Relatives Here Believe Wife of Isidor Straus Refused to Leave His Side.
That her devotion to her husband, refusing to leave the ship unless he accompanied her from the ill-fated Titanic, cost the life of Mrs. Isidor Straus is the fear entertained by three cousins of Straus who reside in San Francisco. One of these, Mrs. Samuel Bessinger of 2129 Jackson Street said yesterday:
“We received a message from a member of the Straus family in New York, saying that no news of the fate of either the financier or his wife could be obtained up to that time. Knowing Mrs. Straus as we do, we are certain that rather than leave her husband, she remained on the ship. If he was not permitted to enter one of the small boats, both undoubtedly are lost.
“He had been in ill health for some time and had gone to Europe to recuperate. He was accompanied only by Mrs. Straus, his valet and her maid. The couple had been married for many years, had five children grown to manhood and womanhood and had reached the period where they could sit back and live in peaceful old age. Theirs was the love of husband and wife so beautiful among old couples who have weathered life’s storms together. Two more devoted lovers could scarcely be found.
“Mrs. Straus had been at her husband’s side continually from the moment that ill health affected him. It is possible she refused to realize the gravity of the situation, but even if she did understand it, I doubt if she could have been induced to leave him.
“The visited us in San Francisco during the last two winters, and were accompanied by A. Abraham and his wife. Abraham was Straus’ business partner, and the two men were closely attached to each other. They had all planned to return to California this winter, but Abraham’s sudden death last year induced them to alter their plans and take the European trip instead. Had it not been for that decision they would not have been on the Titanic.
“On each occasion the party spent about three months in the State. Most of the time at Pasadena and the resorts in the southern part of California.”
The other two cousins are Mrs. H Jacobs and Mrs. I. Jacobs, both residing at 2018 Webster street.
Isidor Straus was one of the New York City’s merchant princes, a former member of the Congress, tariff adviser, and has been commonly regarded as one of the leaders of the Jewish race in America. He was a native of Bavaria, born February 6, 1845. Oscar Straus, former Ambassador to Turkey, and Nathan Straus, a prominent New York merchant are his brothers. He came to this country in 1854, was educated at Washington and Lee University, and during the Civil War was employed by a Georgia firm to purchase supplies in Europe for the confederacy. For many years he has been the head of the firm of L. Straus & Sons, importers of glassware and pottery. In 1892 he became a member of the firm of Abraham & Straus, now the largest department store in Brooklyn. He was a close friend of William L. Wilson, author of the Wilson tariff bill, and assisted materially in the formation of that measure.