Friday, April 13, 2012

The Titanic and Some Delaware Connections

On April 14th 1912 at 11:40 PM (Ship Time) the Titanic, with 2,224 people on board, hit an iceberg and two hours and forty minutes later sank. As to be expected there there are not many Delaware connections as most passengers were going to the Northern United States or Canada. Below are a few who were born in Delaware or ended up in Delaware.


Miss Emily Rugg, 21, was born at Guernsey, Channel Islands. Her father, W.H. Rugg, resided at Bus Road, St. Sampson's, Guernsey. She was on her way to her aunt at Wilmington, Delaware. To reach her destination, she boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a second class passenger. She had bought ticket number C.A. 31026 for £10 10s. She travelled with, amongst others, Lillian Bentham.

Being asleep, a jar aroused her. Looking out, she saw a mass of ice. She went on deck and saw the lifeboats were made ready for lowering. Back in her cabin she dressed and aroused two women friends in the adjoining cabin. On deck a member of the crew dragged her forward to a lifeboat and lifted her into it. This boat was well overcrowded. She saw an Italian jumping from the deck into a lifeboat landing upon a woman. She saw the Titanic go down and seemend broken in half. The stern arose onto the air, the lights went out as it did so. A moment later the ship plunged beneath the surface.

Miss Rugg survived the sinking. She was rescued by the Carpathia in lifeboat 12. In New York, she was awaited by her uncle, Mr F.W. Queripel of 119 South Van Buren Street, Wilmington, a grocer.




Mr Elmer Zebley Taylor, 48, and his wife Juliet were living in London, England when they sailed on the Titanic. They were originally natives of Smyrna, Delaware, USA. The Taylors would spend many summers in East Orange, New Jersey, USA, and they were heading there at the time of the disaster.

Mr Taylor was a business partner of Fletcher Lambert Williams in the Mono Service Company, Paper Cup Manufacturers, and travelled extensively for the business.

They boarded the Titanic at Southampton as first class passengers (Ticket No. 19996, £52), they occupied cabin C-126.

Mr Taylor reported that he was awakened by the impact. He and his wife got up and got dressed. Taylor knocked on his partner's door as he passed on his way to the deck. Williams answered and said he didn't believe it worth while to get up. He was not seen again.

Mr and Mrs Taylor were rescued in either Lifeboat 5 or 7.

After his wife's death in 1927 Elmer remarried, he lived in East Orange until his death on 20th May 1949 aged 85.



Mrs Elmer Zebley Taylor (Juliet Cummins Wright) and her husband Elmer were living in London, England when they sailed on the Titanic. They were originally natives of Smyrna, Delaware, USA. The Taylors would spend many summers in East Orange, New Jersey, USA, and they were heading there at the time of the disaster.

They boarded the Titanic at Southampton as first class passengers, they occupied cabin C-126.

Mr and Mrs Taylor were rescued in either Lifeboat 5 or 7.

A few years after they survived the Titanic, the Taylors returned to live permanently in the United States - settling in East Orange, New Jersey. They continued to travel the world.

Juliet Taylor died in Atlantic City, New Jersey in April of 1927.




Mr Frederic Kimber Seward, 34, was born in Wilmington, Delaware on 23 March 1878, the son of Samuel S. Seward and Crissie Kimber.

A corporation lawyer, he lived in from New York City. He boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a first class passenger (ticket number 113794, £26, 11s).

On the night of the accident Seward played cards with William T. Sloper and his church friend Dorothy Gibson in the first class lounge.

Gibson was able to help her friends to escape with her in lifeboat 7.

Whilst returning to New York on the Carpathia, Seward organised a group of other survivors (Karl H. Behr, Molly Brown, Mauritz Björnström-Steffansson, Frederic Oakley Spedden, Isaac Frauenthal and George Harder) to honour the bravery of Captain Rostron and his crew. They would present the Captain with an inscribed silver cup and medals to each of the 320 crew members.

He died in Queens, New York on 7 December 1943.



In 1987 The Titanic Historical Society (THS) Convention was held in Wilmington, Delaware, with survivors:

Mr. Frank Aks
Mrs. Ruth Becker Blanchard
Mr. Bertram Dean
Mrs. Edith Brown Haisman
Miss Eva Hart
Mrs. Marjorie Newell Robb
Mr. Michel Navratil
Mrs. Louise Kink Pope
Mrs. Eleanor Johnson Shuman

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