Encyclopedia Titanica

John Borland Thayer

John Borland Thayer
John Borland Thayer

Mr John Borland Thayer, 49, from Haverford, Pennsylvania was Second Vice-President of the Pennsylvania Railroad. He was married to Marian Longstreth Morris and they had two daughters: Margaret "Peggy" and Pauline, and two sons, one of whom, Jack Thayer, accompanied them on their trip to Europe in 1912.

Mr Thayer and his family had been in Berlin as guests of the American Consul General and Mrs Thackara two weeks prior to boarding the Titanic as first class passengers (cabin C-68).

Later that evening, Mr & Mrs Thayer with Jack joined Lucile and William Carter, Major Butt and Captain Smith at a dinner party held by George, Harry and Eleanor Widener, in the à la carte restaurant.

The family were preparing for bed when the collision occurred. Jack went up immediately to investigate, he returned to their stateroom and they followed him back on deck.

As the boats were prepared for lowering John and Jack said good bye to Marian. They believed she got away in a boat but Chief Second Steward George Dodd advised them that she was still on board. They found her again and, after losing Jack in the crowd, John saw Marian safely into lifeboat 4.

Thayer had no intention of boarding a boat. He stuck with his friends George and Harry Widener and Charles Duane Williams. When all the boats were gone Colonel Gracie saw John Thayer looking "pale and determined" by the midship rail aft of lifeboat 7 talking with George Widener. They may have moved towards the stern like so many other passengers and crew because when Gracie returned a short while later they had gone.

John B. Thayer's body, if recovered, was never identified.

References and Sources

Margaret (Peggy) Thayer Talbott, died July 15, 1962.
Pauline Thayer Dolan, died March 2, 1981, (Obituary).
Frederick Morris Thayer (born July 17, 1896 in Rosemont, Pennsylvania) an investment banker, He received an A.B. from Yale University in 1918 and married Eliza T. Talbott on October 27, 1923. He died November 16, 1956 and his wife lived to be in her nineties (died about 1991). They had the following children: 1. Frederick Morris Thayer, Jr. (now deceased); 2. Marian Thayer (married Robert Toland, Jr.); 3. Harry E. Thayer; 4. Thurston H. Thayer; 5. Nelson S. Thayer.

Newspaper Articles

Doris Robertson Polley Hanford Sentinel Reliving A Tragic Night On The Sea
New York Times (15 January 1910) WILL PAY A BET TO MORGAN
New York Times (19 April 1912) HOW J. B. THAYER DIED
The Toronto Daily Star (19 April 1912) LAST MAN TO LEAVE TITANIC WAS COLONEL GRACIE, U.S.A.
Atlantic City Daily Press (20 April 1912) Alarmed County Man Finds Sister Was Rescued
North American (20 April 1912) BARBER THROWN FROM TITANIC AS IT SANK
Daily Home News (20 April 1912) Jersey Women Tell Thrilling Tales
New York Times (20 April 1912) PRAISE ASTOR AND BUTT
New York Times (25 April 1912) TRIBUTE TO J. C. SMITH
Camden Post-Telegram (27 April 1912) MR. SUTTON'S BODY TO BE SENT HOME
New York Times (1 June 1912) CAPT. ROSTRON GUEST OF MRS. J. J. ASTOR


From 'The Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters'
Baltimore Sun (1912) John Borland Thayer
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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr John Borland Thayer
Age: 49 years 11 months and 24 days (Male)
Nationality: American
Marital Status: Married to Marian Longstreth Morris
Occupation: Businessman
Embarked: Cherbourg on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 17421, £110 17s 8d
Cabin No. C68
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Identified

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