Leaving the service after the war, he studied jurisprudence at Heidelberg, GÃ¶ttingen and Jena, and in 1819 went for a while to Geneva to complete his studies.
Geneva has a public library, a city hospital and hygienic institute.
It is the seat of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station and of Hobart College (nonsectarian), which was first planned in 1812, was founded in 1822 (the majority of its incorporators being members of the Protestant Episcopal church) as successor to Geneva Academy, received a full charter as Geneva College in 1825, and was renamed Hobart Free College in 1852 and Hobart College in 1860, in honour of Bishop John Henry Hobart.
A co-ordinate woman's college, the William Smith school for women, opened in 1908, was endowed in 1906 by William Smith of Geneva, who at the same time provided for a Hall of Science and for further instruction in science, especially in biology and psychology.
In 1888 the Smith Observatory was built at Geneva, being maintained by William Smith, and placed in charge of Dr William Robert Brooks, professor of astronomy in Hobart College.