Mrs William Shelley (Imanita Parrish), 25, was born in 18871, the daughter of Samuel Parrish and Lutie (Lucinda) Davis Temple.
She lived in Deer Lodge, Montana and boarded the Titanic at Southampton as second class passenger together with her mother Lutie Parrish. They had bought ticket number 230433 for £26.
When they boarded the ship, having purchased what they termed "the best second-class accommodation," they were led instead to a small cabin deep down in the ship, which was so small that they called it a cell. The ladies sent the stewardess to the purser demanding transfer to better accommodation. His reply was that he could do nothing until the ship left Queenstown, Ireland, when he would check tickets to see if there was any mistake. She wrote a note to the purser, explaining that she was ill, and reminding him that she had paid for better accommodations. The result was the arrival of 4 stewards who carried her to her new room. She later asked the stewardess what the purser had said on reading the note, to which the stewardess replied: "He asked first if you were really so very sick, to which I answered there was no doubt about that." Following her transfer to the new cabin second-class physician, Dr. Simpson, called on her three to four times a day. He ordered Mrs Shelley to remain in her cabin.
On the evening of the 14th the temperature had fallen considerably. At the moment of the collision they were awakened out of sleep by the shock, and especially by the stopping of the engines. The ladies heard excited voices outside in the passage, saying that an iceberg had been run into. They rang for a steward, and upon his arrival, were told that all was well and for all passengers to go back to bed. A while later a steward came down the passage calling "All on deck with life belts on." He brought both Mrs Parrish and Mrs Shelley each a life belt and showed them how to tie them on, then told them to go up to the Boat Deck.
Mrs Shelley claimed that Mr Isidor and Mrs Straus, who had known of her being ill, helped them to the upper deck, where they found a chair for her to sit. The ladies made their way to lifeboat 12. The ladies found the boat was some few feet away from the ship, so deckhands roughly tossed Mrs Parrish in, Mrs Shelley jumped and landed safely. Upon reaching the water the falls would not slacken, forcing the ropes had to be cut. After reaching the water, the lifeboat pulled out away from the ship, fearful of suction as Titanic went down. They rowed out about 100 yards when a loud explosion or noise was heard, followed closely by another, and the vessel began sinking rapidly.
During the morning, boat 12 was one of the two which rescued those who had been forced to stand on the overturned Collapsible B. The lifeboat was later picked up by the Carpathia, some time just after 8 o'clock a.m.
On board of the Carpathia she tried to sent a telegram to her husband in Deer Lodge. It was never transmitted, because Bride and Cottam had too much to do. Charge $4.75.
William Shelley, Deer Lodge, Montana
Mother I safe, Titanic sank midnight.
Board Carpathia. Land New York
Mrs Shelley gave an affidavit to the U.S. Senate Inquiry, dated 15 May 1912.
She later divorced and remarried to Jack Huntington Hall (born in Kentucky in 1881), the son of L. D. and Victoria Holcomb Hall, in the city of Manila in the Philippines on December 12, 1923.
According to newspaper reports mother and daughter moved to Hawaii.
In the 1930 US Census, Jack H. Hall, "Nita" Hall and "Lucy Parish" can be found living in the same household in Ewa, Honolulu, Hawaii. Lucy (Lutie) dies the same year.
Imanita Hall died on May 24, 1954 in Santa Clara County at the age of 66. Her birthdate is given as July 2, 1887 in Kentucky, with her father's last name as Parrish and her mother's maiden name as Davis.
1 Her 1923 marriage record gives her birthplace as England, her 1954 death record gives her birthplace as Kentucky.
References and Sources
United States Senate Hearings, Affidavit of Mrs William Shelley
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigration Officer At Port Of Arrival (Date: 18th-19th June 1912, Ship: Carpathia) - National Archives, NWCTB 85 T715 Vol 4183
United States Senate (62nd Congress), Subcommittee Hearings of the Committee on Commerce, Titanic Disaster, Washington 1912
(2012) Woodford woman was among the Titanic's survivors, Lexington Herald-Leader
California Death Index (Rootsweb)
Philippines, Marriages 1723-1957 (FamilySearch.org)
Rob Ottmers, USA
Hermann Söldner, Germany
Articles and Stories
The San Francisco Call (1912)