From Press Reports
Daniel E. “Dan” Smith, who was born and raised in Mathiston, was among those honored during the Fallen Officers Memorial service May 13 at the main offices of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety in Jackson.
He was in the Air Force, then joined the Columbus Police Department as an officer. His lifelong dream happened when he was accepted into the Mississippi Highway Patrol Training Academy. He became a highway patrolman in April 1959 and was stationed in Newton.
Smith was killed in the line of duty in a car wreck involving a drunk driver, Nov. 7, 1959, at the age of 30, leaving behind a wife, Pattie Vaughan Smith, and three children: Joe Dan, Kay and Pat, ages 9, 7 and 1 month.
Pattie and her children moved to Mathiston to receive help living by Smith’s family, Ivy and Dovie Smith and her family, Foster and Willie Vaughan. Pattie has remained in Mathiston all these years and is now married to Billy R. Fulgham.
Each year the Department of Public Safety honors the fallen officers of the Mississippi Highway Patrol and Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics with the memorial service in Jackson. Every year a family member can lay down a rose on the monument to honor their fallen family member.
This year Smith’s grandson and the son of Pat and Bonnie Smith, James Smith of Vicksburg, lay down the rose. James was in an Army combat unit in Afghanistan at the time he received a Purple Heart. He is now in the Army Reserve in Vicksburg and is married to Lesley Clark Smith and has a daughter, Malayna, and son, Maddox.
MHP troopers from the Starkville district office were scheduled to present a wreath on Daniel Smith’s grave May 18 at Clarkson Cemetery in Webster County.