George Dunton Widener

Mr George Dunton Widener


Courtesy of Michael A. Findlay, USA

Mr George Dunton Widener, 50, from Elkins Park, PA, was the son of P.A.B. Widener, a member of the board of the Fidelity Trust Company of Philadelphia, the bank that controlled IMM, the owners of the White Star Line. He was heir to probably the largest fortune in Philadelphia. However, George Widener was a wealthy man in his own right running a successful street-car firm in Philadelphia.

 


The Widener home in Elkins park, Pennsylvania

 

Mr Widener and family had been staying at the Paris Ritz Hotel and he, his wife Eleanor Widener, son Harry Elkins Widener and their two servants Edwin Keeping and Emily Geiger boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg. The Widener's occupied cabins C-80/82.

On the afternoon of April 14th, Widener and his wife were standing on the promenade deck talking to J. Bruce Ismay when Captain Smith passed them on his way aft. Without comment he handed Ismay one of the ice warnings from the White Star liner Baltic, Ismay simply put the message in his pocket and headed below.

Later that day Captain Smith joined a dinner party given in his honour by the Wideners in the ship's à la carte restaurant. The guests included, John B. Thayer and Mrs Thayer, Major Archibald Butt, Clarence Moore and William Carter and his wife Lucile Carter. A little before 9pm the Captain excused himself and headed for the bridge. After the ladies had retired the men sat in the smoking room talking. They were still there when the iceberg was struck.

Later, George and Harry escorted Eleanor to lifeboat 4. While the boats continued loading Colonel Archibald Gracie observed George Widener leaning against a railing in deep discussion with John B. Thayer, Mrs Thayer had also boarded boat #4.

As the ship sank deeper the Wideners and Mr Thayer were joined by Charles Duane Williams. All four men died in the disaster.

Notes
At the church of St Paul in Elkins Park are two Tiffany Windows in memory of George and Harry Widener. The interior of the church was rebuilt in 1912-13, thanks to Mrs Widener. George was the senior warden at St Pauls and Chair of the Board of Commissioners of Cheltenham Township. Both the Church and The Township presented Resolutions to Mrs Widener.

References and Sources

John P. Eaton & Charles A. Haas (1994) Titanic: Triumph & Tragedy, 2nd ed. Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1 85260 493 X
Walter Lord (1976) A Night to Remember. London, Penguin. ISBN 0 14 004757 3
Don Lynch & Ken Marschall (1992) Titanic: An Illustrated History. London, Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0 340 56271 4

Credits
Leon Clemmer
Linda Greaves, USA

Pictures

George D. Widener

(1912) 

GEORGE D. WIDENER

 
The Wideners

THE WIDENERS

 

Articles and Stories

P. A. B. WIDENER GIVES $4,000,000 TO SCHOOL

New York Times  (1912) 

P. A. B. WIDENER GIVES $4,000,000 TO SCHOOL

 
The Wideners: An American Family

Titanic Research  (2008) 

THE WIDENERS: AN AMERICAN FAMILY

 
EXPLORER RICE WEDS MRS. G. D. WIDENER

New York Times  (1915) 

EXPLORER RICE WEDS MRS. G. D. WIDENER

 
Jersey Women Tell Thrilling Tales

Daily Home News  (1912) 

JERSEY WOMEN TELL THRILLING TALES

 
MRS. A. H. RICE DIES IN PARIS AT 69

Evening Bulletin  (1937) 

MRS. A. H. RICE DIES IN PARIS AT 69

 
TWO RECEIVE SHARES IN ELKINS 27 MILLION

New York Times  (1937) 

TWO RECEIVE SHARES IN ELKINS 27 MILLION

 
LAST MAN TO LEAVE TITANIC WAS COLONEL GRACIE, U.S.A.

The Toronto Daily Star  (1912) 

LAST MAN TO LEAVE TITANIC WAS COLONEL GRACIE, U.S.A.

 
MRS. G. D. WIDENER TO MARRY DR. RICE

New York Times  (1915) 

MRS. G. D. WIDENER TO MARRY DR. RICE

 
300 OF TITANIC'S PASSENGERS WERE BOOKED AT PARIS

Chicago American  (1912) 

300 OF TITANIC'S PASSENGERS WERE BOOKED AT PARIS

 
MR. SUTTON'S BODY TO BE SENT HOME

Camden Post-Telegram  (1912) 

MR. SUTTON'S BODY TO BE SENT HOME

 
[There are 14 more items in the George Dunton Widener document archive]
  • Add new information or a comment


  • Help improve this biography

  • Link and cite this biography

    (2014) George Dunton Widener Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #315, accessed 3rd September 2014 07:57:19 AM)

    URL : http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim/george-dunton-widener.html