Homesickness Caused Death

John B. Crafton, victim of Titanic, was hurrying back to America.

The Columbus Republican

John B. Crafton, victim of Titanic, was hurrying back to America.

He once lived here

Met William G Irwin on voyage over and recalled Columbus experiences – he booked Titanic because of her speed.

The reason John B. Crafton, of Roachdale, Indiana, was one of the victims of the Titanic disaster was because he was homesick and had sailed earlier than he originally anticipated in order to reach his family sooner. This was the information brought here Sunday when Mr William G Irwin returned from abroad. Mr Irwin brought news of Mr Crafton that the latter is family does not know, but the local man will communicate with the relatives and tell them the additional facts he knows about Mr Crafton.

Incidentally it is developed that Mr Crafton once lived in Columbus and worked for Miles Thompson when the latter owned a livery stable here. At the time of his death Mr Crafton was a Special Agent of the Monon railroad, looking after real estate for the company.

Mr Crafton sailed from this country a few months ago on the Cincinnati, and Mr Irwin, Mrs Sweeney and daughter, Miss Elsie Sweeney, were passengers on the same boat. On shipboard Mr Irwin overheard a man remark that he noticed from the passenger list there was some people from Columbus, Indiana, on board. He said one's name was Irwin and the other Sweeney. He remarked that they must be children of the late Joseph I Irwin and that as Mr Irwin had once befriended him when he lived in Columbus he wanted to meet Mr Irwin and Mrs Sweeney. Consequently Mr Irwin made himself known and the friendship made continued throughout the voyage.

Mr Crafton was then homesick although the boat was just starting for the other side. He explained that he did not want to go abroad, but that he had been suffering from rheumatism and had been persuaded to go to Carlsbad and take the cure. Because of his homesickness Mr Crafton was given special attention by the Indiana people in the party and every effort was made to cheer him up.

After Europe was reached several people advised Mr Crafton that he had selected a bad season to visit Carlsbad and as he was looking for an excuse to get out of taking the cure he accepted the advice given him and began killing time until his ship, the Kaiserin Augusta Victoria, sailed on April 17. In Paris, Mr Crafton met Dr Whitesides, of Iron Mountain, Mich., And a Mr Dulaittre, of Minneapolis, men he had known on board the Cincinnati. He was so glad to see them that when they told him they were going to London he accompanied them. In London, the men told Mr Crafton of the new Titanic. They said it would make a record trip across the Atlantic.  Mr Crafton decided that by taking this ship he would reach home several days earlier than if he remained and sailed on the Kaiser in Augusta Victoria. So he cashed in his ticket on the Kaiser in Augusta Victoria and bought passage on the Titanic. His sole purpose in taking the faster ship was to get to his family sooner, as he had been homesick from the start. How he became a victim of the wreck and was lost with the ship has been told. Had he waited and sailed on the Kaiserin Augusta Victoria, the boat which brought Mr Irwin home, he would have been alive today.

Related Biographies:

John Bertram Crafton

Relates to Place:

Columbus, Indiana, United States


Encyclopedia Titanica (2021) Homesickness Caused Death (The Columbus Republican, Thursday 2nd May 1912, ref: #449, published 20 April 2021, generated 3rd May 2021 06:30:19 AM); URL :