Margaret Graham


Mike Herbold

In the large book "Extra Titanic", The Story of the Disaster in the Newspapers of the Day, from the collections of Eric Caren and Steve Goldman, the special issue of "The Daily Graphic" dated April 20, 1912, is reprinted in full.

On page 4, there is a picture of Margaret Graham -- the same picture that is shown on her E.T. bio. The Daily Graphic caption reads: Miss Margaret Graham, a well-known Californian actress.--Known to be saved."

Her E.T. bio mentions nothing about being from California or being an actress. Does anyone have any info to that effect?

Dear Mike

Although I do not have the book you speak of I do have the issue of "The Daily Graphic" dated April 20, 1912 that you speak of. I have also noticed this. I actually think that Margaret may have been an actress and I think (I stress think) that this is mentioned in the Haas and Eaton book 'Triumph and Tragedy. I have heard nothin about her supposed California connection, however.

Nevertheless, and in reply to your message about John James Borebank also, I have many of these old newspapers and many photographs are captioned incorrectly. For example, one paper I have shows a picture of a woman captioned as Mrs T. M. Cardeza. Having seen several pictures of Mrs Cardeza I know this not to be the same woman. In the same article you speak of, John James Borebank is captioned incorrectly, with a picture of a much older man in his place. This is not the same picture that is posted on EB.
Margaret Graham was most certainly an actress. Miss Dorothy Gibson usually stole the light when conversation reached actresses on the Titanic, but Miss Graham was most certainly one too.

Thanks Cameron and Daniel:

Found a different profile picture of her in "Triumph and Tragedy", page 145, but still no mention of being an actress or a Californian.

You're absolutely correct about mistakes in the Daily Graphic -- e.g., pg. 9, "Mr. Ryerson -- Who was making the journey from England to attend the funeral of a daughter in Philadelphia." By the way, I noticed "Extra Titanic" is available at

I'll rule out Borebank from my Californian list, but let me know if you come across anything on Miss Graham being an actress and/or Californian.

Mike (an interested Californian)
Mike, I asked Margaret Graham's granddaughter about the article mentioned above and she said that her grandmother was never an actress and never lived in California. I'd put my money on confusion between Margaret and Dorothy Gibson. The granddaughter, who now lives in Manhattan, is very knowledgeable about Titanic and has a copy of the article in question.
Thanks Phllip. I'll move her back to my regular binders. Thanks to you my binders of Californians was getting too big anyway. I'm mailing you another present tomorrow, but it's still not the one we're hoping for.
I am new to this as far as posting a message. I wanted to ask Phillip Gowan who Margaret Graham's grandaughter was that lives in Manhattan?

Margaret Graham had three children: Margaret, Eugene, and Williams, are they still living. Does anyone know anything about them?

According to the obituary about Margaret Graham Moore in Greenwich Time April 27 1976 she left as mentioned in her ET biography three children.
She also left 12 grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Have anybody met any of them?
The law firm her husband Eugene worked for was Manning, Maxwell & Moore. He died in 1930.
Re: Moore family head stone, Putnam Cemetery, Greenwich, New York

This is almost certainly wrong. There is a Putnam Cemetery in Greenwich, CT. The article says they lived in Greenwich, CT, so it seems natural she would be buried there.

As a side note, this is the same cemetery where both Presidents Bushs' father, Prescott Bush is buried.

Many thanks to Michael Poirier for contributing the lovely photograph of Margaret to Encyclopedia Titanica. It is always great to see a new shot of one of the more obscure passengers. And, if I'm correct in thinking that this is actually an American passport photograph (which, then or now, are not noted for being terribly forgiving), then Margaret must have been something of a looker in the flesh.

What do we know about Margaret and her mother, Edith? A preliminary Google reveals that the Grahams were very affluent indeed. Edith's husband, William Thompson Graham, was a wealthy businessman, the President of the American Can Company, who had been one of the original backers of the 'Dixie Cup'. This simple little invention - the prototype of the disposable paper and polystyrene cups we are all so familiar with today - boosted the Graham finances still further and, by the beginning of the twentieth century, they were comfortably established in Greenwich, Connecticut, which was then (as it has remained) one of the most expensive and exclusive towns in the eastern United States. Around that time, Greenwich was attracting some of the nation's wealthiest tycoons and industrialists to its elegant environs and they spent millions of dollars building palatial houses for themselves and their families. There were replicas of the Petit Trianon and Warwick Castle; and it was in Greenwich that an heir to the Phelps Dodge fortune erected a genuine Elizabethan manor house which he'd had shipped in pieces from England. According to a recent article in 'Vanity Fair' magazine, the Grahams lived in 'a graceful Tudor home on Greenwich's Belle Haven peninsula, overlooking Long Island Sound'. The house survived until 1998, when it was torn down by multi-millionaire hedge-fund manager, Paul Jones II, and replaced by an domed-and-columned edifice sniffily described by a local as 'a cross between Tara and a national monument'.

Living close to the Belle Haven Country Club allowed the Graham children (Thomas and Edith had another daughter, Alice, and a son, Samuel) to practice their sports. Samuel was a keen golfer and both the girls were noted for their prowess on the tennis courts. In September 1908, after a long, hard struggle, the teenage Margaret was defeated in the Ladies' Doubles by Miss Mary Green and her team-mate, Mrs Frank Gould. The sports writer of 'The New York Times' reserved words of praise for the valiant Miss Graham: 'she proved a formidable opponent to the other side, was all over the court and frustrated many an attempt to pass her'.

In the spring of 1910, Edith Graham, together with Margaret, Alice and Samuel, was staying at the fashionable resort of Hot Springs in Virginia. Whilst there, the girls were chaperoned by Mr and Mrs John P. Cane at an informal dance given for the 'younger set' at the Daniel Boone Log Cabin. It would be interesting to know if they encountered their near-contemporary Dorothy Annan (shortly to become Harder) who was at Hot Springs the following month.
They may have known Lambert Williams and the Taylors due to their connection to the American Can Company.
You can read the 'Vanity Fair' article I mentioned here:

Purely by chance, I had a copy of the magazine knocking around at home, and so was able to read it in its original format. Sadly, the on-line version does not feature photographs but, on the basis of those I've seen myself, I can add that the Graham mansion once stood in a spectacularly beautiful spot. In its day, it must have commanded magnificent views of the ocean - although whether Edith and Margaret would have appreciated these quite so much after their ordeal on the Atlantic in April, 1912, is open to question!
Thanks for contributing the link, Martin. I'm not sure if the house bought and torn down by Paul Tudor Jones is the house the Grahams were living in by the time Margaret was married. The article says that that house was built by William Thompson Graham. But Margaret's wedding announcement in the Times listed her parents' home as "Otter Rocks" in Belle Haven, which had at least two owners before the Grahams lived in it.

The grandeur and expensiveness of the house made it an object of news to the New York Times every time it sold. In 1901, it was owned by Colonel Albert Hilton and was occupied by William Leeds (whose widow would marry Prince Christopher of Greece and whose son would marry Princess Xenia of Russia). In 1902, the Times reported that John L. Elliott of New York was purchasing the house for $76,000.