About Us

Gertrude Scott Smith (1880–1958) was born in Aurora, Illinois. She was the daughter of Lewis K. and Mary Ende Scott.

Her father was born in New York and was described as a “prominent merchant” in Aurora.

Her mother was born in Illinois. Mary and Lewis had four children – Gertrude, Edith, Helena “Nell” and George.

Edith was a reporter for the Aurora Beacon-News. Edward Cooper. Their daughter Mary Lou Cooper married Frank K. Burgess, grandson of the founder of the Burgess-Norton Manufacturing Company in Geneva, Illinois. Both Frank and Mary Lou Burgess were prominent civic leaders in the Geneva community.

Helena “Nell” married

Gertrude Smith was a graduate of West Aurora High School. She furthered her education at Northern Illinois Teachers College (now Northern Illinois University) and the University of Chicago.

She married Burton Smith in 1906. He was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin in 1878. The couple resided with her parents at 256 Galena Street (now Boulevard) in Aurora. Mr. Smith was a salesman in the printing business.

Mrs. Smith taught for School District 129 for forty-six years. Her first teaching assignment was at Oak Street School in 1900 (later named Mary A. Todd School). She then was appointed principal of the South Lake Street School (later named Abraham Lincoln School).

She was transferred to West Aurora High School to teach mathematics. While at West High, she served as assistant principal and dean of girls. In spite of assuming these administrative responsibilities, she continued to teach advanced courses in mathematics.

Mr. Smith died in 1943. After her husband’s death, Mrs. Smith’s residence was listed as 433 Oak Avenue.

Gertrude Smith is described as having had "an indomitable faith and belief in most everybody, and this was the source of her wise and friendly counsel that inspired, encouraged and endeared her many students."

She retired in 1946. An article in the Aurora Economist reported that Mrs. Smith “exhibits no signs of weariness even though she has taught thousands of students throughout her career.” She was described by the publication as being “genial and understanding.”

Smith was an active member of the Aurora Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. She also maintained memberships in the American Association of University Women, Woman’s Club of Aurora and New England Congregational Church in Aurora.

She died in January 1958 and is buried next to her husband in Kaneville Cemetery.

Gertrude Scott Smith


Gertrude scott smith

West Aurora Teacher & Administrator (1900-1946)

Smith Building


Smith Elementary School 
Constructed 1963
1331 Robinwood Dr, Aurora, IL 60506