Encyclopedia Titanica

Roebling Said Goodbye to Friends and Then Perished With Blackwell, His Companion

Trenton Evening Times

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"You will be back with us on the ship again soon", were the lastwords of Washington A. Roebling, II, so far as Trenton relatives know.In an interview this morning at the Waldorf-Astoria between MissCaroline Bonnell and Ferdinand W. Roebling, Jr., of this city. MissBonnell spoke of Mr. Roebling's cheerful farewell to the women of herparty as they were placed in the life boats to leave the ill- fatedTitanic.The general impression from this might be that Mr. Roebling thought theship would not sink and that it was a safer place than the life boats,but friends and acquaintances of Mr. Roebling say he would haveconcealed from her party any knowledge he might have of the danger inwhich he and the others were in. In her interview with Mr. Roeblingtoday, Miss Bonnell said that the damage was slight to the Titanic andthat the women, placed in the life boats, would soon be picked up againand the Titanic proceed on her way to New York.

MissBonnell's last sight of Mr. Roebling showed him smiling as he wavedfarewell to her and her party. H. C. Blackwell also saw Miss Bonnellthis morning and she told him of seeing his brother in the smoking roomof the Titanic talking to the captain. This was after the ship hadstruck, and shortly before the women and children were sent off in theboats.

Miss Bonnell left Mr. Blackwell in the smoking room whenshe went below to her cabin to secure a life preserver. This was thelast she saw of him.

Miss Bonnell's interview with relatives ofthe Trenton men this morning practically removes all hope of eitherhaving been rescued.

The Messrs. Blackwell and Roebling will return to Trenton late this afternoon.

Thehomes of the nearest and dearest to the Trenton men who lost theirlives on the Titanic are today enshrouded in gloom. The hope ofyesterday that Washington A. Roebling II and Stephen W. Blackwell wouldbe found on the Carpathia when she docked in New York last night wasdispelled by telephone messages received shortly after midnight, fromF. W. Roebling, Jr., Karl Roebling, William J. Blackwell and Henry C.Blackwell. The Messrs. Roebling are cousins of Washington A. Roeblingand the Messrs. Blackwell are brothers of S. W. Blackwell.
The members of the Trenton party went to New York early yesterdayafternoon, secured passes for admittance to the pier and were earlythere awaiting the arrival of the Carpathia.

Accordingto their telephone messages to the members of the two families in thiscity, their eager scanning of the faces of the Titanic passengersconvinced them that the Trenton men were not among them.

Failingto find either of the Trentonians, the Messrs. Blackwell and Roeblingat once sought communication with Miss Caroline Bonnell, one of thesurviving passengers. Miss Bonnell, whose home was in Youngstown, O.,(sic) made the trip across on the same boat with the Trenton party somemonths ago and became very friendly with them. She and the members ofMrs. George Wick's party also toured a portion of France with theTrentonians and the return trip was being made on the same steamer.

Intheir telephone conversation with Trenton relatives last night, theMessrs. Roebling and Blackwell stated that they had been informed thatall the women did not escape from the doomed ship and this being thecase they at once gave up all hope of finding the Trenton men, both ofwhom were noted for their chivalry toward womankind.

"Our onlyhope," said a member of the family today, "lay in the fact that Mr.Roebling was a true sportsman and his training as an auto driver wouldstand him in good stead at the time of trouble enabling him to keepcool. He would not, however, have left the ship until the cry came formen to take the lifeboats. As it seems the cry never came, we haveabandoned all hope unless the Trenton men have been picked up onwreckage which, under the present conditions reported, seemsimpossible."

When the Messrs. Roebling return from New York, theywill bring with them Washington Roebling's Fiat car, in which he touredEurope and which was brought back to this country last week by FrankStanley, the chauffeur, who returned on another boat. Mrs. WashingtonA. Roebling, wife of Col. Washington Roebling of West State Street, isreceiving letters and telegrams of condolence daily on the supposeddeath of her husband. The first dispatches to the papers carried thename of Washington Roebling and the newspapers jumping to theconclusion that it was Col. Washington Roebling, one of the builders ofthe Brooklyn Bridge, announced this as a fact and several papersprinted a picture of Colonel Roebling as one of those lost on theTitanic.

One of the saddest features in connection with thedrowning of the Trenton men is the fact that only this week letters,mailed before they left England, have been received from them, tellingof the pleasant trip they had enjoyed and of their hope to soon be withloved ones at home. In those letters, mention is made of theWick-Bonnell party with whom relatives of the Trentonians are now inclose touch.

Mr. Roebling was the only son of Charles G.Roebling, 335 West State Street. He was about 30 years of age. Mr.Roebling was a brother of Miss Helen Roebling, whose engagement toCarroll Sergeant Tyson, Jr., the celebrated Philadelphia artist, wasrecently announced, and of Mrs. Richard McCall Cadwalder ofPhiladelphia, formerly Miss Emily Roebling. Mr. and Mrs. Cadwalder hadbeen planning a trip abroad for the summer, but it is understood thiswill be abandoned.

Mr. Roebling's mother, who died when he was achild, was Miss Ormsby of Pittsburgh. Other near relatives are Col.Washington A. Roebling, for whom he was named; F. W. Roebling, F. W.Roebling, Jr., and Karl Roebling, Mrs. Margaret A. L. C. Perrine andMrs. William T. White.

Young Roebling was graduated from theState Model School, and was later graduated from the Hill School atPottstown, Pa, taking an engineering course. He took a prominent partin athletics and won fame as a football player. After leaving school heentered the Roebling offices, and later became associated with the oldWalter automobile plant. The plant was afterwards taken over by theMercer Automobile Company, and he was an official at that concern. Mr.Roebling was a daring auto driver, and had participated in several ofthe famous runs. In the big race at Savannah two years ago he capturedsecond prize. In that race he drove his famous Roebling-Planche car,which he designed and built at the Mercer plant. He entered in the300-mile run, and was within six miles of the finish when his machineskidded and he collided with a pole. Felix Geschwandtner, chauffeur forCharles G. Roebling, was young Roebling's mechanician. Mr. Roeblingalso drove his machine in the races at Spring Lake, where his fatherhas a summer home.


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Encyclopedia Titanica (2003) Roebling Said Goodbye to Friends and Then Perished With Blackwell, His Companion (Trenton Evening Times, Friday 19th April 1912, ref: #1797, published 21 November 2003, generated 13th August 2022 01:54:24 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/roebling-goodbye-friends-perished-blackwell-companion.html