Thayer Family


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Mark Bray

Guest
I was wondering if someone could provide me with all the Thayer familiy death dates. For example, Pauline Thayer Dolan died in 1981. I was wondering about the Thayer's children and their children. I have developed a very big interest in this WHOLE family. Are they still very wealthy? Also, I have started some research on Pauline Thayer Dolan. It is very exciting. I would appreciate any info. from anyone. Thanks very much everyone!

Sincerely,


Mark Bray
 
Mar 10, 1998
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Mark,
Have you ever been to the "Jack Thayer" website? I've given information on his siblings to Jon Lutyens and Becca Heslop who created the site and they have put the information up on a number of the relatives.

Pauline was a socialite and a well-known golfer and was the last survivor of the 5 Thayer children of John Borland II and Marian Morris Thayer. Her sister Margaret had committed suicide about 20 years prior to Pauline's death.

Phillip
 
Sep 20, 2000
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Hi, Phil and Mark!

Here's the link to that particular page on the Jack Thayer site:
http://www.bytenet.net/thayer/Family_Tree/grave.html
(You can "back-browse" to the main site from it.)

Incidentally, Phil, vis-a-vis those prior comments regarding discrepancies between Jack's gravesite photo and the official documents, I noticed that this web page (which I know credits you with the info) specifies the marker date to indicate September 21(!), rather than the actual date shown on the stone photo. (Perhaps they altered this to agree with the documents?)

In any case, it's a very good site with family trees and extensive references to the news accounts.

Cheers!
 
Sep 20, 2000
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Phil:

Do you ever wonder -- just speculating here -- if that determination of "suicide" in Jack's demise might not have been a little hasty? I've read the news accounts, and it seems such a peculiar choice of method.

I mean, doesn't it seem odd that a man would drive off with a pack of razor blades in his WIFE's car (it was registered in Lois's name), park in a fairly visible location (adjacent to a public transport hub, no less!) and slash his wrists -- and THROAT?? Not only that, but from the coroner's own estimation of the time of death, Jack was already deceased by 4 o'clock in the AFTERNOON! On a mid- to late September day in Philadelphia, this implies a violent and observable act of suicide performed in a public locale in BROAD DAYLIGHT!

Yet, the police and coroner instantly ruled it a suicide.
(Translation: "What's wrong with this picture?")

Incidentally, if I should "disappear" shortly after making these observations ... ;^)

Cheers!
John Feeney
 
Mar 10, 1998
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Hi John,
Yeah, I've wondered about it. Although the "suicidal tendency" thing is foreign to my personality (I'll have to be taken out yelling and screaming)--if I were going to do it, I think sleeping pills sound pretty ideal. But why, oh why, would anyone do it the way Jack did? Heck, he could have afforded to hire a chauffeur to drive him off a cliff. I don't know where the info. on the tombstone came from. I've never been to the cemetery but had seen a good photo taken by Brian Meister. Just didn't compare.

Regards,
Phillip
 
M

Mark Bray

Guest
Thank you guys very much! That is a wonderful link! Now, can one of you guys help, or try, to help me with my conversation titled "when and where did _____ die?" Thanks sooo much. There were also some good pictures there,,, have a nice day.
happy.gif


Thanks,


Mark Bray
happy.gif
 
Sep 20, 2000
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Hi, Phil!

A quick update on my Jack Thayer musings. Just to further investigate, I did some poking around online last night -- Philadelphia maps and aerial photos, trolley-car web sites, etc. (I'm originally from the Philadelphia suburbs, and old enough to remember abundant trolleys -- they're extinct now -- so I have some familiarity there.)

I led you slightly astray before on two points: (1) If the coroner's estimate as quoted in the Obituary was exact (doubtful) Jack's demise would actually have occurred at 4:50 PM on Wednesday, September 20, 1945, not 4:00; (2) the location where the car was found, while certainly not remote or isolated, is a *bit* off the beaten track -- Jack was parked on the south side of the road (Parkside) that borders Fairmount Park, a very large reserved recreational tract. (But note: the car was parked on the "business" side of the road -- Fairmount Park is to the north.)

Sunset on September 20 was at 6:02 PM EST. (I checked this with some software I have.) But if Daylight Savings Time was in effect on that date in 1945, it would not have occurred until 7:02 (EDT), leaving almost three full hours (including twilight) before darkness for someone to notice something the very first day. Add to this the fact that the locale and adjacent PTC trolley loop, while not exactly a bustling urban center, was a fairly trafficked area -- PTC passengers and officials constantly coming and going as well as kids playing in the area -- and you have to wonder. (I do, anyway.)

Obviously, the 40 hours is just an educated guess on the part of the coroner, and could have been misquoted by the Philadelphia Inquirer. But it's still an odd affair overall. It's just a gut-level hunch on my part, but certain really things don't gel there, including the purported rationale of Jack's "nervous breakdown" due to "worrying about the death of his son". (Edward had been killed in action almost two years prior; and Marion, Jack's mother died six months after that, on the anniversary of Titanic's collision.)

I point no fingers, and this really is all speculation, but Jack certainly had friends and associates in high places. Whether for the benefit of the grieving family or otherwise, I don't imagine that squelching a thorough investigation would have been difficult for some of them to achieve.

