Constance Willard

Brittany Perera

Former Member
Does anyone have any information on Constance Willard? I have already read her biography on the site, but any additional information would be extremely helpful. Thank you.

Brittany
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Andrew:
I've been by Ms. Willard's simple house in a nice old section of Riverside, California. Tried to locate her ashes at Evergreen Cemetery, which is only a few blocks down the road from where she lived, but, even with the cemetery director's help, never could find a record of it. Appears her ashes may have been left with relatives.

Thanks for the info about the Great Lakes Connection book. For some reason I never got around to buying it. Now I will. Can I ssume it has some things about the Crosby family also?
 

Jason D. Tiller

Staff member
Moderator
Member
Hi Mike,

Their is a lot of good information on the Crosby family in the book. I have a copy of it and I would recommend it!

Best regards,

Jason
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Does anyone know if Constance ever had any sort of career? I've always been interested in knowing what sort of life she led, since she's a rather shadowy figure in accounts of the voyage and sinking. And it's always struck me as strange that a 20-year-old girl was travelling alone in 1912. Wouldn't have been considered proper in many quarters. At least I assume she was alone. The only other Duluthans on board were the Silveys, and I've never seen any record of Constance knowing them.

Any thoughts?
Brian Ahern
 

Ben Holme

Member
Hi Brian,

Miss Willard was apparently travelling in the company of the Carter family of Philadelphia. Constance's aunt, anxious that her neice would be returning to Duluth alone, solicited the help of William Carter, who agreed to allow the 20 year old to accompany them on the return journey from London and across the Atlantic. Craig Stringer's excellent CD "Titanic Poeple" provides more detail on this. Strangely, neither Constance of the Carters mentioned eachother in later acounts, although they undoubtedly departed the sinking liner together on boat #4.

Both Constance Willard and Alice Silvey were particularly sparse on meaty details in their brief accounts of the sinking (the ones that I've found, at least). Hence, we have little record of the shipboard actions and movements of these three Duluth residents. However, I would imagine that Constance would have at least recognised the Silveys who were promient in Duluth.

Best Regards,
Ben
 
Dear Ben, I have seen the suggestion that Miss Willard left the ship in boat No 4, but her own story certainly doesn't match No 4 at all; from her story it can be assumed that she left in a boat more towards the stern, possibly No 10. But I don't really know. She is indeed rather sparse with details....

Peter
 
Hi, Ben!

>Strangely, neither Constance of the Carters
>mentioned each other in later acounts,

I have an interview with Miss Willard in which she described how Mr. Carter later told her about his own experiences on Collapsible C. (Carter said that Mr. Ismay regretted the presence of the Chinamen on his boat when so many "fine, valuable men" were being left behind.)

Ironic, eh?

All my best,

George
 
Thanks for the replies.
That's very interesting, Ben. I've never seen her name linked with the Carters' and wouldn't have guessed at it. I suppose her aunt must have befriended the Carters in Europe.

Thanks again,
Brian
 
Hi, Peter!

She said she "must have been in the eleventh or twelfth boat lowered" and that the boat wasn't very crowded. I'm afraid that leaves a lot of latitude for various interpretations.

All my best,

George
 
Hello again, George. That is exactly the kind of information I wanted; I just can't see her in No 4, and she said in another interview that there were seven men and several children as well as about 20 women, which to me didn't sound much like No 4, particularly when she never mentions crewmen dragged out of the water or tying up with other boats or rescuing men from an overturned collapsible and so on. Thank you!!
By the way, I don't think I have got your e-mail address....???

Best regards,

Peter
 

Ben Holme

Member
Hi Peter,

Interesting. I, too, had originally accepted boat #10 for Miss Willard, that is until the story of the Carter acquaintance surfaced and made me re-think things. However, if there is no account of her presence in boat #4, and perhaps more crucially, there is no mention of the "stepping through the window" incident, then I would agree that boat #10 is a safer option. Like Mrs. Futrelle and Mrs. Holverson, she's a tricky one to assign, boat-wise. I know George had what struck me as very interesting thoughts on the mystery of Mrs. F's boat.

Hi George,

Fascinating insight into Ismay's thoughts during the night on collapsibe C! Carter's another whose accounts of the sinking seem to be harder to locate than most. Seems he really landed Ismay in it, in the same manner in which Charles Stengel didn't help Sir Cosmo's case in boat #1. Interesting stuff.

Hope you're both keeping well.

Best,

Ben
 
Brittany,
I have just added the newscutting below to Miss Willards site - I think it came from Mark Baber some time ago here it is along with my printout on her:

WILLARD, Miss Constance. Saved in Lifeboat number 4. London address: C/o White Star Line, 1, Cockspur Street, London, S.W. UK.
Died 25th April 1964, and is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery, Riverside, California.
From Hibbing (Minn.) Daily Tribune, April 23, 1912)
Miss Willard Tells Of Wreck
Girl Well Known Here, Who was on the Titanic has reached St. Paul.
St. Paul, Minn. - April 23 - Miss Constance, the 20-year-old daughter of David Willard, formerly of Duluth, has arrived at the home of her sister, Mrs. Hope McCall, on South Avon street, after the most trying week of her life, since a week ago Sunday night, when the Titanic struck. Except for a little fatigue Miss Willard is entirely well and was able to give a full account of her experience.
Miss Willard said there was no searchlight aboard the Titanic. She overheard a man ask an officer about this lack, the first day out. The officer, whose name she did not know told the man it was intended to have the searchlight installed in New York.
Miss Willard was without any relatives or near friends on the boat, the Carter family, with whom she was travelling, being new acquaintances who had promised her aunt in England to look out for her on the trip over. Her first real breakdown or feeling in any way akin to fear did not come, she said, until after she was aboard the Carpathia.

I hope that helps?
Best regards

Brian J. Ticehurst - Southajpton UK
 
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