Titanic Related Stories
Wednesday 17 April 1912
Daughters of Rescued Titanic Passenger Killed in Chicago Holocaust
Special to The New York Times
CHICAGO, Ill., April 16---Mrs. Ida S. Hippach, wife of L. A. Hippach, manufacturer, of 7352 Sheridan Road, and Miss Jean Hippach their daughter, are among the Chicago Titanic passengers reported rescued.
Erwin J. Lewy of 5628 South Park Avenue and W. Irwin G. Lewy, members of the jewelry firm of Lewy Brothers, State and Adams Streets, are thought to have been drowned.
Mr. Hippach left to-day on the Twentieth Century Limited to meet his wife and daughter in New York. First messages received told only of the rescue of Miss Hippach. Later reports, however, said that Mrs. Hippach also was among the survivors.
"My wife and daughter spent most of the time in Berlin, where my daughter had been studying music," said Mr. Hippach to-day. "According to the telegraph dispatches the age of my daughter is given as 15 years. She is 19 years old. None can imagine how overjoyed I am that my wife and daughter have been saved."
Mrs. Hippach's continental trip was planned primarily to restore her health, which had been seriously impaired since the Iroquois Theatre calamity, in which two of her young daughters met death. Considerable apprehension is now felt for her following the disastrous ending of the European trip.
W. Irvin G. Lewy left Chicago five weeks ago to purchase jewelry in Europe for the firm of Lewy Brothers. Mr. Lewy's brother and partner, M. D. Lewy, to-day said:
"My brother sailed about five weeks ago for the annual purchase of diamonds and other jewelry. He visited Paris, Naples, and Amsterdam while in Europe. We have had no word from the White Star, nor any messages from my brother. He was 31 years old. In Chicago he lived with our married sister, Mrs. M. M. Uppenheimer."
A cablegram was received to-day by Nelson P. Barnes from his sister, Mrs. James Clinch Smith, dated Paris, and stating that owing to a change of plans at a late hour she did not sail as a passenger upon the Titanic.
The Rev. John Harper and his daughter, Nina, 6 years old, of London, England, were passengers upon the Titanic according to the sailing list. The Rev. Mr. Harper was on his way to Chicago to begin a series of revival meetings at the Moody Church, West Chicago and La Salle Avenues, according to friends here. Only the name of the daughter appears in the list of the rescued. Mr. Harper, who is pastor of a large London church, is a well-known evangelist and conducted revival meetings at the Moody Church during November, December, and January. His success here last Winter resulted in his being recalled to conduct a second series of meetings.
Mrs. Oscar W. Johnson of St. Charles, Ill., with two little daughters, returning from a Winter spent in Sweden, were passengers upon the Titanic, according to a letter received by Mr. Johnson last night. The woman and her daughters are believed to have perished.
The Daily Herald, Sunday 15 April 1984
For 72 years she has kept her memories of that miserable night to herself, always refusing to tell reporters what she saw, what she felt.
"When I came to Chicago they would pester me and pester me," she said of the aggressive reporters who pursued her. "My aunt just wouldn't permit it."
The only people who could coax any information out of her at all were grandchildren writing book reports about the sinking of the Titanic. And now, one of her grandchildren is a reporter and 87-year-old Anne McGowan has agreed to make an exception.
She emerges from her bedroom carrying a package wrapped in orange tissue paper. Inside are yellowed and ragged newspapers from 1912 with screaming headlines such as "Liner Titanic Sinks — 1300 drowned, 866 saved."
The clippings arouse the memories she has struggled to repress all these years, and as she slowly begins to speak, her eyes grow teary. McGowan was 15 at the time and traveling with her Aunt Margaret McGowan from Ireland to New York on the newest luxury liner, the Titanic. It was the largest ship in the world and was reputedly unsinkable. "God or man could not sink this ship," McGowan remembers people saying as they boarded.
"I FELT SO sure of the safety — everybody did," McGowan said. "Wealthy people had waited on lists to get on the ship."
McGowan remembers enjoying the lovely flower gardens and other luxuries on board. She also took part in the activities, even the adult dance on Sunday, April 14. (The memory of her naughtiness makes her giggle.) That's where she was when the confusion began.
"I was at the party, and there were a bunch of drunks there, my aunt wanted me away from the party, but everyone was having so much fun," McGowan said.
