Mrs Ryerson

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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Sally, rather than starting multiple threads asking virtually identical questions about first class female passengers, it might be a better idea to simply have one thread and list those women you are specifically interested in.
 

Sally Sorour

Member
Nov 4, 2005
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I tried to open the link to the picture of emily ryerson but I get a site saying the site can't be found. I really want to see a photo of her. I keep having a problem of not being able to open links of photos on the message board. What can I do to correct that problem?
 

Phillip Gowan

Member
Apr 10, 2001
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Sally-go to Encyclopedia Titanica Reseach Articles and open "A Gallery of Titanic Visages"--there are two or three pictures of Mrs. Ryerson there--as well as photos of many other Titanic passengers--that are not on their biographies.

Phil
 
J

Joshua Doyle Tift

Guest
From what I have read on board the Titanic Mrs. Ryerson was grieving over the loss of her eldest son who had been killed in a car accident. Little did she know that she would end up morning two of the men she loved because her husband would not survive the sinking.
 

Brian Ahern

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Dec 19, 2002
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An interesting piece I stumbled onto re. Mrs. Ryerson. It's a little fawning, perhaps, but it's especially interesting to me because it links her with someone else who's interested me, Queen Marie of Roumania.
It also mentions her counting Hugh Walpole and Henry James among her admirers. It's further interesting because it makes mention of Suzette Ryerson Patterson's husband disappearing in South America after her death, which I have never heard of before.
http://www.tkinter.smig.net/QueenMarie/AllICouldNeverBe/7.5.htm

Here is the URL for her husband's family tree:
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~morganandrelatedfamilies/families/scherfessee.htm
Since it's not that interesting, I'll paste the info regarding him:
Notes for WILLIAM FORSYTHE SHERFESEE:

More About WILLIAM FORSYTHE SHERFESEE:
Baptism: August 20, 1882, @ Home
Confirmation: March 26, 1899, St. John's Lutheran Church, Charleston, SC (John W Honour, Pastor)
Education: Graduated from Yale University in 1905 Masters in school of Forestry; BA from from College of Charleston, SC in 1903, and Charleston High School.
Occupation: Diplomat, Assistant Chief & Chief in office of Wood Preservation, Forester of the Philippines Bureau of Forestry and in July 1, 1912, appointed assistant director of Philippine Bureau of Forestry.

This directory barely has anything on him, other than that he "married a wealthy widow and did not work after that". Amusing, IMO.
http://www.nationaalherbarium.nl/FMCollectors/S/SherfeseeWF.htm

Here is a photo of him with other Yale '05 class members. He is third row, fourth from left. Not a particularly vigorous or studly looking fellow. So perhaps it's just as well he married a strong-minded older matron.
http://mssa.library.yale.edu/madid/showzoom.php?id=ru&ruid=748&pg=3&imgNum=6515

His name comes up easily to researchers on account of his brief diplomatic career.
 
Aug 30, 2005
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Hello all. In the book, 882 1/2 Amazing Answers to your Questions about the Titanic" (pg. 51), there is a short piece on what shocked Mrs. Ryerson while lifeboat no. 4 was being lowered. It states that she could see the seawater swirling around the furniture on B-deck. Now in the photo on the same page, painted by Ken Marschall, it shows the lifeboat being loaded/lowered, but the water is nowhere near the b-deck staterooms. Unless the picture is inaccurate, is this statement true? If anyone knows anything about the legitimacy of this statement or want to voice your opinion on the topic, by all means please do so! Thanks a lot!

Andy
 
J

João Carlos Pereira Martins

Guest
Well, lifeboat 4 was lowered at 1.55 and at that time the water was close to wash the A-Deck promenade. I don't know if Ken Marshall did that picture with an historical foundation. I prefer to believe in the passenger's testimonies, we could never forget that they were there, we didn't. Unless Mrs. Ryerson was too miserable to see that correctly, but I'm afraid not.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>Unless the picture is inaccurate, is this statement true?<<

You would have to ask Ken about his reasons for that if he happens to drop in but I wouldn't take anybody's testimony as Gospel simply because they were there. Human memory is nothing if not fallible and in the heat of a crisis, things can seem to pass in a blur or crawl along at a snail's pace. It doesn't help that a lot of these people were not trained observers.

Most of the testimony in my opinion, is honest, but it can also be mistaken.
 
Aug 30, 2005
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I personally would like to believe Mrs. Ryerson too, but I wanted another opinion on this. What a sight it must have been to see the ornate furniture being slowly immersed in the cold seawater! I have always liked Ken's paintings, and I use them as almost a guide to understand the sinking of the Titanic. I had no idea Ken had an account on this site, either! Thanks for the input.

