Saturday, October 12, 2013

Thinking About Disasters That Impact Families - Titanic

J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA

After spending the morning with my brother and sister-in-law, I came home and turned on the television thinking I would watch some college football.  However, being a genealogist, I noticed the program that first came on had folks in period costume.  Okay, they attracted my attention and I realized it was James Cameron's presentation of the Titanic story.

With recent flooding, wildfires, and massive snow blizzards, I began to realize how these disasters impact the lives of families.  Remember in 1912, we did not have instant news service.  Families often had to wait days for news.  Here are the first newspaper stories reported in Nashville, Tennessee. 

“At 10:25 tonight the steamship Titanic called “C Q D” and reported having struck an iceberg. The steamer said that immediate assistance was required.
Half an hour afterwards another message came reporting that they were sinking by the head and that women were being put off in the lifeboats.
The weather is calm and clear, the Titanic’s wireless operator reported and give the position as 41:46 north latitude and 5:14 west longitude… [Nashville Tennessean and the Nashville American, 15 April 1912, p 1.]

Steamer Hits Iceberg: Montreal
The White Star liner Titanic, the largest vessel afloat, left Southampton April 10 on her maiden voyage for New York. She is a vessel of 46,328 tons, is 882 feet six inches long and displaces 66,000 tons.
The Titanic carried about 1,300 passengers of whom 250 in the first cabin. Among those are F.D. Millet, the Artist and President of the Consolidated American Academy at Rome; Major Archibald Butt, military aid of President Taft; C.M. Hays, President of the Grand Trunk Railway; J. Bruce Ismay, Chairman, and Managing Director of the White Star Line; Henry B. Harris, the American theatrical manager; W.T. Stead, Mrs. Isador Straus; Mr. and Mrs. John Jacob Astor; Mr. and Mrs. G.D. Widener; Benj. Guggenheim and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Widener.
Captain K.J. Smith is in command of the Titanic.
… On leaving Southampton last Wednesday the steamer had a rather exciting moment. While passing the White Star liner Oceanic and the American liner New York which were berthed alongside one another the action of the Titanic’s triple screws dragged the New York from her moorings.  Her stern swung into midstream and narrowly escaped striking the Titanic.
The Titanic is a luxuriously fitted out vessel, and her accommodations for cabin passengers are elegant…” [reported from Cape Race, N.F.
[Nashville Tennessean and the Nashville American, 15 April 1912, p 1.]

Prominent Men Who Sank With Titanic  Captain E.J. Smith, who followed the unwritten law of the sea and went down with his wounded ship, Titanic, began his sea life as a boy in 1869, when he joined the Senator Weber, an American clipper, purchased by A. Gibson & Co. of Liverpool. After serving as an apprentice he went to the square-rigger Lizzie Fennell as fourth officer. In 1880 he was appointed fourth officer of the White Star steamship Celtic – the old Celtic, which subsequently was sold to the Thingvalin company and renamed the America.
Capt. Smith never met with an accident until last September, when his newest command, the Olympic, sister ship of the Titanic, was in collision with the British cruiser, Hawke, while going through the Solent.
Capt. Smith maintained that shipbuilding was such a perfect art nowadays that absolute disaster, involving the passengers, was inconceivable. Whatever happened, he contended, there would be time enough before the vessel sank to save the lives of every person on board.
“I will go a bit farther,” he added. “I will saw that I cannot imagine any condition that would cause the ship to founder, I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that.”
[Nashville Tennessean and the Nashville American, 21 Apr 1912, p 5.]

Perhaps you are thinking about checking the Passenger Lists for family.  Read this article by Kimberly Powell ( who discusses the original list and final list of passengers.

Neal McEwen discusses C.Q.D and history:

Here's a current article from Ottawa about the cemetery in Halifax where Titanic victim are buried. 

This is always more to every story, and I will share more from the local perspective of this horrible tragedy. 