She doesn't recall feeling any jolt or bump, but suddenly officers and crew members were rushing around and the word spread quickly that the ship had hit an iceberg. She asked a crew member if the ship could be saved, and he assured her there was no chance of that.
The Titanic sideswiped the iceberg, which rose 50 to 100 feel above the water, at 11:40 p.m. But it wasn't until 12:05 a.m that the first orders were given to lower the lifeboats. "'WOMEN AND CHILDREN first,' is what they shouted.
Kris Kopp is a correspondent for The Herald's Neighbor section and granddaughter of Anne McGowan, a survivor of the Titantic disaster of April 15, 1912. As a child, she was in one of the first lifeboats to be lowered.
'"You take her, you take her' — they just grabbed me the way I was, wearing just a dress and shoes; they would not even let me take my purse," McGowan recalled. "I was just numb and it was so cold out on the ocean."
As her lifeboat descended toward the water. McGowan wondered what was happening to her Aunt Margaret.They had been separated in the confusion, and McGowan was worried about her.
"The whole time in the lifeboats the crew just kept telling me, 'Don't worry, your aunt is in a lifeboat on the other side, and she'll be all right.'"
McGowan was not the only one grieving the possible loss of a close relative. On the ship there were several newly married couples.
"Women wouldn't leave their husbands," McGowan said. "They were screaming, and I could hear gunshots in the background. Apparently, some of the men had tried to dress like women in order to be rescued, and they were shot."
Even in her lifeboat, men were begging to get in '"Let me in or I'll tip the whole lifeboat,' is what one man said,'" McGowan said. "Of course, we had to let him in."
While drifting in the lifeboats, the crew suddenly realized that the suction from the sinking ship would draw the lifeboats in, so they tried to get the lifeboat as far from the Titanic as possible "We knew we had to stay far away," McGowan said.
"Oh yes, we wanted to stay far away, and the suction did take a couple of the lifeboats in." While bobbing up and down in the waves, the survivors still could see the ship, and they heard the band still playing "They just kept playing 'Nearer, My God, My God, to Thee,'" McGowan recalled. "Then the ship just busted in half, and that's when all the screaming started. It was just so terrible; I guess a boiler had bust."
The temperature was 31 degrees, and everyone was chilled and frightened. No one knew when they would be rescued — or if they would be rescued.
But at 4 a.m, the first lifeboat floated up to the Carpathia, the ship that had received the Titanic's signals.
From 58 miles away the Carpathia had received the message, "Come at once, we have struck an iceberg," and began steaming to the spot.
By the time McGowan's lifeboat was hoisted aboard the Carpathia, her eyes had begun to bleed, apparently from the salt water and wind, and she was shivering violently.
"By morning we were dripping wet," she said. "We were chilled, but the fright alone was enough to chill our bodies. I didn't know if there was any chance. One ship had already refused to acknowledge the signals before the Carpathia came through. You don't know how awful it was."
Hesitating for a few moments, McGowan brings up the most painful memory of all. She never saw her Aunt Margaret again She believes her aunt's lifeboat was sucked into the whirlpool created when the Titanic finally sank.
"I am still upset because I don't know what happened to my aunt," she said calmly. "In the newspapers, when we got back, they had her listed as a survivor, but I can't believe that."
In books written about the Titanic, McGowan's name, along with her aunt's, is listed on the passenger list, but Anne McGowan's name is in italics, which means she was a survivor. Her aunt's name is in plain type.
McGowan has read some of the many books that have been written about the Titanic and there are some that make her laugh. "There are so many lies," she said with a giggle.
Although she doesn't talk much about surviving the ordeal, she has found that when she does, many people don't believe her. That doesn't bother her.
"A lot of people tell lies about being on the Titanic," she said. "I don't care if people believe me, because myself know the truth."
Besides taking her aunt and leaving her with some terrifying memories, the sinking of the Titanic also has left McGowan with a great fear of boats and airplanes.
"When I woke up after getting off the Carpathia, a sailor said, 'Look! You can see the Statue of Liberty! Take a good look at the other side, because you will probably never go back there,' he told me, and I said, 'You've got that right, I sure won't.'"
Since that time, Anne McGowan has done all of her traveling by foot, car, train, bike or bus.
