Justice of New York Supreme Court 2nd District, 1897-1903
"A Great Jurist Gone - Justice Wilmot M. Smith is dead. After a week's illness, from acute Bright's disease, Justice Smith passed away at 12:20 yesterday morning at his Patchogue home. He was delirious about 10:00 and gradually sank into unconsciousness until the end came. His death was peaceful, Dr. A.R. Pettit of Patchogue; Dr. George B. Jeffreys, a Brooklyn specialist, and two nurses had worked faithfully to prolong this great man's life. He was a martyr to duty. The Judge presided at the February term in Brooklyn, and aware that the fatal disease was gradually sapping his life away, began the regular March term at Riverhead. Later when he had such a severe cold that he could not speak he held court in his own home. Wednesday night of last week he took his bed, and from that time his intimate friends and doctors gave up hope for his recovery. He was to have presided at the April term in White Plains, but other provision was made a few days ago. His term as Justice would have expired December 31, 1909.
Justice Wilmot M. Smith was strictly a son of Suffolk County, his ancestors being among the early settlers. He was born at Hauppauge March 21, 1852, and was the son of Moses Rolph Smith and May H. Wood. His father was a farmer, and the Judge often delighted to tell of his early boyhood experiences in farm life. Deceased attended the Huntington High School for some time, but did not graduate from that institution. He graduated with honor from Cornell University and entered the law office of the late Judge John Lawrence Smith at Smithtown soon after. He was admitted to the bar in 1877, was elected district attorney of Suffolk in 1884, county judge in 1891, and Supreme Court Justice of the Second Judicial District in 1895.
He was married November 24, 1881, to Miss Lizzie L. Mott, daughter of Captain Alfred C. Mott. Mrs. Smith, like her husband, has been a leader in public improvements, and is now president of Sorosis and the Carnegie Library trustees, of Patchogue. Their children are Mrs. Pansy Williamson, who last fall was married to Herbert Garfield Williamson, a prominent young Brooklyn attorney; Wilmot M. Smith Jr., who is a student at the Polytechnic, and Miss Elsie Smith.
Judge Smith was not much of a club man, although he was identified with the Brooklyn club and the Hamilton club. He was one of the organizers of the Union Hook and Ladder company, of Patchogue, and was one of the incorporators of the Patchogue Fire department. He was a member of the Patchogue Exempt Firemen's association.
His last public appearance was at the dinner of the Suffolk County association, in Manhattan, where he made a brief address, and shortly before attended the annual dinner of the Patchogue Merchant's association.
His mother is still living in Smithtown. He is also survived by two brothers, Theron L. Smith, of Smithtown, and Herman T. Smith, of Brooklyn, and two sisters, Mrs. Ethelbert Arthur, of Smithtown, and Mrs. J. Newell Sammis, of this place.
The Justices of the Supreme Court in the Second District arranged yesterday to adjourn as soon as the cases actually on trial were finished. The sessions of several other courts were also adjourned as well as the Assembly at Albany.
The funeral will take place on Saturday at 2 p.m. from the Congregational church, of which Judge Smith was a regular attendant. The Rev. J.W. Maynard and the Rev. S.W. Haven will officiate. The pallbearers will be Justice Almet F. Jenke, Justice Martin J. Keogh, Justice Garret J. Garretson, Justice Samuel T. Madox, and General Horatio C. King, of Brooklyn; ex-Surrogate N.D. Petty, of Riverhead, County Judge Walter H. Jaycox, and John E. Ketcham, of Patchogue, all close friends of the deceased. The interment will be in Cedar Grove cemetery at Patchogue; pending the erection of a family mausoleum.
(Long Islander (Huntington), Friday, March 30, 1906, Page: 5)
Elizabeth L. Mott Smith
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