Remember to Keep Your Stories Alive. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Reunion of the Aged is Well Attended

One of the most interesting article I’ve ever found was a report of the “Reunion of the Aged” in Warren County, Kentucky.  The article named all those attending 75 years and older, including address.  Enjoy the story.
J. Mark Lowe

Reunion of Aged Is Well Attended

The Park City Daily News, Bowling Green KY
Sunday, May  1936
Pages 1 and 12

Moses R. Hancock, 92-year-old Civil War veteran residing on Eighth street, was registered as the oldest man attending the second annual Warren County Old Mens’ Reunion held Saturday in the Court House yard.
Jim Corbin Honored
James A. Corbin, 91 years old, the only other known Civil War veteran residing in Warren county, was the second oldest man present.  He resides at 629 E. Eighth street. Both were members of the Union forces.
George Vincent, 608 Hope street and E.W. Oliphant, Route 2, City, also were registered as 91 years old but a few months younger than Mr. Corbin.  No persons were registered in the 87, 89 and 90 year old age groups, and only one person each was listed in the 83 and 88 year old groups.
The program, under the general supervision of Jesse Russell, Cemetery road resident, opened at 10 o’clock with registration of those present.

Photo:  1925 Bowling Green Kentucky Police Department.  [Courtesy: Kentucky Library]  My Great Uncle Getty Lowe [Back row, 3rd from Left] was a Police Officer for years.  He shared many stories about special events and Chief James A. Corbin, who was mentioned in this article. 

