Mrs Mary Peebles Wick (née Hitchcock)

Mary Wick

Mrs George Dennick Wick was born as Mary Peebles Hitchcock in Youngstown, Ohio on 12 October 1866.

She was the daughter of William James Hitchcock (b. 1827) and Mary Johnson Peebles (b. 1837). Her father was a native of New York and her mother from Pennsylvania. Her known siblings were: Almira (1859-1934, later Mrs Myron Arms), Frank (b. 1861) and William James (1864-1936). She was educated in Farmington, Connecticut and besides that lived all of her life in Youngstown.

Mary, known to friends and family as Mollie, was married on 19 June 1896 to George Dennick Wick who, like her father, was an iron businessman. George was a widower with one child, Mary Natalie (b. 1880); he was president of assorted iron companies in various parts of Ohio. Mary and George had one child of their own, George Dennick Jr, on 19 March 1897.

Mary's husband George had been suffering from ill-health for several years and it was decided that a vacation to Europe might benefit his wellbeing and prevent him having to retire. Along with her husband, step-daughter Mary and a cousin, Caroline Bonnell, Mary departed from Youngstown in February 1912, leaving behind her son who was at school in Wallingford, Connecticut. They spent time in Naples, Venice, Paris and lastly London. In France they met Washington Roebling and Stephen Weart Blackwell who would also be aboard the Titanic on the voyage home. The family boarded the Titanic at Southampton as first class passengers (joint ticket number 36928 which cost £164, 17s, 4d). Also joining them at Southampton was another in-law, Elizabeth Bonnell.

When the collision occurred, Mrs Wick thought that a boiler had exploded. They were in their stateroom when her daughter and Caroline Bonnell came to tell them that the Titanic had struck an iceberg. Mr Wick rebuked the suggestion. Later, a crewmember must have told them to put on their life preservers and go up on deck. There, they were met by Natalie and Caroline. Caroline went below to bring her aunt Elizabeth up on deck and then the Wicks and Bonnells waited. The women were placed into lifeboat 8. Mollie Wick looked up and watched her husband stand at the rail and wave goodbye. They drifted about for five hours in the cold before being rescued by the Carpathia.

Mrs Wick's name was not on the initial lists of survivors and the Ohio newspapers speculated that she had died. Her son did not find out his mother had survived until several days after the sinking. He and William F. Bonnell were among the family members that travelled to New York City to meet the Carpathia. When they applied for tickets to enter the restricted area, they found that dozens of reporters had already claimed tickets as family members.

Mrs Wick refused to believe that her husband George was lost and remained in New York for several days with her family awaiting news. Family related that in New York, still standing in the clothes she wore to leave the ship, Mary's waiting family brought her to a dress shop to kit her out. Although prostrated at the loss of her husband, she was reportedly stoical and did not break down whilst in the next fitting room a wealthy New York woman, reportedly also a survivor, was being fanned and had smelling salts held to her nose.

A memorial service was held in Youngstown on 24 April 1912 for the loss of her husband. A family member travelled to Halifax, hoping to identify his body but it was never recovered.

Mollie Wick never remarried and remained living in Youngstown, reportedly wearing dark-coloured clothing in mourning for the rest of her life. Among her many activities, she was later the president of the local YWCA and was held in high esteem by her other committee members and the local community. During the 1914-1918 War she was active in the National League for Women's Service and was on the Board of Supervisors of the Mahoning County Red Cross. She was also president of the Woman's Workers Society of the First Presbyterian Church and on the board of the Youngstown City Hospital.

Mollie Wick died on 30 January 1920 as a result of pneumonia. Local press at the time reported that her stepdaughter Natalie was en route from England for a visit when her death occurred.

She is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Youngstown and her husband is commemorated on her grave.

Her son George was later married to Ruth Kuhn (1899-1974), a Tennessee native, and had three children: Antoinette Mary (b. 1919), George Dennick (b. 1922) and David Kuhn (b. 1927). He lived in various places, including Ohio and Connecticut and he eventually died in Columbus, North Carolina on 13 March 1975.


Mrs Wick's grave at Oak Hill Cemetery, Youngstown, Ohio

References and Sources

Biographical History of North-eastern Ohio (1893) Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago
1900 Census, Ohio, Mahoning County, Youngstown, 615 Wick Avenue, Enumeration District 61, Page 1, line 40

Credits
Gavin Bell, UK
Michael A. Findlay, USA
Phillip Gowan, USA
Homer Thiel, USA

Articles and Stories

WOMAN SURVIVOR OF TITANIC TELLS OF THE LAST HOURS OF SHIP

Christian Science Monitor  (1912) 

WOMAN SURVIVOR OF TITANIC TELLS OF THE LAST HOURS OF SHIP

 
SIXTEEN OHIOANS ARE STILL MISSING

Cleveland Plain Dealer  (1912) 

SIXTEEN OHIOANS ARE STILL MISSING

 
Wealthy Youngstown Folk Aboard

New York Times  (1912) 

WEALTHY YOUNGSTOWN FOLK ABOARD

 
Marconigram : Bonnell

MARCONIGRAM : BONNELL

 
A SAD FAREWELL

Daily Northwestern  (1912) 

A SAD FAREWELL

 
NO ALARM FELT WHEN STEAMER FIRST STRUCK

Washington Times  (1912) 

NO ALARM FELT WHEN STEAMER FIRST STRUCK

 
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    (2015) Mary Peebles Wick Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #313, accessed 29th August 2015 05:56:04 PM)

    URL : http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/mary-wick.html