Encyclopedia Titanica

Mary Eloise Smith

Mary Eloise Smith
Mary Eloise Smith

Mrs. Mary Eloise Hughes Smith was born on 7 August 1893 in Huntington, West Virginia.  Her father was West Virginia Congressman James A. Hughes and her mother was Belle Vinson Hughes, a member of the Vinson family well-known in politics.

Her father being a member of the House of Representatives, Eloise spent a significant amount of her childhood in Washington, D.C.  Upon her debut to society in January 1912, Eloise caught the attention of Mr. Lucian Philip Smith.  Mr. Smith, who was 24, was a prominent resident of Morgantown, West Virginia, where he had attended and graduated from West Virginia University.

The couple married on 8 February 1912 at the Central Christian Church in Huntington.  The wedding was described by a local newspaper as “one of the most brilliant wedding functions the city ever witnessed.”  The Smiths left for a long honeymoon that would take them to Egypt, the Middle East, and, finally, Europe.

According to family lore, the newlyweds decided to end their journey early when Eloise discovered she was two months pregnant.  She wrote home excitedly:

'Lucian is getting so anxious to get home and drive the car and fool around on the farm....We leave here Sunday... By boat to Brindisi [Italy], by rail to Nice and Monte Carlo, then to Paris and via Cherbourg either on the Lusitania or the new Titanic....I will love so much to tell my Sunday School class when I get home...'

The Smiths booked a first-class passage back to the United States onboard the Titanic.  They boarded the ship in Cherbourg on the evening of 10 April 1912, and occupied cabin C-31.

Eloise HughesOn Sunday evening, following dinner in the Café Parisian, Lucian was playing a game of cards with three Frenchmen. When the accident occurred at 11:40, Eloise had already retired for the night.  She was awakened after the collision by Lucian, who “leisurely” informed her: “We are in the north and have struck an iceberg.  It does not amount to anything, but will probably delay us a day getting into New York.  However, as a matter of form, the Captain has ordered all ladies on deck.”

On deck, Eloise approached Captain Smith and, informing him she was alone, asked if her husband might not accompany her in the lifeboat.  Her request was refused by the repeated order of “Women and children first!”

Eloise was rescued in lifeboat 6, under the command of Quartermaster Robert Hitchens.  Lucian was lost, and his body was not among the recovered that were identified.

After being picked up by the Carpathia, Eloise was given the cabin of fellow newlyweds Mr Charles Hutchison and his wife Emma.

On the eighteenth day of the U.S. inquiry, Eloise's affidavit was read before the senate committee by Congressman Hughes.  In it, she stated the whole disaster “seemed to be a moneyed accident.”

On 29 November 1912, Lucian Philip Smith II was born.

Mrs. Eloise Smith, a Titanic widow, of Cincinnati, gave birth to a baby Nov. 30. Mrs. John Jacob Astor telegraphed her congratulations to the mother of the posthumous child. - Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 5 December 1912

On 18 August 1914, Eloise remarried; this time wedding fellow first-class survivor Robert Williams Daniel of Richmond, Virginia.  The couple divorced in 1923.  Eloise would marry twice more before reverting back to her first married name of Smith.

Eloise Hughes Smith died on 3 May 1940 in a Cincinnati, Ohio sanitarium. She was 46.  Her death was attributed to a heart attack.  She was interred in the Vinson family plot in Spring Hill Cemetery, Huntington, West Virginia.

Grave of Mary Eloise Smith

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mrs Mary Eloise Smith (née Hughes)
Age: 18 years 8 months and 8 days (Female)
Nationality: American
Marital Status: Married to Lucian Philip Smith
Embarked: Cherbourg on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 13695, £60
Cabin No. C31
Rescued (boat 6)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Cause of Death:
Buried: Spring Hill Cemetery, Huntington, West Virginia, United States

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References and Sources

State of Ohio Certificate of Death
Huntington Herald Dispatch (West Virginia), 9th May, 1940, Obituary
Senate Hearings, 20 May 1912, Affidavit
United States Senate (62nd Congress), Subcommittee Hearings of the Committee on Commerce, Titanic Disaster, Washington 1912
New York Herald, 19th April 1912
Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 5 December 1912
Joseph Platania Huntington Quarterly A Titanic Tale
The Sketch, 1 January 1913

