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Washingtonians on the Titanic

Published by Steve Campion. Category: People

It may seem unlikely that anyone from Washington State would have been aboard the Titanic when it went down in the North Atlantic in 1912.  With only 1.1 million residents counted in the 1910 census, Washington was small then.  It was also far from the departure and destination cities in England and New York in an age before jet travel made jaunts to Europe commonplace.  But eighteen people appear on the passenger manifests with Washington as their intended destination.  Three appear as residents of the state.  Most of the others had relatives here.  Half of them were planning to go to Spokane.  Fifteen of the eighteen Washingtonians died that tragic night — April 15, 1912.  Three of the women survived the sinking and two of them lived quite long lives.

Below are the names (arranged in alphabetical order) and details that I managed to draw from several sources.  I never intended to create this list, but in researching the last WA-List article (Seattle got the Titanic story wrong), I stumbled into some details that made me curious about these Washington connections.

PASSENGERS ON THE TITANIC WHO WERE FROM OR COMING TO WASHINGTON

Title Name Age in 1912 Hometown Job Status Washington Destination Fate
Mr John Bertram Brady 41 Pomeroy, WA 1st Class Pomeroy Died. Body not recovered.
Miss Edith Eileen Brown 15 Cape Town, South Africa 2nd Class Seattle Survived in Lifeboat 14. Died Jan 20, 1997.  Only seven Titanic survivors were still living when she died.
Mrs Elizabeth Catherine (Ford) Brown 40 Cape Town, South Africa Scholar 2nd Class Seattle Survived in Lifeboat 14. Died Jun 29, 1925.
Mr Thomas William Solomon Brown 60 Cape Town, South Africa Hotelier 2nd Class Seattle Died. Body not recovered.
Mr John Henry Chapman 36 Liskeard, Cornwall, England Farmer 2nd Class Spokane Died. Body recovered.
Mrs Sara Elizabeth (Lawry) Chapman 28 Liskeard, Cornwall, England 2nd Class Spokane Died. Body not recovered.
Mr Johan Svensson Lundahl 51 Fyrman, Smaland, Sweden General Labourer 3rd Class Spokane Died. Body not recovered.
Miss Manta Josefina Nieman 29 Karinainen, Finland Servant 3rd Class Aberdeen Died. Body not recovered.
Mr Olaf Pedersen 28 Sandefjord, Norway General Labourer 3rd Class Seattle Died. Body not recovered.
Master Albert Rice 10 Athlone, Westmeath, Ireland 3rd Class Spokane Died. Body not recovered.
Master Arthur Rice 4 Athlone, Westmeath, Ireland 3rd Class Spokane Died. Body not recovered.
Master Eric Rice 7 Athlone, Westmeath, Ireland 3rd Class Spokane Died. Body not recovered.
Master Eugene Francis Rice 2 Athlone, Westmeath, Ireland 3rd Class Spokane Died. Body not recovered.
Master George Hugh Rice 9 Athlone, Westmeath, Ireland 3rd Class Spokane Died. Body not recovered.
Mrs Margaret (Norton) Rice 39 Athlone, Westmeath, Ireland Housekeeper 3rd Class Spokane Died. Body recovered.
Mr Henry Roscoe Rood 38 Seattle, WA 1st Class Seattle Died. Body not recovered.
Mr Johan Werner Salonen 39 Aberdeen, WA General Labourer 3rd Class Aberdeen Died. Body not recovered.
Miss Anna Sofia Sjoblom 18 Munsala, Finland 3rd Class Olympia The ship struck the iceberg on her 18th birthday. She survived in Lifeboat 16. Died Nov 3, 1975.

NOTES: All the passengers listed here boarded the Titanic in Southampton except for the Rice family who joined the voyage in Queenstown.  None of the crew were from Washington State.

SOURCES: I found several sources that gave names of those lost, including The Story of the Unsinkable Titanic by Michael Wilkinson and Robert Hamilton (Transatlantic Press, 2011).  Encyclopedia Titanica was the best source I found online, listing the names and towns of all the passengers and crew — including the survivors.  I also read many local articles, including a feature in the Seattle Times on then 44-year-old former Seattle filmmaker William H Harbeck.  I mention him here because I intentionally left him off the list above.  He appeared on the Titanic’s manifest as a 2nd class passenger from Toledo, Ohio destined for Montreal.  The fact that he lived and worked (quite successfully) in Seattle from 1904 to 1912 was noteworthy, but I wanted to be consistent to the manifest and had no idea if other passengers may have lived in the Northwest at some time prior to Titanic.  Another interesting story appeared on KXLY Spokane and included this remarkable coincidence: John Chapman (listed here) was working in a cemetery in April, 1910, when he dug a grave for William Rice, a worker on the Great Northern Railroad.  Two years later, while Chapman and his wife were aboard the Titanic in 2nd class, Rice’s widow and five children were aboard, too, in 3rd class.

RELATED WA-LIST ARTICLE: Seattle got the Titanic story wrong

 

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