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

Trenton Evening Times

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

Miss Bonnell's last sight of Mr. Roebling showed him smiling as he waved farewell to her and her party. H. C. Blackwell also saw Miss Bonnell this morning and she told him of seeing his brother in the smoking room of the Titanic talking to the captain. This was after the ship had struck, and shortly before the women and children were sent off in the boats.

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

Miss Bonnell's interview with relatives of the Trenton men this morning practically removes all hope of either having been rescued.

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

The homes of the nearest and dearest to the Trenton men who lost their lives on the Titanic are today enshrouded in gloom. The hope of yesterday that Washington A. Roebling II and Stephen W. Blackwell would be found on the Carpathia when she docked in New York last night was dispelled by telephone messages received shortly after midnight, from F. W. Roebling, Jr., Karl Roebling, William J. Blackwell and Henry C. Blackwell. The Messrs. Roebling are cousins of Washington A. Roebling and the Messrs. Blackwell are brothers of S. W. Blackwell.
The members of the Trenton party went to New York early yesterday afternoon, secured passes for admittance to the pier and were early there awaiting the arrival of the Carpathia.

According to their telephone messages to the members of the two families in this city, their eager scanning of the faces of the Titanic passengers convinced them that the Trenton men were not among them.

Failing to find either of the Trentonians, the Messrs. Blackwell and Roebling at once sought communication with Miss Caroline Bonnell, one of the surviving passengers. Miss Bonnell, whose home was in Youngstown, O., (sic) made the trip across on the same boat with the Trenton party some months ago and became very friendly with them. She and the members of Mrs. George Wick's party also toured a portion of France with the Trentonians and the return trip was being made on the same steamer.

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

"Our only hope," 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 would stand him in good stead at the time of trouble enabling him to keep cool. He would not, however, have left the ship until the cry came for men to take the lifeboats. As it seems the cry never came, we have abandoned all hope unless the Trenton men have been picked up on wreckage which, under the present conditions reported, seems impossible."

When the Messrs. Roebling return from New York, they will bring with them Washington Roebling's Fiat car, in which he toured Europe and which was brought back to this country last week by Frank Stanley, the chauffeur, who returned on another boat. Mrs. Washington A. Roebling, wife of Col. Washington Roebling of West State Street, is receiving letters and telegrams of condolence daily on the supposed death of her husband. The first dispatches to the papers carried the name of Washington Roebling and the newspapers jumping to the conclusion that it was Col. Washington Roebling, one of the builders of the Brooklyn Bridge, announced this as a fact and several papers printed a picture of Colonel Roebling as one of those lost on the Titanic.

One of the saddest features in connection with the drowning of the Trenton men is the fact that only this week letters, mailed before they left England, have been received from them, telling of the pleasant trip they had enjoyed and of their hope to soon be with loved ones at home. In those letters, mention is made of the Wick-Bonnell party with whom relatives of the Trentonians are now in close 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 to Carroll Sergeant Tyson, Jr., the celebrated Philadelphia artist, was recently announced, and of Mrs. Richard McCall Cadwalder of Philadelphia, formerly Miss Emily Roebling. Mr. and Mrs. Cadwalder had been planning a trip abroad for the summer, but it is understood this will be abandoned.

Mr. Roebling's mother, who died when he was a child, 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 and Mrs. William T. White.

Young Roebling was graduated from the State Model School, and was later graduated from the Hill School at Pottstown, Pa, taking an engineering course. He took a prominent part in athletics and won fame as a football player. After leaving school he entered the Roebling offices, and later became associated with the old Walter automobile plant. The plant was afterwards taken over by the Mercer Automobile Company, and he was an official at that concern. Mr. Roebling was a daring auto driver, and had participated in several of the famous runs. In the big race at Savannah two years ago he captured second prize. In that race he drove his famous Roebling-Planche car, which he designed and built at the Mercer plant. He entered in the 300-mile run, and was within six miles of the finish when his machine skidded and he collided with a pole. Felix Geschwandtner, chauffeur for Charles G. Roebling, was young Roebling's mechanician. Mr. Roebling also drove his machine in the races at Spring Lake, where his father has a summer home.

Related Biographies:

Stephen Weart Blackwell
Washington Augustus Roebling II

Relates to Place:

Trenton, New Jersey, United States

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