Every family has some skeletons in their closet. When it comes to Benjamin Smith -- the donor of the historic Meredith Public Library building -- he may have had a little more than he reckoned. After some inquiry into his Mudgett relatives (His mother being Mary Mudgett Smith), it was discovered that: "Benjamin M. Smith is a third cousin once removed to Herman W. Mudgett (better known as H. H. Holmes). The nearest common relative is John Mudgett (b. 17 Dec 1700 in MA) and Susannah Scribner (b. c 1746 in Brentwood)." We thank Ray Scriber for this information.
H.H. Holmes is best known as a notorious serial killer, originally from
Gilmanton, NH, who did most of his nefarious deeds during the Chicago's World Fair in 1893. He is sometimes known as America's First Serial Killer and his crimes were recently detailed in the wildly successful book Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (and soon to be a film staring Leonardo DiCaprio).
It just goes to show the incredibly varied individuals that make up a
family tree - both good and bad.
For more information, visit these links:
The Official page for the Erik Larson book Devil in the White City
Variety: Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese Reunite for 'Devil in the White City'
A Documentary Film on Holmes, entitled: America's First Serial Killer
A Little Bit about the History of Meredith Public Library and Benjamin Smith
An Earlier Blog Post About Benjamin Smith's Donation to his Parent's Legacy
The Librarians and Library Aides of the Meredith Public library: Erin, Chris, Matthew, Karen, John, Cherie, Joyce, Jessica, and Linda. Please check out our Staff page for more information.