Spouse: Nora Bryan
Sheriff-Killed in line of duty
Israel Smith, the 27th person to hold office as sheriff, was killed by gunfire on March 14, 1922 while leading a posse to a whiskey still on White Oak Mountain. He was the first member of the Bradley County Sheriff's Office to lose his life in the line of duty. Since then, three deputies and one Cleveland Police Officer have died.
According to reports published in the Cleveland Herald newspaper, Smith met with his deputies at Star Dry Cleaners to finalize plans for the raid that they would carry out the following morning.
It was three a.m. when Sheriff Smith and his men arrived to arrest the moon shiners. As they approached the area where the still was located, the suspects fled and Sheriff Smith ran to the north side of the still to cut them off. He was struck in the chest by gunfire and was dead when Jailer G.G. Bryant reached his fallen leader's side. It was determined later the bullet had pierced an artery in the sheriff's heart.
As word spread, the Bradley County community was shocked by his untimely death.
Several rewards were posted, but it was a 12-year-old boy who lived near the still who tipped off police that Luther and Jasper Boring operated the still and had killed the sheriff.
To honor Sheriff Smith's legacy, a legislative act was sponsored by State Representative Chris Newton to name a section of South Lee Highway in his memory. Sheriff Dan Gilley proposed the legislation, including appropriate signage to honor Sheriff Smith.
Nora Lee Bryan Smith (1875 - 1917)*
New Friendship Cemetery
GPS (lat/lon): 35.20444, -84.77339
Created by: Elizabeth Olmstead
Record added: Nov 24, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 12479650