Apr 15-07

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2007: April: Apr 15-07
Remembering the Titanic    ...scroll down to share comments
From the Archives
From the Archives    ...scroll down to share comments
From the Archives

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 07:52 am:

April 15th is remembered as more than "tax day" here in the US. It was the morning in 1912 when the Titanic went down, after having struck an iceberg shortly before midnight. Back in the Pasty Cam Archives this morning I revisited a bit of that history involving some Copper Country folks who lived through the ordeal.

Agnes Davies' telegram to Rich Nicholls of Mohawk 3 days later simply said "All Safe" - when in fact, Agnes had lost one of her sons. Here is a reconstruction of those events from the Archives, beginning with Agnes Davies' own words:

"We were in our berths when the steamer struck the iceberg at 11.50 the night of Sunday. we felt the jar but did not imagine that anything serious had occured. However I rang for the steward for the purpose of making inquiries. He assured us that nothing of consequence had happened and that we could remain in our berths without fear. A few minutes later Miss Phillips' father, who was also a passenger on the boat called his daughter and told her to dress. She went on deck and returned shortly and said orders had been given for all the passengers to dress and put on lifebelts. By this time I had dressed, although my little son was still sleeping. The steward again came to the stateroom and said there was no danger or occasion for fear. I decided to dress the boy, however, and did so.

My son Joseph had dressed and he came to the stateroom and put lifebelts on us. Through all this time we had received no warning from the steward, no orders to prepare for anything like what we were to experience. Had it not been for our curiosity to learn what was going on we might have perished. we went on deck about 12.15 and my son and myself were placed in the third lifeboat.

My older son, Joseph, helped to place us in the boat and asked permission to enter it himself, this being refused with the threat that he would be shot if he attempted to get in. I pleaded with the officers in vain, that he be allowed to come with me. There were about fifty in the boat, but there was room for more. After we were lowered away and before the boat left the ship some men entered it by sliding down the davit ropes. The men in charge of the boat rowed as hard as they could to get away from the ship. By the time she sank, which was at 1.45, it seemed as if we were miles away, although I could hear the screams, cries and moaning of the drowning passengers."
Agnes and her infant son spent about 5 hours in the boat before being picked up by the Carpathia, once on the ship she commented that 'everything possible was done for the saved'.

On arrival in New York in addition to overnight accommodation she was given a train ticket, $5 in cash and a lunch box by the White Star Line. She left New York by train heading for Mohawk, Michigan. Once in Michigan passengers on the train between Negaunee and Calumet recognising her need, raised 'a neat little sum for her benefit'. A subscription list was also started for her benefit in Calumet. The Calumet News also went on to say that Mrs Davies was a 'pleasant and refined woman but greatly overwrought and nervous as a result of her experience, suffering and bereavement. The sinking of the Titanic had taken from her, her almost sole support, a nineteen year old son. The loss of whom seems to her to have been unnecessary, too, which makes it all the harder to bear. '

The following appeared in the St Ives Times in early May 1912:



We have received welcome news this week that Mrs Agnes Davies, formerly of St Ives, and her nine year old son - Master John Morgan Davies - have at last reached Mohawk. On arriving they were met by Mr Richard Henry Nicholls, Mrs Nicholls, and Mr G P Curnow, the latter being a close personal friend of Mrs Davies's family. There was a most touching scene between mother and son, after their trying ordeal. the last time they met Mr Joseph Nicholls - who perished in the 'Titanic' disaster - was a member of the family circle which then gathered. Mrs Davies's sufferings were very noticeable, and the suspense and agony of mind and body have left their marks upon her.

She later recounted her experiences on the Titanic at the Calumet Opera House.

Agnes remained in Michigan for the rest of her life during which time she married a Mr Richard Edwards, they lived at 949 Railroad Avenue in Hancock. She passed away in St Joseph's Hospital, Hancock, Houghton County, Michigan on 4 August 1933, aged 70. She was buried on 7 August 1933 likely in the Lakeview Cemetery, Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan. This cemetery also holds a memorial to her son Joseph Nicholls and the grave of her son, John Davies who died in 1951.

Michele Maatta (Mrmaatta) on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 08:09 am:

Wow, a very touching remembrance.

