Encyclopedia Titanica


New York Times

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Many Planned to Cross on the First Trip---"Doc" Owen Not Aboard
Broadway inhabitants were discussing last night the report that a number of well-known professional gamblers had gone to their death on the Titanic. It was said that the group included "Doc" Owen, "Jimmie" Bell and Ernest Jeffery, otherwise known as "Peaches." Investigation, however, led to information tending to show that "Doc" Owen was in this city alive and well.

"Al" McPherson, a close friend of Owen, said that Owen had been seen in this city within the past ten days. McPherson admitted, however, that there was good ground for the report so far as Jeffery and Bell are concerned. The names of Ernest and Clifford Jeffery appear on the second cabin list of the Titanic. McPherson said that so far as he knew the former had no brother named Clifford, but explained that it was possible that Bell had sailed under that name to escape detection. He said that Bell was well-known by reputation to the officers of most of the liners, but that Jeffrey [sic] had never worked the big ferry before.

"I know that there was some talk about the gang going across," said McPherson frankly. "In fact, I was invited to go along, but I refused because I am not a good sailor. I always get seasick and two experiences have been enough for me. I heard to-night that Jeffery had engaged return passage on the Titanic, but that he did not sail and was still on the other side. I don't believe it, however, because the chance of pickings on the initial trip would have been too tempting. I'm sorry if Bell was on board. He was a good fellow and staked many a man when he was down and out on the 'Great White Way.'"

From various hotel detectives it was learned that at least a half-dozen well-known gamblers had left New York three weeks ago with the intention of returning on the Titanic. It is believed, however, that some of them were unable to obtain cabin accommodations and are still in England.


Mark Baber, USA


Encyclopedia Titanica (2004) GAMBLERS ON THE TITANIC (New York Times, Thursday 18th April 1912, ref: #3436, published 12 August 2004, generated 26th October 2021 11:37:57 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/gamblers-titanic.html