Hmmm.
John Feeney
 
Sep 20, 2000
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Links! Photos!
happy.gif
Just wanted to pass along, before I forgot, that the University of Pennsylvania has a web page for the Thayer father and son duo, as well as one with some brief data covering other Titanic passengers with connections to the University. Included on the former are a couple very nice photos of Jack I hadn't seen before -- click the *text links* to view these. (And if anyone else spots that confusion on the latter page, Jack DID graduate. It was his father who "would have graduated", but many years before.)

Their address:

The University of Pennsylvania and the RMS Titanic
 
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John Morris

Guest
Back tracking past the Jack Thayer suicide, does anybody know what the Thayer family was like in terms of their personalities. I know this is a strange question to ask but I am really interested in the Tahyer family and any information would be greatly appreciated.

John Morris
 
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Kimberly R. Loop

Guest
John, I am also very interested in the Thayer family. Jack Thayer just doesn't seem like he would have committed suicide. I was wondering about the news accounts that you have read and where they came from. Are they easy to access?
Also, I am originally from Lancaster, PA. What part of the Philadelphia suburbs are you from?

Thanks, Kimby
 

Mike Poirier

Member
Dec 12, 1999
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Shelley and Mike FIndlay uncovered that the Thayer's owned a summer house in the exclusive Watch Hill, RI. The local Westerly paper described him as a summer resident.
Mike
 
Sep 20, 2000
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Hi, Kimby!

Sorry for the delay in responding -- I've been somewhat out of the loop here for a while.

The accounts I looked through -- obituary, death certificate, and funeral notice -- are all available here at ET (the main site) as "Documents" links off of Jack's biography:
https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/bio/p/1st/thayer_jb_jr.shtml

They're also available at the Jack Thayer web site:
http://www.bytenet.net/thayer/main.html
There are some slight differences between the two online versions -- nothing major -- but it's worthwhile to look at both sites.

It's not so much that I think Jack *couldn't* have commited suicide. It's just that there's too much strangeness in those reported circumstances to suit me. Had he done the deed in a bathtub like a typical slashing suicide I could understand it, but out in his wife's parked car in broad daylight? (Not to mention that throat business, which seems pretty unusual for a wrist slasher.) Too many things just doesn't fit there, overall. And when you put it all together, it gets downright bizarre. Most suicides make some logical sense, but unless Jack had developed schizophrenia, his is just way out there.

I grew up not far from you, in Willow Grove, and gradually migrated stepwise to Southern New Jersey. Actually I've been trying to locate some film or fiche of the Philadelphia Inquirer to follow up on this, but it looks the Free Library of Philadelphia is my closest repository.

Regards,
John Feeney
 
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Kimberly R. Loop

Guest
Hi John,
Thanks for responding and for the web sites. Did you know that Jack's sister Margaret committed suicide? I'm not sure why she did it. It was a few years after their father was lost during the Titanic sinking. Maybe it had something to do with that. I agree. It seems strange that nobody noticed such a bloody suicide and that it took two days for someone to notice. I think I'd like to check out The Philadelphi Inquirer as well. I really liked the family tree site because they had a picture of him when he was older and an article about his wife. I'd also like to find out more about his life and just that everyday boring stuff I guess, as well as more information about his actual death. Have you ever been by his house or the gravesite? I've thought about checking it out since It wouldn't be too far to travel from my mom and dad's house. Everytime we visit though it gets so busy. Thanks again for the info. By the way do you know where Sewell, NJ is? I have friends living there. Take Care- Kimby
 
Mar 10, 1998
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Kimby,
Margaret Thayer jumped from her balcony allegedly as the result of depression over the death of her husband a few years earlier. He had been a high ranking official in the Eisenhower administration but was forced to resign under a cloud--and died within a couple of years.

Jack's sons are dead but the daughters are living.

Phil
 
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Kimberly R. Loop

Guest
Hi John,
Thanks for responding and for the web sites. Did you know that Jack's sister Margaret committed suicide? I'm not sure why she did it. It was a few years after their father was lost during the Titanic sinking. Maybe it had something to do with that. I agree. It seems strange that nobody noticed such a bloody suicide and that it took two days for someone to notice. I think I'd like to check out The Philadelphi Inquirer as well. I really liked the family tree site because they had a picture of him when he was older and an article about his wife. I'd also like to find out more about his life and just that everyday boring stuff I guess, as well as more information about his actual death. Have you ever been by his house or the gravesite? I've thought about checking it out since It wouldn't be too far to travel from my mom and dad's house. Everytime we visit though it gets so busy. Thanks again for the info. By the way do you know where Sewell, NJ is? I have friends living there. Take Care- Kimby
 
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Kimberly R. Loop

Guest
Phil, Thank you so much for letting me know about Margaret's suicide and about his daughters. I had read that Margaret had committed suicide, but it didn't say how. It's so sad the way two children from that family committed suicide. Didn't Jack's mother pass away on the anniversary of the Titanic sinking? Kimby
 

smmiller303

Member
Jul 6, 2014
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So I'm actually the great-great granddaughter of Pauline Thayer Dolan, and I can't vouch, but I can tell you that Jack Thayer was hideously depressed; almost everyone on my grandmothers side of the family has committed suicide, including both of my great-grandparents by carbon monoxide. Really.
 
Jan 31, 2001
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My deepest sympathies, smmiller303. Thank you for sharing this bit of family history with this forum. Jack Thayer has always been one of my favorite passengers. Some have made the argument he was perhaps murdered. Personally, I always believed he committed suicide.
 
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