Research Articles

Brandon Whited Titanica! (2015) The Trials of Eloise Hughes Smith
The only woman in the world who in just a year's time made her debut, got engaged, married, survived the Titanic, became a widow, and then a mother

Newspaper Articles

New York Times Parted by Death on Their Honeymoon Trip
Raleigh Herald VOTE FOR J.A. HUGHES.
The Washington Post (9 February 1912) Daughter of Representative Hughes Weds
Daily Standard Union (16 April 1912) BRIDAL COUPLE VICTIMS OF WRECK
Washington Times (16 April 1912) Congressman Hughes' Daughter Was Among Those on the Vessel
Washington Times (17 April 1912) Heartfelt Sympathy Of Friends Here Goes To Mrs. L. P. Smith
Washington Times (17 April 1912) MRS. LUCIEN P. SMITH, Daughter of Congressman James A. Hughes
Evening Times (17 April 1912) ON THEIR HONEYMOON
L'Eclaireur de Nice et du Sud-Ouest (18 April 1912) Mrs. Schabert, Mr. Mock, Mr. and Mrs. L.P. Smith, Mr. Stewart
Washington Times (19 April 1912) Ismay Condemned for Taking Boat
Daughter of Congressman Hughes Tells of Experience In Sea Disaster
New York Times (22 April 1912) TO HOLD ISMAY TO THE END
Smith is determined that the Director-Manager of the White Star Line shall be held in this country until the investigation is closed
Raleigh Herald (9 May 1912) Memorial for Lucian P. Smith
Bluefield Daily Telegraph (10 May 1912) MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR LUCIAN SMITH SUNDAY
The Washington Herald (30 November 1912) Third Widow, Due to Titanic Wreck, Becomes a Mother
New York Tribune (1 December 1912) Father of Mrs. Smith's Boy Went Down with Ship.
Chicago Examiner (1 December 1912) Second Titanic Baby Born
Sphere (28 December 1912) Lucien P. Smith's December baby
Mary Eloise Smith pregnant on Titanic
The Sketch (1 January 1913) Mary Eloise Smith
New York Tribune (15 April 1913) MRS. ELOISE HUGHES SMITH AND HER SON
New York Herald (27 October 1914) Titanic Survivors Keep Their Wedding Quiet
News of the wedding created surprise in social circles
Two of those determined to risk the danger of a voyage are survivors of the Titanic disaster
Philadelphia Record (9 May 1915) OTHERS SAIL FOR EUROPE
Philadelphians Leave on American and French liners.
New York Times (11 April 1923) Mrs. Eloise Hughes Smith Reweds
Prominent in Washington society
New York Times (7 December 1923) R. W. DANIEL WED TO MRS. CAMPBELL
Spend honeymoon in Atlantic City.
Thomasville Times-Enterprise (16 July 1928) Durant's Daughter in Nevada
In Nevada with the intention of suing for a divorce
New York Times (11 October 1929) R. W. DANIEL MARRIES MRS. C. B. CHRISTIAN
Third Wife Distant Relative in Virginia
Charleston Daily Mail (12 January 1930) Hughes and Wright Wedding Announced
Charleston Gazette (22 March 1936) Mrs. Eloise H. Smith To Speak at Tabernacle
Charleston Gazette (4 May 1940) Eloise H. Smith Dies in Cincinnati
Charleston Gazette (5 May 1940) L. P. Smith Hunted
New York Times (21 December 1940) ROBERT W. DANIEL, EX-BANKER HERE, 56
Was Survivor of the Titanic


Eloise, wife of Lucian P. Smith
Grave of Mary Eloise Smith
Pittsburgh Post Gazette (1913) Eloise Smith and her baby son Lucian Smith Jr.
Huntington Advertiser (1940) Mary Eloise Smith

Documents and Certificates

(1940) Mary Eloise Smith (Death Certificate)
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Comment and discuss


Gavin Bell, UK
Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden
Phillip Gowan, USA
Brandon Whited, USA