Encyclopedia Titanica

Clara Frauenthal

First Class Passenger and Titanic Survivor

Clara Frauenthal

Mrs Clara Frauenthal (née Heinsheimer) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on 1 December 1869.

She was the daughter of David Heinsheimer (1821-1886), a wine merchant, and Natalie Loeb (1836-1915), both natives of Germany. 

She had four known siblings: Thekla (1857-1925, later Mrs Joseph E. Steckler), Louis (1859-1910), Bella (1862-1904, later Mrs Simon Heyman) and Alfred (1867-1929).

The family moved to Manhattan, New York sometime prior to 1880 when they appeared on the census that year. 

Clara was married in Manhattan on 24 November 1896 to Charles McIlvaine Rogers (b. 23 January 1871), a merchant from Philadelphia and member of a grain broker's firm E. L. Rogers and Co. The couple appear to have divided their time between living in Philadelphia and Manhattan and in the latter city, on 11 December 1902, they welcomed their only child, Natalie Louise McIlvaine. 

Clara and Charles were divorced in 1906 but by the time of the 1910 census she and her daughter were living with her brother Alfred and her mother at Mott Avenue in Queens, New York and she described herself as a widow. 

On 2 February 1912 Clara applied for a US passport, declaring to travel and return to the USA within six months. At the time her address was Breezy Point, Rockaway, New York and she was described as standing at 5' 5" and with brown hair, grey eyes and having a fair complexion. She had an oval face, round chin and straight nose. 

Clara was remarried in Nice, France on 26 March 1912 to Henry William Frauenthal (b. 1862), a renowned physician originally from Pennsylvania. Just over two weeks later they boarded the Titanic at Southampton as first class passengers for their return journey to the United States (ticket number PC 17611 which cost £133, 13s) and also travelling with them was her brother-in-law Isaac Gerald Frauenthal who joined them at Cherbourg.

On the night of the sinking Mrs Frauenthal, her husband and brother-in-law were rescued in lifeboat 5. 

The San Francisco Call (19 April 1912) claims that Dr and Mrs Frauenthal were the first to disembark from the Carpathia.

Clara and her husband both remained in New York and in later years both suffered from mental health problems. They both continued to travel and in the early 1920s lived in France briefly. At the time of her husband's 1921 through 1925 passports they were residents of 160 West 59th Street, New York.

She was made a widow in 1927 when her husband, despondent over his own ill physical health, committed suicide. Being wealthy herself no provision was made for her in his will other than personal effects.

Sinking into a depression from which she never recovered she was admitted to Blythewood Sanatorium in Greenwich, Connecticut where she spent the next sixteen years. She died there on 30 March 1943 aged 73.


Clara's daughter Natalie in 1921

Her daughter Natalie was married in 1924 to David Oscar De Lima Mayer (b. 16 April 1898), a Harvard graduate and mining engineer. Another marriage (or common-law relationship) was to Munich-born teacher Joseph Froelich (b. 1909). Natalie possibly took another husband but what became of her is not clear and there is speculation that she died in California sometime prior to 1950.

References and Sources

New York Times, 31 March 1943, Obituary
Connecticut State Department of Health Medical Certificate of Death
San Francisco Call, 19 April 1912

Newspaper Articles

New York Times (17 April 1912) Overcome by Good News
The Globe (19 April 1912) The Arrival
New York Times (31 March 1943) Clara H. Frauenthal
Widow of Dr. Henry W. Frauenthal, founder of the hospital
New York Times (31 March 1943) Mrs. Henry Frauenthal
Death of Mrs. Clara H. Frauenthal, widow of Dr. Henry W. Frauenthal

Documents and Certificates

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mrs Clara Frauenthal (née Heinsheimer)
Age: 42 years 4 months and 14 days (Female)
Nationality: American
Religion: Jewish
Marital Status: Married to Henry William Frauenthal
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 17611, £133 13s
Rescued (boat 5)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Cause of Death:
Buried: Fresh Pond Crematory, Middle Village, New York, United States

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