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Bride who was widowed by the Titanic disaster and babe whose father went down with the ship

Anniversary of Titanic Disaster
Recalls Experience of Mrs. Eloise Hughes Smith


Wiser, She Thinks, to Aid the Poorer Sufferers and Orphans than to Scatter Flowers on the Waves

Washington, April 14. - The great steamship Titanic struck the submerged spur of an iceberg in midocean one year ago this week, and went down. It was the worst sea disaster of modern times, and the first anniversary naturally recalls the horror of it all.

There were 2,100 persons on board the Titanic, including a crew of 860, and only 704 were put afloat in the boats, to be picked up later by the Carpathia. Wives waved farewell from the boats to husbands on the decks of the doomed vessel, and brave men met death that fair women might live.

One bride of only two months was Eloise Hughes Smith, the daughter of Representative James A. Hughes, of Huntington W. Va. Two months before she had made her social debut with a notable coming out party at the Willard Hotel in Washington. A week later she had married and gone abroad for her honeymoon. Both husband and wife were glad to turn homeward, and were proud to secure quarters on the Titanic. The crash came and Mrs. Smith, a widow, was the first to land from the Carpathia in New York, to be met by her father and mother in tearful joy. There were tears for the brave husband who went down a hero, and joy that the daughter, only nineteen, had been saved.

So it came to pass that some months later Eloise Hughes Smith could sadly enough relate that in less than a year she had been debutante, bride, widow and mother. A lusty son came to the household, and was called Lucien Smith, 2d, in honor of the father. The lad is consolation in part, and is the autocrat of the Hughes household, either in Washington or Huntington.

The joys and sorrows of a single year have made the widow and mother more beautiful than ever, and, above all else, more womanly. She has never ceased to mourn her loss or to recall the horror of the night when torn from her husband's side forever, but the sorrows and chastening of such a blow have given a new beauty to the young widow - a beauty the more attractive because of the indefinable sadness lurking in the expression even in hours of happiness.

Mrs. Smith did not approve of the suggestion made by other Titanic widows that flowers should be scattered on the waves where the Titanic went down. Even with the shadowed romance she could see no good in reviving the memories of an awful night by visiting the scene, even with sentimental design. As one of a practical mind, she thought it would be wiser to aid the poorer widows and orphans, and nobler, besides, to bear sorrow and affliction without ostentatious display or advertising.

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Encyclopedia Titanica (2013) MRS. ELOISE HUGHES SMITH AND HER SON (New York Tribune, Tuesday 15th April 1913, ref: #19317, published 17 February 2013, generated 23rd June 2024 05:17:29 AM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor-eloise-hughes-smith-and-her-son-lucien.html