Saving the past for the future


By William S. Tribell - [email protected]



William S. Tribell | Daily News Dr. Kenneth Smith at the Bell County Historical Museum’s library. A longtime resident of Middlesboro, Smith says he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.


From the hallowed halls and green pastures of Harvard University to the peaks and hollows of Appalachia, Dr. Kenneth Smith came to Middlesboro with purpose.

A longtime resident of Middlesboro, Smith was born and raised in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Smith earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his medical degree at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts. He came to Middlesboro in 1962 after completing his post graduate medical education at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

Smith found employment with the United Mine Workers Welfare and Retirement Fund and took a position in Middlesboro. He says it was a bit of a culture shock at the time, but he soon acclimated and now he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

“I enjoy this area very much,” said Smith. “I like outdoor activities — botany and hiking, and of course when I found out there was a national park right next door that was really something. When I retired my wife and I never even considered moving somewhere else — it’s a wonderful place.”

He has been a member of the First Presbyterian Church for 50 years and serves as an elder. Smith stays busy; getting out doors anytime he can. He says the Sugar Run Trail in the Cumberland Gap National Park is a favorite recreation. He is also very active with the Middlesboro Cemetery Board.

Smith has been a member of the Bell County Historical Society for more than a decade. He is on the Publishing Committee for the societies journal: The Gateway. He also serves as chairman of the Accessions Committee. It is this committee’s job to review and accept items donated to the Society’s museum and archive.

“We are particularly interested in items pertaining to the history of this area,” he said. “We are very interested in receiving old pictures that we can make copies of and return to the owners.”

Anyone with items to donate or photos the museum can make copies of, visit the Bell County Historical Society Museum at 207 North 20th Street in Middlesboro. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday.

For more information about the museum and their projects or to join the Bell County Historical Society, contact the them at 606-242-0005 or visit their Facebook page.

Reach William Tribell at 606 302-9100 or on Twitter @wtribellmdn

William S. Tribell | Daily News Dr. Kenneth Smith at the Bell County Historical Museum’s library. A longtime resident of Middlesboro, Smith says he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
http://middlesborodailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_1-Ken-Smith.jpgWilliam S. Tribell | Daily News Dr. Kenneth Smith at the Bell County Historical Museum’s library. A longtime resident of Middlesboro, Smith says he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

By William S. Tribell

[email protected]

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