Encyclopedia Titanica

Carrie Constance Chaffee

Carrie Constance Chaffee
Carrie Constance Chaffee

Mrs Herbert Fuller Chaffee (Carrie Constance Toogood), 47, was born on August 28, 1864 Manchester, Iowa.

In 1886 she entered Oberlin College, Oberlin Ohio where she studied at the Conservatory of Music (1 year) and the College - Art (1 year). She enrolled for 3 years but in 1887 she met Herbert Chaffee. they were married on on December 21, 1887 and a son was born on September 28, 1888. Earlier that year they had moved to North Dakota where Herbert took charge of the family farming business so neither Carrie nor Herbert graduated.

Trained in music, she gave voice lessons to the children of prairie farmers while managing a complex household and giving birth to six children: Eben Whitney Chaffee, Dorothy Chaffee Stroud, Herbert Lawrence Chaffee, Florence Adele Chaffee, and Lester Fuller Chaffee (one other child died in childhood). Mrs Chaffee was renowned for her decisive mind and her willingness to confront any situation.

Mrs Chaffee and her husband boarded the Titanic at Southampton as first class passengers (cabin E-31), they were returning from a European trip to their home in Amenia, Cass Co., North Dakota.

Mrs Chaffee was rescued from the Titanic (probably in lifeboat 11), but her husband was lost. After his death Carrie took an active role in managing the Land Company's assets, and was also a leader in charitable work in North Dakota and in Minneapolis MN, she was a charter member of, and active in, the American-Chinese Education Committee, Canton, China. She died 4 July 1931 in Amenia, ND and was buried at Amenia Cemetery where there is also a cenotaph for her husband.

References and Sources

Clement A. Lonsberry (1917) North Dakota History and People. Vol. II, p. 877-878. Chicago, S.J.Clarke Publications.
Oberlin College Records

Newspaper Articles

New York Herald (19 April 1912) Lady Duff Gordon Saw Men Shot by Captain Smith
A man made a rush to get aboard and was shot.
Evening Tribune (23 April 1912) Mrs Chaffee's Account


Duluth Herald (1912) Carrie Constance Chaffee
Cleveland Plain Dealer (1912) Ohio Woman among the saved
Search archive online


John Chaffee, USA
Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden
Homer Thiel, USA
Tammy L. Martin, USA (Oberlin College Archivist)
Nick West

Comment and discuss

  1. Charles Provost

    Did Carrie Constance Toogood, wife of Herbert Fuller Chaffee, remarried after the death of her husband on the Titanic? Thanks. Charles

  2. Homer Thiel

    Carrie Constance Toogood Chaffee remained unmarried until her death on 4 July 1931 in Amenia, North Dakota. The Cassleton Reporter (Cassleton, North Dakota) reported on its front page "Mrs. H. F. CHAFFEE DIES AT AMENIA." Mrs. Chaffee had been sick for a number of months.

  3. Robert Chaffee

    It seems I am late realizing that the family stories from my Great-Grandmother, Carrie Toogood Chaffee, might be of interest to the Titanic community. Carrie, a first class passenger travelling with her husband, Herbert Fuller Chaffee, made away from the Titanic on Lifeboat 4. As the last full-size lifeboat to pull away, the boat had quite an adventure, following along with lifeboat 14 searching for survivors. I have been working on an "historical fiction" account of her journey, based on the formal testimonies and family stories, and finding the research just goes on and on, deeper and... Read full post

  4. Robert Chaffee

    Forward of Lightoller on the officer’s promenade, Quartermaster Arthur John Bright and Able Seaman William A. Lucas were setting the falls from the empty Lifeboat No. 2 davits to Collapsible Lifeboat ‘D’. A crowd of steerage passengers were making their way up from the forward well deck by way of the officer’s deck stairs, coming on to the officer’s promenade deck next to the collapsible lifeboat’s bow. Perkis stepped back from the gunwale holding the falls tail not quite hand taut as angry shouting broke out on the officer’s promenade deck about twenty feet behind... Read full post

  5. Robert Chaffee

    As she looked forward up Titanic’s side, she noticed Titanic’s bow had settled further into the ocean and that the water was over the forward well deck and just below the bridge. From behind her, out of the corner of her eye she noticed a light breaking across the water not thirty feet aft on the ship’s port side. The forward gangway door leading into the first class dining area on ‘D’ deck had been opened. The door opened from the aftward side and swung out so that the door blocked her view of anyone who might be standing there or looking out. Carrie blinked several times and... Read full post

  6. Robert Chaffee

    Perkis rubbed his hands together, made loose the aft falls tail, and got it under his right foot. He got to the aft davit winch and brought the davit up so that the falls came in to about four feet of the deck, letting the tail slip out under his foot. He made the tail fast again, got up on the edge of the deck, took hold of the davit with his left hand, and leaned out over the empty space to fetch the lifeline with his right hand. He called down to the boat. “Mind the lifeline below!” “Aye,” Foley called back. The lifeline was reeved to the davit span with a small eye, and the... Read full post

  7. Robert Chaffee

    Still standing at the aft falls, Perkis’ shoulders slowly sagged just briefly. He looked down, took a deep breath, and straightened himself up. Still holding the ropes with his left hand, he rubbed his chin with his right. He looked up and looked at all the women, who were listening now with their full attention. He looked down again, took another deep breath, and looked up again. He let go the ropes, rubbed his hands together, and squared his shoulders as best he could. “Titanic is taking on water,” he said, “and she’ll not be going much further. “Murdoch, First Officer Murdock... Read full post

  8. Robert Chaffee

    Having upload issues, more to come . . . I will add later. I attempted an attachment also, see if that works.

  9. Mike Poirier

    Hi Robert, Great article. There is a bit on Carrie in the new Titanic book, On a Sea of Glass from an interview she did. Best Mike

  10. mona3ms

    I would like to read more of your story,it is very interesting thank you for the download link.

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mrs Carrie Constance Chaffee (née Toogood)
Age: 47 years 7 months and 18 days (Female)
Nationality: American
Marital Status: Married to Herbert Fuller
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 5734, £61 3s 6d
Cabin No. E31
Rescued (boat 11)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Saturday 4th July 1931 aged 66 years
Buried: Amenia Cemetery, Amenia, North Dakota, United States

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