Constance Willard : Tells of Wreck of the Titanic

Unidentified Newspaper

Miss Constance Willard Relates Incidents of the Tragedy and Describes Her Feelings.


Stood on Decks as Leviathan Staggered to Its Grave and Met Fate Like Heroes.

Miss Constance Willard, 1230 East Eighth street, one of the survivors of the ill-fated Titanic, arrived in Duluth at 7 o’clock last evening from Minneapolis, where she has been visiting friends for the past week. Miss Willard gives an interesting account of the wreck of the monster ship and blames its fate to the attempt to make a record-breaking voyage across the Atlantic.

“The wreck appears to me as if it had occurred ages ago,” said Miss Willard to a News Tribune reporter last evening. “The after effects have created a certain nervousness which I feel whenever I board any kind of a vehicle, as if I was expecting something to happen. Still, I feel a sort of an apathy. I have a kind of a ‘don’t care what happens’ feeling.

Was Not Alarmed

“When the first shock of the collision with the iceberg took place I paid no attention to it. I did not feel afraid that anything serious had happened. I was in bed and was trying to go to sleep. Then I heard people walking in the corridors. Soon the crowd seemed to surging back and forth, but it was not until a considerable time after the boat had struck that I opened the door to inquire what was the matter and then I did not get a satisfactory answer.

“I rang the steward’s bell and not receiving any answer became angry so I just kept on ringing. Finally one of the stewardesses answered and she told me to dress, that the boat was in serious danger. Even then I did not get up in a hurry, but when I finally did I looked in the mirror and it was then I recalled the fate prophesied for me by a fortune-teller when I was 12 years old – that I would die on a trip when 21 on a trip to Europe.

Didn’t Propose to Die

“i felt a determination not to die, and hurriedly dressed, taking a number of trinkets, jewelry, money, my overcoat and furs. When I got on deck all appeared to be confusion. They were loading the boats with women. I got to one of them and they insisted on lifting me into it, but I objected. Later when I tried to get into one they were not so anxious to put me in. I finally did get into the fourth from the last to leave the ship.

“There were only 15 people in the boat I was in and of these there was only one other first-class passenger. The others were 5 sailors and the balance steerage passengers.

“I shall never forget the sinking of the Titanic. We had not gone off the boat 20 minutes before she went under. The ship was lighted until it disappeared under the waves. Shortly after it sank the cries of those in the water rent the air. Then all was still for a few seconds and again the cries, only fainter.

Men Were Heroic

“The heroism of those men who stood back on the ship was noble. Most of the faces showed not a trace of fear, the only ones who quailed at all being the third class passengers, and when the officers put up their hands and motioned for the women and children first they stood back without a murmur.

“The night was bitterly cold. The sky was clear and all around us the stars shone in their brightness. During the night, while waiting for the Carpathia, I thought of almost every incident of my childhood, each detail seemed to come vividly before me.

“The treatment accorded us on board the Carpathia, and after our arrival in New York, was considerate in the extreme. It seemed as if the people could not do enough for us.

Miss Willard was a guest last evening at the home of Mrs. M. L. Parker, 3009 Minnesota avenue. She is confined to the house recovering from a serious sprain of the left arm sustained by a fall yesterday morning when on her way to the train from Minneapolis.


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