Miss Ann Elizabeth Isham, 50, was born on 25 January 1862 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, the first child of Edward Swift Isham and Frances Burch. She had two brothers Pierrepont and Edward Swift, and a sister Frances. Their father established a law firm with Robert Todd Lincoln (son of former US President Abraham Lincoln) called Isham, Lincoln & Beale in Chicago, Illinois.
Ann lived for a time in Chicago where she was a member of the Friday Club and the Scribbler's Club. But by 1912 she had been living abroad for nine years; most of the time in Paris with her sister Frances (Mrs Harry Shelton). Ann's brother Edward lived in New York City and it was in order to spend the summer with him that she boarded the Titanic when it stopped at Cherbourg on April 10, 1912. Titanic passenger Arthur Larned Ryerson was a partner in her father's firm and it is likely that Ann and the Rysersons knew each other.
Her cabin (C-49) was next to that of Colonel Archibald Gracie, although he did not remember ever seeing her. Ann was one of four first class women who died in the disaster, her body, if recovered, was never identified.
When Ann died, in addition to her siblings, she left a cousin, Mrs H. H. Porter, Jr., of Chicago. A memorial to her was erected by her family in Vermont.
It has been suggested that Miss Isham brought on board with her a dog (possibly a Great Dane), and some believe that it was her refusal to leave her dog. that led to her death. It has been further suggested that she was the woman observed to have had her arms frozen around her dog in the water following the sinking. However, no firm evidence has been found to support the claims.
References and Sources
Chicago Daily Tribune (Illinois), 18 April 1912
Brainard, Homer. W. (1938) Survey of the Ishams in England and America. Tuttle Publishing Co., Rutland, Vermont pp. 410-412.
Phillip Gowan, USA
Homer Thiel, USA
Articles and Stories
New York Times (1912)
Chicago Daily Tribune (1912)
New York Times (1915)