Worcester Evening Gazette
Boy's Prayer For Life Answered
Saturday 20 April 1912
New York, April 19- Edward Dorking, an English boy who was on his way aboard the Titanic to an Illinois farm and who saved himself by jumping from the deck, told today of the last minutes of the doomed vessel. "Three of us young fellows were standing together in a corner near the stern. We did not want to die. We knelt and prayed, then together we mounted the rail and plunged over. The water was frightfully cold. As the boat sank lower and lower behind us we saw something bobbing about on the waves far ahead. We made for it. It proved to be a raft. My head was just going below the water when a wave picked me up and dumped me within reaching distance of the raft."
Bureau County Republican
Edward Dorking, Ship Wreck Survivor, Appears at Star Theatre
Thursday 2 May 1912
PICKED UP BY THE CARPATHIA
Young Englishman Relates Experiences in Greatest Maritime disaster in World's History.
Seven hundred persons, who packed the Star theatre to its capacity at three performances Tuesday night, heard the tragic story of the Titanic disaster from the lips of Edward Dorking, an English working lad, who was one of the 600 survivors picked up from the wreck by the steamer Carpathia. Still suffering from a severe cold brought on by exposure and a ducking in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic, the youth, who is scarcely nineteen years of age, gave a simple recital of his experiences on board the ill-fated vessel, the wreck of which resulted in the greatest loss of life in the world's history of maritime catastrophes. In the telling he avoided many of the horrible details which have been deeply impressed upon his memory as a distressing nightmare. The crowds, eager to learn at first hand all the information possible about the sinking of the great vessel, plied the young survivor with questions, at the conclusion of his talk, and he answered them all promptly and courteously. He spoke with a broad English accent, which to many of his hearers was difficult to understand, but the important facts were made plain and all who went to hear and see him, left the theatre with a feeling of satisfaction.
Mr. Dorking was born at Liss, Hampshire, England, where he has a father and mother and several brothers and sisters. He sailed from Southampton aboard the Titanic on the 10th of April to come to America to seek his fortune. Having an uncle, Fred Cooke, residing at Oglesby, a cement manufacturing town about five miles south of LaSalle, he was expecting to come to Oglesby and make his home with his uncle. When the news of the ship disaster was flashed over the world, the relatives of the young man here and in England gave him up for lost, but after several days elapsed they received word that he had been saved and was ill in a New York hospital. W.O. Stevens, manager of the Star theatre, hearing of the expected arrival of Dorking, wrote at once to Mr. Cooke, the young man's uncle and offered him an engagement at the Princeton theatre. The offer was received before Dorking landed and as soon as it was presented to him Saturday, he accepted. His appearance at the Star show-house Tuesday night was his first stage experience, but since then a number of offers have been made to him and he will be kept busy for several weeks in play-houses throughout Illinois. The lecture of the Titanic survivor Tuesday night, was illustrated with views of the wrecked steamer, made by the Dunham studio, from magazine pictures.
Titanic a Miniature City
Describing the size of the Titanic, Mr. Dorking likened it to a small city in which all sorts of amusements were provided for the passengers. Being a poor boy possessed of only the necessary passage money and enough property to get by the immigration officers, he came over in the third cabin. He had difficulty getting aboard, he said, because the medical inspectors thought he was diseased on account of the blood-shot condition of his eyes resulting from an all-night ride from his home to Southampton to catch the boat. He managed to slip in when the baggage was being loaded and remained out of sight until the boat started. "When our boat left the dock, there were thousands of people at the pier," he said, "all of them waving good-bye and wishing the Titanic Godspeed on its first voyage. In all that crowd on the pier and on board, there was not one, I believe, who had any premonition of the fate the proud ship was to meet in its race across the Atlantic. Not even the near-collision with the New York, which was sucked from its moorings and swung across the path of the Titanic, as the immense propellers of the liner began to churn the waters, produced any uneasiness on board, there being perfect confidence that such a boat as the Titanic could not sink under any circumstances. "During the first days out of Southampton we had a delightful voyage. Everything worked smoothly and we were covering the miles at a record pace the weather was fair and a great deal of the time was spent on deck by the passengers. Some found pleasure in the music room, playing cards and various indoor sports.
