Master Artur Karl Olsen, 9, was born 6 February 1903 on Henry Street, Brooklyn, New York of Norwegian parents Karl Siegwart Andreas Olsen and Ragna Nilsen. After his mother's death in 1906, his father, Karl Olsen, took him to Trondheim, Norway to live with the boy's grandmother, Anna Andersen.
Carl Siegwart returned to America where he remarried to Ester (Esther), who was of Swedish origin. They lived on 400 Suydam Avenue, Ridgewood, Central Brooklyn (? 987 Hart St., Brooklyn, New York).
Artur's grandmother died in 1911 so Carl Siegwart travelled back to Trondheim to take Artur back with him to New York. He and his son were originally booked on the Philadelphia but they were transferred to Titanic which they boarded at Southampton as third class passengers. Father and son probably shared a cabin with Fridtjof Madsen with whom they had travelled from Trondheim via Newcastle.
After the collision Karl Siegwart carried his almost sleeping son to lifeboat 13 and said to him that he should be a good boy, and that he would soon come back to him, however Karl was lost in the sinking. Fridtjof Madsen was standing nearby and probably also entered the boat at this time. He was said to have been rescued from the water but boat 13 did not pick up anyone from the water.
In New York Artur's stepmother did not know that her husband and stepson had been on board the Titanic. He was met in New York by Mrs William K. Vanderbilt, and she drove him to "Lis a day nursery" on Manhattan Island. On 19 April he met his stepmother for the first time, and she brought him home to her house on Suydam Avenue. Relief funds raised after the tragedy helped to pay his "school money".
Ester later remarried to William Reichart and together they had a daughter Alvira who was born in 1916. Artur then lived together with them on 911 Avenue P, Brooklyn. For a while Artur was in the navy, and in later life he held a succession of different jobs, finally settling as a house painter in St. Petersburg , Florida. His last years were spent living at 701 Avenue North.
Artur anglicized his name to Arthur Carl Olsen. He had a brief, unhappy marriage, from which there were no children. He died 1 January 1975 leaving no immediate relatives. He was buried from Northeast Chapel at Royal Palms Cemetery, St. Petersburg, Florida.
Articles and Stories
The World Evening Edition (New York) (1912)
|DEATH OF ARTHUR OLSEN: WAS ON TITANIC|