Encyclopedia Titanica


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Funeral arrangements for Mrs. Mary Eloise Hughes Smith, 47, 1140 Fifth Avenue, who died unexpectedly in a Cincinnati, Ohio sanitarium yesterday at 5 A.M., were incomplete last night. Plans were withheld, members of the family said, pending word from Mrs. Smith's son, Lucien P. Smith of Uniontown, Pa., who had not yet been located.

Mrs. Smith's sister, Mrs. Tudelle Hughes VanSant and her aunt, Mrs. Donald Clark, left San Antonio, Texas, yesterday morning and are expected in Huntington tonight. Her mother, Mrs. James A. Hughes, of the Fifth Avenue address, returned from Cincinnati yesterday morning, accompanied by Miss Jean VanSant, a niece, who is a student nurse in a hospital in the Ohio city.


After an illness of several weeks, Mrs. Smith Thursday developed complications which led to the decision to go to Cincinnati for treatment. Her condition on arrival there by motor was regarded as serious not critical. She died yesterday morning, physicians ascribing a heart attack as the cause.

One of West Virginia's best known women, Mrs. Smith had lived a life marked by the dramatic and tragedy. Born in Huntington, August 7, 1893, she spent her earlier infancy here. Much of her girlhood was spent in Washington, where her father, the late James A. Hughes served 16 years as a member of the House of Representatives. After a course in an exclusive finishing school she was presented to society in Washington and Huntington. Her rare beauty and incisive mind rendered her instantly popular. Shortly after her debut her engagement to Lucien P. Smith of Uniontown, Pa., was announced.


Her marriage to Mr. Smith was solemnized at Central Christian Church, February 8, 1912. The wedding and the reception which followed are remembered as among the outstanding social events in Huntington. Amid warmest congratulations and with prospect which seemed of the brightest, the young Mr. and Mrs. Smith left for a honeymoon visit to Egypt.

Returning homeward, the couple engaged passage on the palatial liner Titanic. On the voyage across the Atlantic the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank. Among the 1,513 persons who lost their lives, was Lucien P. Smith. He had placed his bride in a lifeboat and remained behind to go down with the ship in one of the most terrible marine disasters in modern peacetime history.

Mrs. Smith came to Huntington where her son, Lucien P. Smith, III, was born.

Subsequently she married Robert W. Daniel of Philadelphia, from whom she was divorced. Her third husband, Lewis Cort, died several years after their marriage.


Resuming the name of the father of her son, Mrs. Smith made her home in Huntington, spending much time in Uniontown and Florida. She was active in politics, a leader in Republican party affairs. A gifted speaker, she toured the state in several campaigns. At one time she held an administrative position in the pension bureau at Washington.

In the months preceding her death she had been gathering material for a book on the sinking of the Titanic and had taken a special course to prepare herself for an executive position in hotel management.

A granddaughter of Colonel and Mrs. Samuel Sperry Vinson of Wayne County, Mrs. Smith leaves her mother, the former Miss Belle Vinson, her son, her sister, Mrs. VanSant, her niece, Miss Jean VanSant and a nephew Jerry VanSant. She was a member of Central Christian Church.

Related Biographies

Mary Eloise Smith


Encyclopedia Titanica (2003) SMITH FUNERAL PLANS DELAYED : PROMINENT HUNTINGTON WOMAN DEAD; SURVIVOR OF TITANIC ( ref: #20032, published 28 August 2003, generated 29th November 2021 03:46:25 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/smititanic-survivor-smith-funeral-plans-delayed.html