Encyclopedia Titanica


New York Times

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Estate of Titanic Victim Cannot Be Settled Until They Have Been Notified
Father Was Returning from a Visit to Them and All His Private Papers Were Lost with Him
Frederick K. Seward, counsel for J. Montgomery Smart, one of the victims of the Titanic disaster, is still searching the world for Mr. Smart's two children. The search has now been going on for several months without the slightest clue having been obtained as to their whereabouts. The two children, a girl 18 years old and a boy of 20, are supposed to be in school somewhere in Europe.

Mr. Smart went abroad early in the year for the purpose, it is thought, of visiting his children. He was on his way home when he met his death. He was the President of the American Cold Storage and Shipping Company, with offices in the Produce Exchange Building in this city and in Southampton, England. Until the children are found it is impossible to settle his estate.

Mr. Seward would not hazard a guess yesterday as to the value of the estate. It might be as small as $20,000 or as large as $100,000. Mr. Smart also was a promoter. He was interested in many ventures, some of which may yield large returns. Every effort has been made to learn some particulars about the early life of Mr. Smart in the hope that through relatives the children might be found. But nothing has been learned. His past lies in an impenetrable mist.

Mr. Seward and Mr. Smart were warm personal friends for eight years. Yet all that Mr. Seward knows about his late client is that his wife died about ten years ago. Then the education of the children began, and it has been running along in schools in alien lands ever since.

From his many talks with him Mr. Seward inferred that Mr. Smart was born in Massachusetts, and that he was about 50 years old. For many years prior to his death Mr. Smart lived in the Victoria Hotel. He was something of a nomad. He traveled a great deal, and in all of his journeyings always carried all of his personal effects with him. These included all of his private papers and his accounts. Because of this there does not appear to be a scrap of anything on top of the earth that would be of service in tracing the missing children or in furnishing a clear idea of what his estate is worth. All of his effects lie at the bottom of the ocean.

Mr. Smart was a tall, robust, smooth-faced man with a florid complexion. He was well-educated, dressed well, was a good mixer, and there were many men who enjoyed his company. What lines he was promoting when the sea swallowed him, or what the chances were that any of these ventures would be successful are all shrouded in gloom.

It was thought that in the course of time those responsible for the care of his children would send some communication to this country or to Mr. Smart's English office that would furnish a clue by which the children could be traced. But no such word appears to have been sent. At any rate it has never reached the hands of his counsel.

If anything were needed to further complicate the case it is the fact that Mr. Smart so suddenly made up his mind to sail on the Titanic that many of his friends did not know he was aboard until some days after the ship went down. This was largely due to the fact that his name appeared upon the passenger list as John M. Smart. He was known by the name of J. Montgomery Smart, and those seeing his name in this shorter form did not at first recognize it.


Mark Baber, USA


Encyclopedia Titanica (2004) CAN FIND NO TRACE OF SMART CHILDREN (New York Times, Sunday 14th July 1912, ref: #3612, published 30 August 2004, generated 22nd October 2021 10:05:50 AM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/can-find-no-trace-smart-children.html