Andy
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>I had no idea Ken had an account on this site, either!<<

It's not exactly a state secret. Ken's been a member for several years. Unfortunately, he also has a lot of commitments which means that even if he wanted to, he couldn't spare a lot of time to poke around here. To say that his knowladge and understanding of the ship is encyclopediac in scope is the grandest of understatements. If he presented an event in his work in a certain way, the smart money has it he had some fine reasons for it. When he speaks, I listen!
 
Mar 20, 2007
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I've just been poking around a very festive Hatchard's during my lunch break and, in the Architecture section, discovered a lavishly illustrated 'coffee table' tome called 'The Great Houses of Chicago', by Susan Benjamin and Stuart Cohen. This is the companion volume to 'The Great Houses of New York' which was published a year or so ago. Both books will be very interesting to students of social history and interior design and really serve to set the lifestyles of the American upper classes during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries into context. As one might expect, 'New York' contains a great portfolio of photographs of the Astor mansion on Fifth Avenue - the ballroom, into which 'the' Mrs Astor (the Colonel's mother, Caroline) squeezed her elite 'Four Hundred'; the dining room, where the widowed Madeleine entertained Captain Rostron, Marian Thayer and Florence Cumings in the summer of 1912; and the library, in which the chimney breast is hung with the well-known portrait in oils of the urbane John Jacob himself.

In a similar vein, 'Chicago' features the glorious mansion of Emily Ryerson, into which she moved around 1917 (you'll need to check the exact date - but this rings a bell). The house is one in a block of four and, in stylistic terms, closely resembles the Georgian architecture of London and Bath and the work of Robert Adam. Even those on this board with a serious dislike of 'period' buildings would be hard-pushed to find fault with such an exquisitely simple yet elegant design. The interiors, decorated under the inspiration of Edith Wharton's associate Ogden Codman, are light, airy and restrained, with none of the overwhelming flamboyance found at The Breakers or Marble House, and contemporary photographs show a small sample of Mrs Ryerson's wonderful collection of eighteenth-century art and furniture. Sadly, the house seems to have come down in the world since Emily's day and is now apparantly a social security office. Humph.

Anyway, I attach links to the Amazon listings for both books for those who might like to see the Astor and Ryerson houses for themselves:

http://www.amazon.com/Great-Houses-1880-1930-Domestic-Architecture/dp/0926494341/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1229607080&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Houses-Chicago-1871-1921-Domestic-Architecture/dp/0926494392
 

JMGraber

Member
Apr 22, 2012
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I heard from the Titanic Untold Stories documentary that she never left her stateroom because she was in mourning, except for one time when she was with Mrs. Thayer and Ismay was talking to them. Is this true?
 

TimTurner

Member
Dec 11, 2012
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Could Titanic guests order room service? And also, did she have a room with a lavatory, or did she need to use the public lavs in the halls?
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
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UK
Mrs Ryerson did leave her suite as little as possible at least during the daylight hours. There were no formal arrangements for taking full meals in the staterooms but they could be delivered there by the bedroom steward, who would expect (but could not demand) double the normal tip at the end of the voyage for providing this extra and laborious service. In the case of the Ryersons this would have been no problem, as Bruce Ismay had provided them with a personal steward. Certainly also they had a suite with private bath and toilet.
 
T

TITANIFANTIC

Guest
Ryerson

What about Mr. Ryerson and their children, were they out often?
I too am interested in the Ryerson Family. What did the Ryerson children do onboard and where did they sleep on the Carpathia? I am also interested in how they acted onboard lifeboat 4. Any answers would be much appreciated. I have also heard there is a screen play being passed around Hollywood about the life of Eleanor Widener, I never knew she lived such a fascinating life!
 

Rosser Kemp

Member
Aug 14, 2013
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There is a screenplay being written about the life of Eleanor Widener. Location Scouts have been to Newport (Miramar), Philadelphia (Lynnwood Hall), New York and Harvard ( Harry Widener Library) I can't wait to see who they would choose to play Eleanor, Harry etc. she lead an exceptionally privileged and fascinating life indeed. I'll keep you posted on the progress of the film.
 

Athlen

Member
Apr 14, 2012
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Hello all,

Search for "ryerson" at titanicinquiry.org -- Mrs. Ryerson and her maid both gave statements for the limitation of liability hearings, and there is a great deal of information about her and her family. She said she would go out walking at night but rarely left her cabin in the day. She also mentions that her son, 13, was initially told he couldn't enter the lifeboat. She doesn't mention the children in the boat, at least not in the parts I read, but she does describe how they were taken aboard Carpathia.

- J