Strike Berg at Midnight
"It was at ten minutes to midnight on the 14th that we struck the iceberg. I was in the music room playing cards with several companions. When the boat collided with the berg, we were thrown from the bench on which we were sitting. The shock was accompanied by a grinding noise, which we took to be the result of an accident to the machinery that suddenly halted the ship. "I went on deck to see what had happened and saw several persons running to the forward part of the ship. I followed and found that the port side was strewn with particles of ice. Someone said we had struck an iceberg and that a huge hole had been torn in the port side below the waterline. "I obtained a good glimpse of the iceberg as it floated by. It was off some distance then, but in the clear night, I could see it rising out of the water like a great white specter, towering above the funnels of the ship. To me it seemed that the iceberg was at least four or five times as large as the Titanic.
Foreigners Get Excited
"At that time there was no sign of panic. The passengers and crew seemed to feel assured that the collision was not serious and that there was no grave danger to the ship. I returned to the music room and resumed our card game. After a while some of the foreigners in the steerage became excited and the women began to weep and before long there was a stream of them pouring out of the steerage dragging their luggage with them. They were driven out by the water which was rushing into the hold in a huge stream, in spite of the pumps which were working furiously. In a little while longer, the nose of the boat began to dip forward. As the ship began to list the excitement of the lower decks increased and there was a scramble for the life boats. Men and women, stricken with fright, huddled around the crew, shouting and crying and sending up prayers to heaven for aid. I was on deck when the first boat was lowered away. It contained but fifteen or sixteen persons. The next boat had thirty or forty and the rest were loaded to their full capacity, which is fifty-five or sixty. The women and children were taken off first. An officer stood beside the life-boats as they were being manned and with a pistol in hand, threatened to kill the first man who got into a boat without orders.
Escape in Women's Clothes
"The rule of 'women first' was rigidly enforced. Two stewards hustled into a lifeboat that was being launched. They were commanded to get out by the officers and on refusing to obey the command, were shot down and thrown into the sea. A Chinaman was also shot for the same cause. Afterwards, aboard the Carpathia, I saw six Chinamen who had escaped in the life-boats, disguised as women. "There were about sixteen life-boats lowered away, that being all that were on board the Titanic. As the last boat has to[?departed] I turned to go below to get my life-belt, which was under my bunk. As I passed the engine room, I saw Captain Smith, standing in the doorway, giving orders to the crew. The perspiration was pouring down his face in streams, but he was calm and collected, and as I recollect him now, he appeared like a marble statue after a rain. "I never reached the life-preserver. The water by that time was above my bunk and I had to retreat on deck. All the time the foreward part of the boat, where the side had been jammed by the iceberg, was dropping lower and lower into the water, until it became necessary for those remaining on board to grasp something stationary to keep erect.
Jumps from the Ship
"How long it was after the last boat left the ship until the Titanic went down, I have no distinct recollection. It seemed like an age to me. As I clung to the ship rail, turning the situation over in my mind, I finally concluded that I would take a chance of jumping into the water and risk being picked up by some of the boats. It seemed certain doom to remain. I sat down on the deck and removing my shoes and outer garments, I plunged over the rail and shot into the water forty feet below. "As I struck the chilly water, I received a shock that took my breath away, but as soon as I rose to the surface, I struck out from the ship, with no idea in mind except to get beyond the suction line when the Titanic should go down. I was perhaps twenty yards off when the grand big liner, suddenly tipped up on its nose, the rear end lifted out of the water exposing the propeller blades, and slid gently forward to its watery grave. The sinking of the ship caused scarcely a ripple on the ocean's surface.
Fight for Life in Water
"It seemed to me that a half hour elapsed from the time I left the ship until an upturned life-boat with about thirty men and one woman on it, passed the spot where I was swimming. There were many others in the same predicament as myself and it was a constant fight to prevent those whose strength was almost spent from grasping me about the neck or by the limbs in a desperate effort to keep from drowning. "I was fortunate enough to grasp the side of the upturned life-boat as it floated past me. I clung on with both hands, at the same time warding off two men who had given up their hold on the life-boat and had grasped me by the legs. When my strength was about giving out, the men on the raft gave me assistance and dragged me over the side to a place of safety. "We drifted about during the remainder of the night, suffering intensely from cold and exposure. Three of our number died and were thrown overboard and two others slipped off and failed to get back again.
