. Types of materials include farm bulletins, newspaper articles and clippings, correspondence, awards and certificates, and printed material. Includes letters to Smith from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Purdue Agricultural Experiment Station bulletins on subjects such as hybrid popcorn in Indiana and gold sweet corn. Please see PDF Finding Aid for collection inventory.


  • 1933 - 1954


Language of Materials

Collection material is in English.

Access Information

This collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Copyrights held by Purdue University.

Biographical Information

Glenn M. Smith, scientist and faculty member, was born near Muscatine, Iowa on January 9, 1892. He received his B.S. degree from Iowa State College (Iowa State University) in 1916. After graduating, he worked for his father in his vegetable greenhouses. In 1917 he came to Purdue as a member of the instructional staff of the Department of Horticulture. In 1919, he left Purdue to join the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a pathologist in the Office of Cereal Crops and Diseases. However, he remained on the Purdue campus throughout his career. He completed his M.S. degree in Horticulture from Purdue in 1920.

At the beginning of his association with the U.S. Department of Agriculture he was assigned to develop a superior high yield sweet corn variety for the green market and canning industry that was also resistant to bacterial wilt. He accomplished this line of research by 1933 in cooperation with the Purdue Botany and Plant Pathology Department. Known as Golden Cross Bantam, the sweet corn variety was released to the public by Purdue University. This variety saved the corn canning industry and claimed about ninety percent of the market for many years thereafter. After this success, Smith continued to develop a number of other hybrids for the canning industry. His next area of research was popcorn. He took over this program in 1939. He was able to develop a number of hybrids that made Indiana a leader in its production. Some of the corn varieties he developed include: Golden Harvest, Hoosier Gold, Purgold, and Improved Golden Cross Bantam. After retiring from Purdue in 1958 he acted as a consultant for a number of sweet corn producers and Florida vegetable growers.

Smith received several honors. He received citations from the American Seed Trade Association in 1945, and later the Popcorn Processors Association, and in 1957 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Florida Seedmans Association.

He was a member of Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, and Gamma Sigma Delta fraternities. Locally he was active in the Masonic Lodge as a 33rd Degree Mason, a Knights Templar; and was a commander of the Knights of York Cross of Honor of Indiana and a grand high priest of Indiana Royal Arch Masons. He was a president of the Lafayette Optimists Club.


5.00 Linear Feet

1.00 mss._boxes

Processing Information

Materials have been housed in acid-free folders and boxes.
Glenn M. Smith papers
In Progress
Amanda Rumba and Archives Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
Third edition. Collection description first completed by Archives Staff at an unknown date.

Revision Statements

  • 2020-04-02: Collection identifier updated from 0000GMS1 to MSF 542 by Adriana Harmeyer.
  • 2020-04-23: Collection description updated by Amanda Rumba to align with data entry standards.
  • 2021-03-29: Biographical Information updated by E. Sandgren with sketch written by David Hovde

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States