Titanic Survivor, Daughter and Austrian Friend Saved From Ocean Grave

Galesburg Republican Register

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Titanic Survivor, Daughter and Austrian Friend Saved From Ocean Grave


Last Man to Get in Boat
For Hours Among Ice Floes.

When Frank Korun, one of the Titanic survivors, stepped from the Burlington train at 10 o'clock, Monday night, with his little daughter, Amie, clasping his hand, there were awaiting him a happy family group of his wife and four other children and the moment that he reached the platform they surrounded him and the little girl and an affectionate reunion ensued warming all that saw it.

The stalwart Austrian was deeply affected by the warm greeting and as for little Amie she knew how much better it was to be in her mother's arms than on the crowded boat in the Atlantic, dodging ice floes and freezing in Christmas temperature.

With Mr. Korun was a fellow Austrian who was with the party that came over on the Titanic and who also was saved from the wreck. These wended their way to the Kurun home a happy group, once more reunited after an experience that comes to but few.

When Mr. Korun was seen this forenoon by a representative of the Republican Register, he was still suffering from the effects of his experiences, and evidently had sustained an attack of delirium from which, however, he is recovering. "I feel it in my head," he said, in broken English and he put his hand on his forehead. He was just out of the hospital in New York where, with his daughter, he spent over two days. A number crowded around to hear his story which was all the more dramatic as owing to his scanty knowledge of English it had to be told in fragments.

Lost All His Money

With only the suit of clothes he now has on, he made his escape. The $700 that he received from the rent of his land near Krom, Austria, all in cash, and all his belongings in his trunk valued at $150 are at the bottom of the Atlantic. The company paid his fare to Galesburg for the misfortune left him without a cent.

Tells of Wreck

"I was a third class passenger and sleeping in a room at the rear of the boat he remarked. "With me were my little girl, and also my brother-in-law, John Markum, who was coming to this country to get work, and who left his wife and five children in Austria."

The man's voice grew soft and tremulous as he thought of the wife and five children across the waters. He then produced a rude drawing of the big ship, to show where his room was, not far from the rear of the boat.  The damage he indicated to the front end and side of the vessel.

"I was fast asleep when the ship hit the iceberg," he continued. "So were the rest in my room. I got up and dressed in the suit I have on and my little girl put on her dress. I put on a life preserver and the rest of our party did the same. It was about 11 o clock when someone woke us up. When we got to the top I could see that the forward end of the boat was sinking down and that there was quite a decline that way. There was a lifeboat lowered and I think that it was the last one put down. They put my little girl down first, letting her down with a rope. Then they let me down. I do not [know] why they did this, perhaps it was because it was the last boat and there was still room for somebody.

When I got into the boat I found that I was the only man there. All the rest were women and children. Of course the sailors were in the boat to pull it. I think that I was the last man to get off the ship. There were fifty-two people on the boat. There were seven babies in the company. Thirty passengers were on it.

At a quarter to one o'clock when we were about three hundred feet from the steamship, it sank. Its forward end went down and it seemed to raise right in the air and dive." At this point Mr. Korun took his drawing and lifted it up straight to indicate the position of the ship when it took the plunge. "I heard two big booms", he continued "I think it was the boilers exploding. I did not see the ship break in two. An awful scene followed, people drowning and crying for help. I shall never forget the sight." "I did not feel the suction from the ship when it went down."

Dodged the Ice

"Then for four and a half hours we were in the boat. The sea was smooth but it was full of chunks of ice, some small and some large. It was cold like Christmas and we shivered from it. My little girl was in the same boat and was very brave. I tried to keep her warm."

"What became of my brother-in-law? I do not know. He went on top too, but I lost sight of him. You could not see much there. He went down with the ship."

"My little girl did not have her cap on, and was out in that cold that way. No one died on our boat, but we all suffered from the cold.

It was five thirty o'clock when we were taken onboard the Carpathia . Of the thirteen boats that were together ours was the sixth. We had no lights on our boat. There was no moonlight during the hours before daylight and we did not have even any matches. There was nothing to do but to row and keep out of the way of the ice.

It was daylight when we were found. "When we got aboard the Carpathia , people cried and took on terribly over the shock. Oh, yes, I felt it, too. never had been through anything like that. They got the doctors for me and did everything they could for me. The experience made me sick, affected my head, too much sea I guess, and it made my little girl sick, too. Many who were rescued were hysterical when they were taken aboard.

I did not row any when I was on the boat. The sailors did all that.

After the Carpathia reached New York I went to the hospital and was there two or three days. I am feeling better now and the company furnished me with a ticket to Galesburg." Mr. Korun told how the men tried to get on the boat and were warned back. He tells how his little girl was taken first in the boat, and is not clear as to how he was allowed to get on the boat, but says he was let down with a rope. He is overjoyed to be back once more in Galesburg.

An interesting question raised is as to whether he can recover from the steamship company the money that he lost and his friends are awaiting the outcome of the investigation at Washington. He still says he feels the effects and yet is hopeful that he will overcome them.

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Related Biographies:

Franz Karun
Manca Karun
Johann Markun

Relates to Place:

Galesburg, Illinois, United States
Guerneville, California, United States

Relates to Ship:



Encyclopedia Titanica (2004) FRANK KORUN REACHES HOME (Galesburg Republican Register, Tuesday 23rd April 1912, ref: #3361, published 4 August 2004, generated 16th September 2021 08:14:27 PM); URL :