By Jim Nicholas (Jimn) on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 08:23 am:

What a great artical. My folks came over from England earlier than this. I remember my Father talking about St. Ives and then over here he often talked about Mohawk, Calumet and later I was born in Ishpeming. My mother will be 100 the 30th of this month. Raised 9 of us, of which 8 are boys. God Bless

By Alicia Marshall (Aliciak) on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 08:50 am:

Interesting notes for the family. There were a few others from Calumet/Kalumet listed on the ships manifest as being rescued. One is
Titanic Survivors, Carpathia Passenger List, 1912
about Louise Silven
Name: Louise Silven
Gender: Female
Marriage Status: Single
Occupation: None
Birth Location: Torneo
Nationality: Finland
Place of Origin: Tornio, Russia
Port of Departure: Rescued From Shipwrecked Titanic
Ship Name: Carpathia
Arrival Date: 18 Apr 1912
Destination: Kalumet, Michigan, United States of America
I believe that this was Lyylie/Louise Silven from Tornio Kemi Finland. It states her father was Nikoli Silven. I wonder who she married
and if she told her family of this harrowing tale?

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 01:35 pm:

Now there's some real history!!

Quite the series of events, especially the part about not letting Joseph on the lifeboat. Seems like the crew was not prepared for what happened, adding to the thought the crew had that the ship was unsinkable no matter what. It is believed now that the Captain would have been better off to ram the iceberg head-on than try to avoid it, thus only opening one compartment instead of the 6-8 they tore open.

Thanks Charlie for this Shoebox Memory; it's one of the best you folks have ever done :-)

By kathie Murto (Murtomania) on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 02:03 pm:

This is one of the best sunday pasty's yet. I love reading a first hand account of the titantic. can you just imagine, being on the ship and one person telling you everything is ok, and then the ship sinks!!

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 02:37 pm:

what's interesting, a coincidence? is if you go to the Whats up page for today, there are pictures of Tornio

By Azfinn (Azfinn) on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 05:31 pm:

Growing up in Houghton, my friend Debbie Roberts' grandma was also a Titanic survivor. Years ago there was an article in the Mining Gazette about her. I think Debbie's dad's nickname was "Fuzzy" Roberts and it was his mother that survived as a young girl. Does anyone else know about it?

By Mary Geshel (Maryll) on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 06:23 pm:

Maude Roberts was a cousin of my father. He talked about her experience often to us when we were children.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 08:12 pm:

Re: Mrs Agnes (Davies) Edwards, formerly of 949 Railroad Avenue in Hancock—

Does anyone know where Railroad Avenue is/was in Hancock? It seems to have vanished off the face of the earth, or perhaps was later renamed?

Eerie feelings in 'ol PastyLand today with mention of both the Titanic and Tornio.…

My maternal grandfather Frans Emil Närä (later a.k.a. Frank E. Nara) left Alatornio, Finland on 11/30/1904, at the ripe old age of 19, departing on the Majestic from Liverpool on December 7, 1904, and arriving — with the princely sum of $10.00 in hand — at Ellis Island on December 16, 1904, on his way to join his brother William Närä in Calumet, MI.

Kind of a chilling adventure to contemplate, spending nine days crossing the North Atlantic in December, 1904, or certainly on the Titanic in April, 1912!

By Sean Finnegan (Sean) on Sunday, April 15, 2007 - 10:50 pm:

It is interesting that it is also the anniversary of the assasination of President Lincoln.

By Robert Andrew Camps (Bcampsinaz) on Monday, April 16, 2007 - 12:22 am:

Azfinn, I went to school with a Kitty Roberts and I remember her telling my brothers and me at a very young age about her grandmother being on the Titanic. I lived one block down from the Roberts' family. My father owned Camps' Grocery Store on Edwards street in West Houghton.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Monday, April 16, 2007 - 07:43 am:

What a touching story! How awful for that woman, and nearly every other survivor of that ship! Thank you Charlie.

By Charles Pomazal (Cpomazal) on Monday, April 16, 2007 - 05:35 pm:

I believe that Maude Roberts' brother was Baden Sincock who worked at the Quincy and was given an award for his part in a rescue attempt after the fire/rockfall in 1927 in Shaft #2.

By Donna Matson (Dmvortex) on Sunday, January 11, 2009 - 03:22 pm:

It's amazing how many Titanic passengers were either from the Copper Country or on their way there. My grandmother's cousin was Anna Amelia Silfven Lahtinen. She and her husband Rev. William Lahtinen did not survive, but the cousin they were accompanying over, Lyyli Silfven, did.

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