ARIZARD-L ArchivesArchiver > ARIZARD > 2003-02 > 1045241599
From: "Bernie Moore-Knowles" <>
Subject: Re: [ARIZARD-L] Mae Cockrum Smith murder - Beth
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2003 09:53:22 -0700
<<Did you find more on the Cockrum, Smith Murders?
I'm still fascinated by the White River freezing over back then!>>
Not much more really...........it does appear that the poor child (Mae) was
with child at the time of her murder. How a jury could let that added
situation go and find the man not-guilty is beyond me..........you know?
It sure makes you wonder how this Ira Wilbur lived with himself. But, it
seems that he was an abuser and I suppose that they find a way to justify
just about anything that they inflict, don't they?
TWO FOUND DEAD NEAR SHIPS FERRY
Ellen Cockrum and Daughter Found Murdered in woods After Being Missed Four
Ellen Cockrum and her daughter May Smith, who lived near Ships Ferry were
found dead in the woods, by neighbors on Tuesday afternoon, both having been
murdered. The couple had been missing from their home since Friday. Sheriff
Hurst and Prosecuting Attorney Edgar Douglas left for the scene early
Wednesday morning. Dotson Brewer, Coroner arrieved on the scene the same
time as they did and convened a coroners jury. As yet no verdict has been
rendered, the jury still being in session.
Mrs Ellen Cockrum was a woman of about 45 years of age, wife of Doc Cockrum,
who left this county some years ago. Her daughter, May Smith was about 18
years old and the wife of Wm. Smith, a soldier in the National Army, who
went out with one of the first increments of drafted men from this county.
He is now stationed at Camp Beauregard. The women lived by themselves on a
The bodies were found about a mile from their house in the woods. The elder
woman was sitting under a ledge of rock presumable shot from above. Her
daughter was lying about 60 years away, face down.
Note: For those of you new to this local story..........Mae Cockrum was
married to my grandfather's brother; William Smith. William was a soldier
stationed in France during WWI, at the time of the murder of his young wife
and unborn child. William's life is a mystery to me, really. He did
remarry to a woman named Ann and together they had a child named Catherine
(married a Beck) and a son; Francis. Young Francis was killed, too - while
playing near railroad tracks with his friends. I have pieced this family
together by vintage photographs only. I was not aware of a first marriage
for William at all; until recently hooking up with a Smith cousin; Bob
Hudson last year. He had a wonderful photograph of young William Smith and
his new bride; May Cockrum from his gramdnother's belongings. He was in a
military uniform in the photograph and she wrapped in a wool coat. It may
well could have been taken shortly before her death.
My Smith family is slowly but surely coming together. A long way to go -
but, got to admit that with Vera and Fern Whitfield's help - last year was a
breakthrough year for me!
Thanks for asking, Beth. A record freeze at the time May was murdered,
"I have Indian blood in me. I have just enough White blood for you to
question my honesty." ........Will Rogers
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2003 11:23 PM
Subject: [ARIZARD-L] Re: Responding to gatewayed messages--Vera & all
> In a message dated 2/1/03 8:25:17 PM Central Standard Time,
> << I'm curious about something, since this original query came from the
> > board, will the poster get a copy of the reply, or would it have to be
> > e-mailed direct and/or posted to the message board for them to see it?
> > Deb
> Since I'm not sure just how that works I sent it to the list and a cc to
> person direct. I figure better to get 2 than not at all.
> Vera, I'm so glad that you mentioned this.
> List readers when you see a message that has been gatewayed and you have a
> valid response, please post not only to this list but directly back to the
> contributor's email. That way you know the person posting the original
> has the opportunity to read your response, when you just post back to this
> list---the person may never check back to find a response.
> Bernie, as usual she's out there getting things done.
> Did you find more on the Cockrum, Smith Murders?
> I'm still fascinated by the White River freezing over back then!
> Goodness, it must have been cold.
> Beth Peck Cooper
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