Growing up and learning in Grinnell, IA
Born in 1914, Edith Renfrow Smith grew up in one of the oldest African American families in the town of Grinnell. Her parents – Eva Pearl Craig (1875-1962) and Lee Augustus Renfrow (1872-1945) – had settled in Grinnell at the turn of the 20th century.
Mrs. Renfrow Smith is the fifth of six Renfrow children, and like her siblings, she attended the local public schools. As a teenager, she was an avid athlete. She participated in calisthenics and was a member of both the basketball and volleyball teams at Grinnell High School.