New KRUEGER Family Gold Nuggets!

(This is research for a law school paper – not my family line)

I continue to research, almost obsessively, the fascinating KRUEGER family (with a focus on Dorothy Jane Krueger SMITH).  I have uncovered a few gold nuggets in the past couple of days that I will share in this post.

I do want to say that there are things I am not going to reveal here for several reasons.  If you have been following my posts on this research, you know that I am doing this to help my daughter with a paper she is writing on the Supreme Court case.  We have uncovered some little known facts about Dorothy’s court-martial and the subsequent appeal and writ of habeas-corpus filed by lawyers hired by General Krueger that led to the Supreme Court case.  These nuggets are reserved for my daughter’s paper and I will not talk about those facts here.  My primary focus is the family history research and this is all I will write about in this blog.

One of my biggest questions was, what happened to the teenaged children of Aubrey and Dorothy SMITH after the murder and Dorothy’s arrest.  I was able to find their names, which I won’t post here to protect their privacy.  However, I did find the answer to my question in a wonderful biography of General Walter KRUEGER, General Walter Krueger: Unsung Hero of the Pacific War by Kevin C. Holzimmer.  The children went to San Antonio, TX to live with the General and wife, Grace.  Grace was in failing health at the time and did not live to see her daughter released from prison.  The biography is full of wonderful nuggets of information.  I recommend it to anyone with an interest in military history, WWII or history in general.  It is meticulously researched and very well written.

I also found out that General Krueger was on the cover of Time Magazine 29 Jan 1945 and there is a wonderful article about him (with some terrific quotes) in the same issue. Intellectual copyright law prevents me from posting the cover picture or information from the article here, but I can give you links to both.  Well worth reading and the cover picture is great!

World Battlefronts: Old Soldier


Ask And You Shall Receive – Sometimes.

(This is research for a law school paper – not my family line)

Kathryn Smith Obit
Thank you, thank you, thank you genealogy community.  I had asked in my last post on Aubrey Dewitt Smith for an obituary for his mother, in hopes that would prove my research theory that Katie PIATT was his mother.

I had contacted Judy Young, who posted Aubrey Dewitt Smith’s memorial on Find a Grave.  She and I have been in communication for several weeks now trying to tie up loose ends in the line.

Today, Judy emailed me that she had contacted Frances Doubt SMITH, who researches SMITH and lives in that area.  A few hours later, Judy emails me a copy of the obituary I was trying SO hard to find!  It is a genealogical miracle.  Not only did it prove that Katie PIATT is Aubrey’s mother, but it gave me her full date of birth, place of birth. death of date and place of death.  It names her husband and her surviving children.  This is a wonderful gift and I am SO grateful to generous and helpful genealogists and family researchers who go above and beyond to help perfect strangers.

A HUGE THANK YOU to Judy and to Francis.  It means so much!

SMITH Family Tree for Aubrey Dewitt Smith

(This is research for a law school paper – not my family line)

I said on my post about Aubrey Dewitt Smith that I would write about his wife, Dorothy, next.  I decided instead to post Aubrey’s SMITH family tree.  I have most of this sourced, but some questions remain.  If anyone has further information or corrections to what I have posted here, please let me know.


Whether or not Katie Piatt was the wife of Dewitt E SMITH is not really a question for me.  There is much evidence to support this.  On the transcription of the Pilot Grove Cemetery, available on the USGenWeb site for Cooper County, MO, there is a tombstone for a De Loss SMITH, with the correct birth and death dates for Dewitt E Smith. The transcription states he is the husband of Kathryn, nee PIATT. I believe this is either a transcription error, or an engraving error that no one bothered to have fixed.  There is also a spot in his plot for Kathryn “Kate” nee PIATT; his wife; born 1876; daughter of James M and Nannie B nee Lloyd PIATT.  There is no evidence that she is buried here.  Perhaps her name was carved on the stone when it was made.  According to the Social Security Death Index, she died in PA.  We know she was alive in 1952 as she is listed in a newspaper article as a survivor of Aubrey Dewitt Smith.  The article gives her name as Mrs. Kathryn Smith of Boonville.  I have not been able to find burial information for her.

I am SEARCHING for her obituary and have looked everywhere I can think to look.  If anyone has her obituary or any other information on her death and burial, please share.

SMITH Family Report

First Generation


1. Rebecca. Born in 1803 in Virginia, United States.

Rebecca first married John A SMITH. John A died in 1860; he was 63. Born in 1797.

They had one child:

2            i.            Dewit (1832-1900)

In 1834 when Rebecca was 31, she second married John  A SMITH, son of Philemon SMITH & Nancy ABSHIRE. John  A died in Virginia, United States, on 6 Dec 1857; he was 60. Born on 6 Jul 1797 in Mundlesville, Virginia, United States.

