Mr Charles Emil Henry Stengel, 54, was born 19 November 1857 in Newark, N. J. the son of Jacob Stengel and his wife Elizabeth. His father was a native of Germany.
Charles Stengel was in the leather trade and lived and worked in Newark. He boarded the Titanic, with his wife Annie May at Cherbourg. They travelled as first class passengers (ticket number 11778, £55 8s 10d) and occupied cabin C-116.
In an interview, Mr Stengel said he and his wife retired at 10 o'clock on Sunday evening. He said the impact jarred him awake but he did not believe it was anything more than a dropped propeller.
After seeing his wife into Lifeboat 5 he went forward to where Emergency Lifeboat 1 was being loaded. Because of the high bulwark railing, he said he had to "roll in" to the boat, causing First Officer Murdoch to say, "This is the funniest thing I've seen all night."
Stengel denied the rumours that his fellow passenger in the boat, Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon had bribed the sailors with them to row away from the scene without picking up anybody from the water. Stengel said that Duff-Gordon was concerned about the fact that the sailors weren't rowing properly prefering to smoke and joke. So he told them, "You take care of us safely and I’ll make you all a present." This "present" according to Stengel was a cigar to one sailor and later bank orders. Stengel said Lady Duff-Gordon also offered money.
Walter Lord recounts in The Night Lives On how Stengel, while sailing to New York on board the Carpathia came across the gambler George Bradley aka "Brayton". It is possible that they had met before, perhaps at the card table on Titanic. Bradley appeared depressed and told Stengel that all his money was gone. Stengel advised him to claim the cost of his fare from the White Star Line and the two men then parted. After the Carpathia docked Stengel got a telephone call from Bradley to say that the idea had worked, that White Star would fund his passage to Los Angeles, and he would be leaving very soon. Stengel invited Bradley to dinner at his family home in New Jersey. At the Stengel's home Bradley told Stengel that his brother-in-law, who worked for Western Union, would soon be concluding a deal in New York in which Stengel might be interested. A few weeks later Stengel went to New York where he Bradley and the brother-in-law met at the Hotel Seville. He was told that the Brother in law would be able to fix the transmission of horse racing results for a few minutes thus enabling bets to be made after the result was known. Stengel could come in for $1000. Stengel was clearly not interested and the discussion ended in a scuffle, although the con-men escaped before the police arrived.
Mr Stengel died 19 April 1914. He was the 8th survivor to die, following Maria Nackid, Eugenie Baclini, Archibald Gracie, Marie Spencer, Maxmillian Frolicher, Kornelia Andrews and Elizabeth Hocking.
Mr Stengel was buried in a massive private mausoleum at Fairmount Cemetery, Newark,New Jersey. Unfortunately it has since fallen into serious disrepair.
Michael A. Findlay, USA
Phillip Gowan, USA
James T. Harper, USA
Arthur Merchant, USA
References and SourcesNewark Evening News, 17 April 1912, Wireless from the Stengels
The Newark Star, 19 April 1912 Stengel Tells in Detail of Battle for Lives
Letter to Dr. Frank Blackmarr
Newark Evening News, 20 April 1914, Death Notice
State of New Jersey Certificate and Record of Death
Senate Hearings, 30 April 1912, Testimony
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
Walter Lord (1986) The Night Lives On: Thoughts, Theories and Revelations about the Titanic. London, Penguin. ISBN 0 140 27900 8
United States Senate (62nd Congress), Subcommittee Hearings of the Committee on Commerce, Titanic Disaster, Washington 1912