Picked up at Daybreak
"It was just about daybreak that our sinking spirits were cheered by the sight of a rocket, which announced that succor was near. An hour later, as the morning light was dawning, we were picked up by a rescue-boat. I guess I must have become unconscious then, for when I woke up, my companions were feebly cheering at sight of the Carpathia, standing off about a mile distant.
Tells of Warnings
"One of my companions at the hospital was a lookout, who had been saved from the Titanic. He told me that before the ship struck the iceberg, he had been warning three times of the impending danger. The first time, he said, no attention was paid to the warning, the second time, the result was the same, and the third warning came too late." Mr. Dorking was discharged from the hospital last Wednesday and came direct to LaSalle by way of Chicago, arriving at the home of his uncle on Saturday. He was given a complete outfit of clothing and twenty-five dollars to pay his transportation to LaSalle. Mr. Dorking says that when he went to purchase his ticket in New York, he discovered that twenty dollars of the money had been stolen from him. Through the generosity of New Yorkers, he was enabled to reach his destination.
Chicago Daily Tribune
HORRORS OF TITANIC HAUNT GIRL ILL AFTER HER ESCAPE
Thursday 25 April 1912
Miss Anna Kelly, with Chicago Cousins, Beset by Scenes of Wreck and Weakened by Exposure
A nervous wreck as the result of her experiences on the Titanic, Miss Anna Kelly is at the home of her cousins, Anna and Mary Garvey, 306 Eugenie street, with a physician constantly in attendance. Efforts are being made to save the reason of the young woman, who was one of the last steerage passengers to escape from the ill fated boat. She has been unable to sleep, haunted by the wild scenes on the boat just before it went down, and is still suffering from the hours of exposure before she was picked up by the Carpathia. "Miss Kelly is a nervous wreck," said Dr. Thomas J. O'Malley, who is attending her. "I doubt if she ever will completely recover her normal condition. Her life is in jeopardy now. Unless she can overcome her awful fear and terror at every sound, I fear for her life." Despite her condition the young woman gave a graphic account of the wreck and her escape in one of the last lifeboats to leave the ship. She blames the stewards for not awakening the steerage passengers in time, declaring that the first steerage passengers to become alarmed were ordered to go back to bed "because there was no danger."
GERMAN SHIP SAILS THROUGH FIELD OF TITANIC VICTIMS
Captain and Passengers Say They Saw More than 150 Bodies Floating Near Scene of Disaster
New York, April 24-[Special]-- Capt. Wilhelm and passengers of the Bremen, which arrived today from Bremen, reported that between 3 and 4 o'clock last Saturday afternoon, while in latitude 42 N, longitude 49.23 W., in the vicinity of where the Titanic foundered, his vessel ploughed through fields of bodies of the victims of the disaster. "They were everywhere," the captain declared, "There were men, women, and children. All had life preservers on. I counted 125, then grew sick of the sight. There may have been as many as 150 or 200 bodies." "A short time before, about fifty or sixty miles north, we passed five icebergs in succession. Our lookout sighted them in time, however, and we had no difficulty in avoiding them." "Why didn't you slow down and take on some of the bodies," he was asked. "It was absolutely useless, for the simple reason that we had no means for caring for them." He said that he knew that the cable steamer Mackay-Bennett was searching for bodies and that he had communicated with its commander, informing him of where the bodies were.
Loss of the Titanic.
Saturday 25 May 1912
Flower of Mayo's Youth Sank with Hands Joined on The Titanic
Of Fifteen Merry Lads and Colleens Seeking Fortune, only Two Arrive
The Chicago "Evening World" says:- Of twelve young Irishwomen and girls, two young men and a boy comprising a party of fifteen from the County Mayo who started for Chicago on the Titanic, only two have arrived here - two colleens, Annie Kelly and Annie McGowan. The Rest are at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, for they went down with the Titanic, and there is grief here in Chicago, where relatives mourn, and grief back in County Mayo, over the sudden end to the dreams and plans of thirteen of the flower of Ireland's youth.