Blind Man Speaks
A welcoming address by Mayor B. S. Rutherford was followed by a talk by John Stagner on the subject, “Accomplishments of the Blind.”  Mr. Stagner was one of the several blind persons of all ages attending the reunion as guests of the old men.  Badly crippled persons also were guests of the old men.
Old songs were rendered by V.P. Cassaday, and old favorite fiddle tunes were rendered by Lem Howell and two accompanists during the closing session of the reunion Saturday afternoon.  John Beck of Smiths Grove and R. K. Glover Route 3, Alvaton, also spoke briefly during the program.
Miss Matt Jackson, centenarian residing on Fairview avenue, was scheduled to attend the program as special guest of honor, but she was unable to attend because of ill health.  W.R. Pearson, county resident whose 93 years made him the oldest man attending the reunion last year, also was absent from the exercises this year.
Approximately 150 city and county residents 75 years old or over attending the program are listed in age groups as follows:
Seventy-five years old - W.L Moore, 308 Main street; G.W. Stamps, Rural Route, City; E.L. Morris, General Delivery, City; K.B. Neely, 435 College street; J.A. Whallin, Anna; Robert Richey, Route 4, City; Jack Evans, Route 3, City; A.G. Cornwell, 122 Portage Railroad; S.A. Witt, Route 5, City; Sam J. Shield, Route 3, City; W.N. Owens, Route 3, City; John McHugh, 818 Center street; Robert Beck, 1354 High street; J.R. Stuart, 628 Eighth street; Charlie Salmon, City; Thompson Smither, Route 1, Rockfield; Ben Forsting, 122 Eighth street; David Stewart, Route 1, Alvaton; J.W. Goodrum, 1123 State street and Jim Howell, City.
Seventy-six years old --- Jesse Russell, Route 2; W.W. Lewis, 1044 Chestnut, J.H. Willoughby, Alvaton, R.A. Davis, Smiths Grove; Joe Owens, Route 5; E.N. Vernon, 1330 Clay; E.W. Edwards, Route 1; W.T. Andrews, 1319 Kenton; A.J. Justice, Alvaton; J.W. Barber, Richardsville; T.J. Willoughby, Route 2; Tom Hendricks, Sunnyside; Aaron Miller, Rockfield; J.R. Ellis, 1112 Chestnut; John D. Phelps, Route 4; Alex Smith, 1040 Chestnut; M.W. Neely, Alvaton; W.A. Lewis Route 6; Barton Pennington, Smiths Grove, Pat Murphy, 712 Scott street and Sam E. Miller, Richardsville.
Seventy-seven years old --- J.A. Smith, Oakland; W.E. Garrett, 504 First; J.W. Lowe, 218 College; S.W. Kerley, 517 Seventy; H.L. Tibbs, Rockfield; J. E. Blankenship, 508 Park; E.J. Miller, Route 5; J.L. Doty, 344 West Tenth; S. S. Hunt, Route 1; John Ferry, 303 Tenth; M.H. Heffington, Park street, C.D. Johnson, Alvaton; M.K. Wand, 1271 Kentucky; J.H. Ingram, Drake; J.W. Hiff, Route 6, and C.A. Thomas, Oakland.
Seventy-eight years old --- H.S. Hunt, Oakland; T.F. Miller, Richardsville; H.E. Ombenhour, Route 1,; J.C. Sawyer, 401 College; R.W. Meredith, Riverside; J.H. Kington, Alvaton; D.K. Puckett, 825 Broadway; M.E. Yates, Alvaton; W.A. Flora, Sunnyside; Calvin Snell, Route 5,; A.H. Simmons, Route5; L.N. Bumpus, Route5; J.N. Osborne, Route 2; G. H. Wilson, Route 2, W.W. Elrod, Route 4; W.E. Massey, 1123 State; Lige Upton, Richardsville; and B.A. Harmon, Alvaton.
Seventy-nine years old --- Bill Lane, Rotue 2; George W. Glenn, Riverside; R.M. Cornwell, Route 5; W.S. Downey, Route 3; T.W. Thornton, Oakland; Jesse Snyder, Route1; T.A. Robinson, Alvaton; W.W. Stinston, 1257 Magnolia; W. Harlow, Sunnyside; F.J. Miller 1143 State; J.W. Crabb, Bristow; W.B. Hill, 1268 State;  G.W. Woodward, 11621 Clay; Sam Pennington, Oakland; F.M. Burnett, Oakland; and W.A. Padget, 225 Portage railroad.
Eighty years old --- A.W. Brown, Route 2; J.E. Wells, Route 3; W.M. Gresham, Smiths Grove; J.C. Carlock, Boyce; George T. Kelly, Woodburn; J.E. Mercer, 1349 Chestnut; H.B. Hill, Route 3; W.N. Wingfield, Route 1; J.K. Motley, 151 Broadway; W.F. Ennis, Route 5; J.O. Howard, 1027 Payne; and W.T. Crow, 808 Eleventh.
Eighty-one years old --- Pink Cameron, City; J.C. Johnson, 558 State; P.E. Eadens, Route 5; Robert K. Glover, Alvaton; G.W. Butler, Route3; N.P. Lawrence, Route 5; J.D. Wright, Route 3; W.M. Miller, Route 5; Will Rector, City; W.B. Bunch, Route 2; L.C. J. Motley, Smiths Grove; R.G. Miller, Route 5; Virgil Garvin, Route 6; J.O. Beck, Smiths Grove.
Eighty-two years old --- R.D. Goad, route3; J.E. Meadows, Smiths Grove; A. Roemer, 111 West  Fourteenth; J.C. Stone, 614 Fairview; Joe D. Smith, 1123 College; D.W. Howell, 728 State; and J. Tom Williams, Woodburn.
Eighty-three years old --- John Dean, Route 5.
Eighty-four years old --- G.W. Shanks, 1148 Adams; F.J. Kelley, Bristow; W.O. Holland, 325 West Tenth; F.M Howell, route3; and T. J. Hendricks, Smiths Grove.
Eighty-five years old --- C.J. White, Benton; E.R. Beck, Bristow; W.C. Brandon, Route 3; and J.L. Hickman, Route 2.
Eighty-six years old --- A.B. Johns, Smiths Grove; W.D. Ballard, 141 West Fourteenth; John R. Miller, Route1, and G.W. Keller, 1362 Clay.
Eighty-eight years old --- V.M. Cox, 1318 Fourteenth.
Lunch was served at noon in the Court House yard under the supervision of Ennis Harris and a corps of assistants.
One hundred loaves of bread for the meal were contributed by the Grocers Baking Company, which is constructing a local bakery at Fourteenth and Adams streets, and other foodstuff was contributed by local merchants.  The Phillips Transfer Company and the Cole Transfer Company transported tables and chairs to and from the Court House yard.
J. Mark Lowe
J. Mark Lowe Reviews
Springfield, Tennessee Speakers
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