Ida Smith was born in Philadelphia on 3rd July, 1871. Educated at the University of Nebraska, she married James Wise in 1889.
After the death of her husband in 1892 Ida became a teacher. A supporter of women's suffrage she was also an active member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). The main objective of the WCTU was to persuade all states to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages. Ida was president of Iowa's WCTU for 20 years. Later she became president of the national WCTU.
In 1930 President Herbert Hoover appointed Ida Wise Smith to the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection. In 1940 President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed her to the White House Conference on Children in Democracy.