It was a family party, all the members being bound by the ties of kinship or of lifelong companionship. In it were John Bourke, a sturdy young farmer, and his Kate, the bride of less than a year and John's sister Mary, all from the farming country around Crossmolina; Kate McGowan, a former resident of Chicago, and her niece Annie McGowan, a girl of sixteen; Annie Kelly, aged 18 of Castlebar, the County town of Mayo, and a few miles from Crossmolina; Patrick Canavan, 18, a cousin of Annie Kelly; Mary Manion bound to join her brother in Chicago; a boy Patrick, and Mary Flynn his sister; three blue-eyed, rosy-cheeked girls named O'Donohue, and Mahan Driscoll and Nora Fleming and Mary Glynn.
The mysterious workings of destiny contributed to the formation of this ill-fated little squad of ocean travelers. Some ten years ago Kate McHugh and Kate McGowan then little more than children, came to Chicago from their homes near Crossmolina.
Romance of Ireland Comes into Kate's Life.
They prospered, and bout fifteen months ago Kate McHugh went back to Ireland for a visit. She met John Bourke, a playmate of her childhood days, and he married her out of hand, for an old affection both had almost forgotten, quickly leaped into love. It was the intention of Bourke and his wife to live out their lives in Ireland.
Kate McGowan went back to Ireland last October. She owned a rooming house in this city, and it was her intention to return in the spring. Right industriously did she sing the praises of Chicago at the homes of those she visited in Co. Mayo, and the result of it was that when she came to start back there were fourteen ready to accompany her, among them the Bourkes, who had sold their farm and planned to invest their money in a teaming business in this city.
The night before the fifteen started for Queenstown to board the Titanic there was what the Irish call a "live-wake" at Castlebar. Hundreds of friends of the young people gathered and made merry that they start with light hearts and merriment. Never were fifteen voyagers to a strange land launched on their journey with such a plentitude of good will and good wishes.
The immense Titanic overshadowing everything in Queenstown harbour, was a revelation to thirteen of the little party as they came alongside in the tender. Some of them had never seen an ocean liner before. The Mayo delegation was given a section of the third class quarters remote from the Lithuanians and Herezgovinians and Slavs, who had boarded the vessel the day before at Cherbourg and were already filling the steerage with strange odours.
Although traveling third class, this little party of fifteen was prosperous. All had money and good clothing and many little trinkets they were carrying to loved ones who had gone before to the far-off and mysterious and magical Chicago. The fifteen kept to themselves spending the days on deck in the fresh air and sunshine.
They were all asleep, when the Titanic, rushing along at twenty-three knots an hour tore a hole in her hull against an iceberg. The jar did not disturb the third cabin, where the rush of waters and the throb of the engines was always felt and heard. It was half an hour or more after the Titanic struck when a steward roused the County Mayo travelers and told them the ship had struck something, but there was no danger.
Although they believed the steward, they did not go to sleep again. There was apprehension in the hearts of the lads and colleens from Mayo, and when Mrs. Bourke suggested prayer they all knelt. One of them recited the rosary and the others with their beads in their hands, intoned the responses aloud. They were calm then but they did not sleep.
Just twenty minutes before the boat went down stewards ran through the steerage shouting orders for all passengers to go on deck. There was no time for those who had neglected to clothe themselves to dress. They swarmed to the companionway leading to the upper decks, but were held back by officers, who said things were not ready.
John Bourke and Patrick Canavan knew there was a ladder leading to the upper decks. Gathering the women and girls about them they started for the ladder. Just then a steward who had talked on several occasions to Annie Kelly, a roguish miss, happened along and saw her, frightened and confused, dropping behind her friends.
Grasping her hand the steward dragged her up the stairway to the deck where the lifeboats were loading. She was clad only in a nightgown. A boat was just about to be launched. The steward pushed her in. It was only half full.
Then John Bourke and his wife and his sister Mary and the little Flynn boy appeared on the deck. The stewards tried to push the two women into the boat after Annie Kelly. "I'll not leave my husband," said Kate Bourke. "I'll not leave my brother," said Mary Bourke.
The crew of the lifeboat would not let little Flynn aboard, although he was a slight boy and not able to take care of himself. The last Annie Kelly saw of John Bourke and his wife and his sister and little Patrick Flynn they were standing, hands clasped in a row by the rail, waiting for the end. The end came in a few minutes. The great Titanic went down and of all that left County Mayo on that ship Annie Kelly thought she was the sole survivor. But the next day, when she had recovered form the effects of the shock and exposure she found Annie McGowan lying beside her.
©2007 K. Torp