They had the following children:

2            i.            Dewit (1832-1900)

ii.            Abraham J. Abraham J died in Egypt, Page, Virginia, United States, on 14 Nov 1903; he was 69. Born in 1834 in Virginia, United States.

iii.            Elijah S. Born in 1836 in Virginia, United States.

iv.            Mary. Born in 1838 in Virginia, United States.

v.            Daniel C. Born in 1840 in Virginia, United States.

vi.            Samuel G. Born in 1842 in Virginia, United States.

vii.            Rebecca Ann. Rebecca Ann died in Pleasant Hill, Cass, Missouri, United States, on 8 Dec 1907; she was 62. Born in 1845 in Virginia, United States.

viii.            Pamily A. Born in 1849 in Virginia, United States.

Second Generation


2. Dewit SMITH. Dewit died in Mendota, Washington, Virginia, United States, in 1900; he was 67. Born in Jan 1832 in Virginia, United States.

On 30 Sep 1857 when Dewit was 25, he married Elizabeth A ROTHGEB, daughter of Daniel David ROTHGEB & Sarah KEMP, in Page, VA. Elizabeth A died aft 1872. Born in 1838 in Virginia.

They had the following children:

i.            John. John died on 21 Aug 1936; he was 74.  Born abt 1862 in Missouri.

3            ii.            Dewitt E (1863-1930)

iii.            Joseph. Born abt 1865 in Missouri.

iv.            Mary. Born abt 1868 in Missouri.

v.            Charles. Born abt 1872 in Missouri.

Third Generation


3. Dewitt E SMITH. Born on 12 Apr 1863 in Kelly, Cooper, Missouri, United States.  in 1900  Clear Creek, Cooper, Missouri.  in 1920  Boonville, Cooper, Missouri. Dewitt E died in Boonville, Cooper, Missouri, United States, on 3 May 1930; he was 67. Buried on 4 May 1930 in Pilot Grove, Cooper, Missouri, United States.

On 16 Sep 1894 when Dewitt E was 31, he married Katie PIATT, daughter of James Madison PIATT & Nancy Belle LLOYD, in Cooper, Missouri. Katie died in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, United States. Born in Jul 1876 in Missouri.

They had the following children:

i.            Dewey J. Born abt 1899 in Missouri.

ii.            Max Deloss. Max Deloss died on 31 Mar 1977; he was 72. Born on 1 Feb 1905 in Missouri.

Max Deloss married Elizabeth Epping SMITH. Elizabeth Epping died on 25 Jan 1999; she was 89. Born on 13 Mar 1909.

4            iii.            Aubrey Dewitt (1907-1952)

iv.            Duane C. Born abt 1910 in Missouri.

v.            Martha Belle. Born in 1912 in Boonville, Cooper, MO. Martha Belle died in 1916; she was 4.

Fourth Generation


4. Aubrey Dewitt SMITH.  in 1930  United States Military Academy. Aubrey Dewitt died in Tokyo, Japan, on 4 Oct 1952; he was 45. Buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Born on 14 Mar 1907 in Boonville, Cooper, Missouri, United States.

In 1934 when Aubrey Dewitt was 26, he married Dorothy Jane KRUEGER, daughter of Walter KRUEGER & Grace Aileen NORVELL, in Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri. Born on 24 Jan 1913 in 1913. Dorothy Jane died in Peru, Clinton, New York, United States of America, on 21 Nov 1996; she was 83.

They had the following children:

i.            Daughter. Born abt 1936.

ii.            Son. Born abt 1936.

Aubrey Dewitt Smith

(This is research for a law school paper – not my family line)

Aubrey Dewitt Smith

Aubrey Dewitt SMITH

I have finally finished the family trees for the people involved in the Supreme Court case my daughter is writing the legal paper about. I could have gone further back in the family research, but as all Research Junkies know, it is hard to stop.  I have taken the family lines back further back than I needed to.  I have gotten so caught up these people who I truly feel connected to now.

This post is about Aubrey Dewitt SMITH.  He was murdered by his wife, Dorothy Krueger SMITH in Japan in October of 1952.  Dorothy was the daughter of famed WWII General Walter KRUEGER.  From the newspaper articles and legal papers that we have read, it would seem the Dorothy was an alcoholic and narcotics addict.  She killed Aubrey in his sleep with a hunting knife.  The Smiths had two children, a daughter, age 14, and a son, age 16.

Aubrey Smith‘s story is very impressive.  He came from humble beginnings in Cooper County, Missouri.  His father was first a farmer, then a laborer in a pipe factory.  Aubrey’s appointment to The United States Military Academy marked the beginning of a brilliant military career.

At the time of his death, he was a Colonel, Chief of Plans and Operations Division [Far East Command’s Logistic section] of the U S Army in Japan.  SMITH was repeatedly decorated for valor in WWII and the Korean War.  Awards include Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Custer, Silver Star with Oak Leaf Custer, and Bronze Star Medal.

A brilliant career was cut short by his tragic murder.  Dorothy Krueger SMITH is a tragic character in this story as well.  She had sought medical help for her addictions and mental problems and her doctors let her down.

I will write about Dorothy tomorrow.