Isidor Straus


Arne Mjåland

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Oct 21, 2001
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On January 3 2002 there was an article in "Darien News" about Martha Falk. She had died 105 years old in 2001. The article was written by Locker McCarthy lmccarthy@bcnnew.com
According to the article, Falk met in April 1912 her father s brother who came to America for the first time in April 1912 abroad the Titanic. He told a story about how, as the ship was sinking, he begged the Strausses the department store owner and his wife to get into the lifeboat. But they refused, so the uncle jumped into the boat. Who was the uncle?
 

Jan C. Nielsen

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Dec 12, 1999
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In reviewing local newspapers published right after the Titanic disaster, I read that Isidor Strauss used to visit the San Francisco area, frequently. Perhaps he came here to visit some one, in particular.

I know this is a long shot, but is he any relation to the famous apparel-maker, Levi Strauss, who lived in San Francisco? Does anyone know, and or can anyone even venture a guess?
 

Arne Mjåland

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Oct 21, 2001
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Martha Falk told this about her early memory when meeting her fathers brother in the newspaper article: "He told a story about how, as the ship was sinking, he begged the Strausses the department store owner and his wife to get in the lifeboat. But they just held on to each other and refused, so my uncle jumped into the boat. I remember my uncles hands rubbed raw from rowing a lifeboat. And his hair had turned white over night"
 
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Heidi Williams

Guest
Hi, I just joined this message board& have a question. I have to do a historically-based, fictional short story from any period of time I want for my literature class &, being largely interested in anything Titanic, chose to do a story built around this time period. I'm planning on taking a real story from a passenger & filling in any holes the way I think it would have been. So I was thinking about doing a story on the Straus's. But I was just wondering, when the ship sank, did the Straus's really go back to their room & lie on the bed together as the ship went down? I heard that somewhere, but I'm not entirely sure that it was them. I personally see it as being incredibly romantic & would like to base my story on their story. Any technical info that I might need that anyone has would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
That business about going back to their cabin to lie down most likely came from the movie. As Isidor's body was recovered, I find it extremely unlikely that the couple retired to their cabin. The section where is was located (Cabins C-55-57.) is still intact.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Pat Cook

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Apr 27, 2000
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I believe it was in Gracie's "The Truth About The Titanic" in which he stated that after Ida refused to go into the lifeboat and then Isador refused to be allowed to go before any other men that the two then seated themselves on deck chairs. I can think of no other references as to their actions after turning away from the boats.

Hope this is of some help.

Best regards,
Cook
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
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The New York Times, 26 April 1912

MR. STRAUS'S HORSE DEAD
---
Found Lifeless in Stable the Morning After the Titanic Sank
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Friends of Isidor Straus, who, with his wife, perished in the Titanic
disaster, told yesterday of a peculiar coincidence concerning Mr. Straus
and his favorite horse Bess. Before he sailed for Europe Mr. Straus
sent the horse to Bedford Hills, N. Y., where the Montefiore Home, with
which Mr. Straus was connected, has a farm. Part of this farm consists
of some fine pasture land, and Mr. Straus decided to give Bess a
vacation and let her roam at will over the pasture until he returned.

Bess was six years old. She had been owned by Mr. Straus for several
years and was his favorite driving horse. On the night of Sunday, April
14, Bess was locked in the stable by the employes at the farm as usual.
Next morning one of the stable hands found Bess dead. A veterinary
surgeon could not tell of what malady the animal had died. The night of
Sunday, April 14, was when the Titanic was wrecked and Mr. Straus and
his wife died.

-30-
 

Beth Barber

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Jun 7, 2001
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Mark - Wow - I haven't heard of that before. I wonder how many other stories there are like this one? I have heard of pets passing on when their owners have died. But that was usually dogs, cats, have not heard about horses! - Beth in SC
 
Apr 16, 2001
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Hi Mark,

It was nice to meet you in Jersey City last weekend at the Loews Theatre.

I have heard conflicting stories about that report concerning Isidor Straus and his horse. Some members of the family claim that the story is completely false while others suggest that the animal had died a few days prior to April 15th - days before Isidor and Ida died at sea. Ken Straus told me in 1991 that the horse belonged to one of Isidor's friends, and that the sensationalism at the time of the disaster stretched the truth to add more emotion to the story. Who can say?

An interesting tale nevertheless......

Mike Findlay
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
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It was nice to meet you
Same here, Mike.

Who can say?
Certainly not me; I know, and vouch for, nothing more than the fact that the article appeared in the Times as I transcribed it.

An interesting tale nevertheless......
I thought so, too.

;-)
 

Jan C. Nielsen

Senior Member
Dec 12, 1999
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That's really super, thanks again, Pat.

I found out that "E. Pillsbury" is Evan S. Pillsbury, a prominent San Francisco lawyer, whose law firm still survives, "Pillsbury Winthrop LLP."

Jan
 
Apr 11, 2001
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While wandering around in nearby Stonington cemetery on Rt. 1 between Mystic and Pawcatuck, I stumbled literally upon the Straus' daughter's, grand daughter's, and great-grand daughter's graves. All the girls are named Vivian. Was intrigued to see the grand daughter married another department store tycoon-Wanamaker! From left to right they read (can send a bigger file to anyone interested):
Vivian Straus Dixon Born in NY New York August 29, 1886 Died in NY New York Jan 16, 1967 Beloved wife of George Arthur Dixon Daughter of Isidor Straus and Ida Straus
Vivian Dixon Wanamaker Born Born NY New York Jan 17 1918 Died in London Dec 1 1974 Daughter of George Arthur Dixon and Vivian Dixon
Vivian Foley Born Palm Beach Florida April 27, 1939 DiedNY NewYork, Jan 19, 1980 Daughter of Vivian Wanamaker and Dennie Boardman
 
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Daniel M. Roper

Guest
To follow up on some of the questions posed here:

1. Isidor Straus is not related to the Levi Strauss folks of California (at least not closely).

2. Oscar Straus was Isidor's brother. Oscar had a stellar career as a lawyer and statesman, serving as "Minister to Konstantinople" and also as a cabinet official in F. D. Roosevelt's administration.

3. In his testimony to the Senate Committee Archibald Gracie describes his contact with Mr. and Mrs. Straus on A-deck, how she refused to get in a boat without him, how he declared his intent to "share the fate of all the other men." Gracie doesn't make mention of what Isidor and Ida did after that in his Senate testimony. I haven't read Gracie's book so I don't know if he expanded further on the subject.

4. Straus Historical Society, Inc. in Smithtown, NY has an interesting letter from a Macy's employee who happened to be a passenger on Carpathia, interviewed Titanic surivivors to find out what happend to the Strauses (the Straus family owned Macy's), and wrote to their son Percy. The account is similar to Gracie's.
 

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