Miss Emilie Kreuchen

Emilie Kreuchen

Miss Emilie Kreuchen was born on 1 October 1882 1 in Germany. 

She was the daughter of Theodore Kreuchen and Anna Bauer and had at least one sibling, a sister named Anna(1879-1974)2. The family lived in Oldisleben, Kyffhäuserkreis, Thuringia, Germany.

Emilie had emigrated to the USA in 1897 3 and by the time of the 1900 census was living and working in St Louis, Missouri for William Berger, a banker, and his family. She had made at least one trip back to Germany and returned to the USA on 23 September 1907 aboard Kaiser Wilhelm II, sailing from Bremen. She later went to work for another St Louis family, lawyer Edward Scott Robert and his wife Elisabeth Walton McMillan Robert, appearing with them on the 1910 census. Mr Robert died in 1911 and Mrs Robert took herself, her daughter Georgette Madill, and Miss Kreuchen for a vacation to Europe. 

The party, including Mrs Robert's niece Elisabeth Allen, boarded the Titanic at Southampton (ticket number 24160 which cost £211, 6s, 9d). She probably occupied a cabin forward on E-deck close to that of her employer. 

On the night of the disaster, Miss Kreuchen stepped from her quarters into a passageway filled with water and went to the purser to ask what was wrong. She was told to return to quarters while parts of the ship were blocked off to slow the flow of water. Emilie hastened to the cabin of Elisabeth Allen telling her that the baggage room was full of water but was told not to worry and to return to her cabin which she did but found it flooded. Kreuchen recalled being summoned to a lifeboat by a whistle and shared the open boat with 20 other passengers. Their lifeboat, boat 2, was found shortly after daybreak. 

After the sinking Emilie travelled to Missouri with her employer where she also had relatives but would return to Germany the following year where she resided for several years. When she returned to the USA around 1916 she settled in San Francisco, California and was later married to a fellow-German immigrant named Wimar Wurm (b. 4 April 1880) who had first come to the USA in 1910; the couple had no children.

By 1918 (at the time of the latter's WWI registration) Emilie and Wimar lived at 907 Steinar Street, San Francisco and Wurm's employer was given as City of Paris Cleaning Company. The 1930 census shows the couple residing at 1025 Ellis Street in that city whilst the 1940 census shows them as residents of apartments at 350 Gough Street; on both occasions neither had any stated profession. They continued to sail back and forth across the Atlantic, one voyage being as late as August 1951 when they sailed aboard De Grasse.

Emilie Kreuchen and her husband Wimar

Emilie and Wimar in 1923

Emilie was widowed when her husband died on 2 January 1960. She herself passed away on 25 March 1971 aged 88 and was buried in Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma, California.

Notes

  1. Her social security death record and death certificate give the year of birth as 1882. Emilie would claim slightly different ages throughout her life but the 1900 census states that she had been born in October 1881 and that she had just turned 18 the previous October. 
  2. Later Mrs Joseph Schneider; she was married in California on 18 February 1915. She is buried with Emilie. 
  3. The 1900 census states she emigrated in 1897 and the 1910 census states 1900. The 1930 census gives the year as 1895.
 

Pictures

Wimar Wurm, husband of Emilie Kreuchen
WIMAR WURM, HUSBAND OF EMILIE KREUCHEN
Emilie Kreuchen and her husband Wimar Wurm
EMILIE KREUCHEN AND HER HUSBAND WIMAR WURM
Emilie Kreuchen Wurm
EMILIE KREUCHEN WURM
 

Articles and Stories

San Francisco Chronicle (1971) 
(1971) 
Newark Evening News (1912) 
 

Comment and discuss

  1. Rolf Vonk said:

    Hello dear people, I was looking at the cabin list when there raised a question. On the list Miss Emilie Kreuchen is placed in the same cabin as Mrs Edward Scott Robert. Though the "cave list" indicated this, it isn't correct. Mrs Robert's niece Elisabeth Walton Allen mentioned the following: 'My aunt's maid came to my door and asked if she could speak to me. I went into the corridor and she said, "Miss Allen, the baggage room is full of water." I replied that she needn't worry because the watertight compartments would be shut and it would be all right for her to go back to her cabin.... Read full post

  2. Ben Holme said:

    Hey Rolf, You are correct in that Miss Kreunchen occupied an E-deck cabin rather than B-3. In any case, I think I'm right in saying that B-3 was a single birth cabin. This also rules out C-46 for the Cavendishes and their maid - too small. I agree that she must have occupied a forward E-deck cabin. E-11 is a good suggestion. She may even have been the "single woman" descibed by James McGough who occupied the cabin opposite i.e. E-23. McGough alerted her to the danger after the collision. On the other hand, E-23 may be too far aft. Hope this helps Best wishes Ben

  3. Daniel Rosenshine said:

    I wouldn't quite rule out a cabin more forward than E8. Chambers stated that only as far as he knew. It may be possible that there were no other occupied cabins in the passage where E8 was, but what about the other more forward cabins in the other more forward passage? He might not have seen Kreuchen walk that way. Also being a maid (and on Titanic) she wouldn't have spent much time walking around on E deck. On the other hand, Kreunchen was walking up and down decks, to and from her cabin so Chambers *might* have seen her had she walked far forward. Chambers makes no mention of seeing... Read full post

  4. Ben Holme said:

    Hello Daniel, A point well made. I hadn't fully considered the layout of the E-deck cabins. Of course, the cabins were located in mini-corridors that lead into the main passage i.e "Park Lane". I can't imagine Chambers was so observant as to notice one woman tucked away in a forward cabin. Would you agree that this would tend to rule out an inside cabin for Miss Kreunchen? Regards Ben

  5. Rolf Vonk said:

    Hi there guys, Of course it could have been possible that Mr Chambers didn't noticed Miss Kreuchen or other passengers in a more forward cabin than theirs. But realise that there were only 2 other mini-corridors on the forward part of E deck beside the corridor of E8. One of them was the corridor with a staircase to D deck and F deck (the squashcourt)with four cabins. It's unlikely that Miss Kreuchen had a cabin in this corridor. I think it would be rather strange to put a lonely maid into a cabin with a capacity of 4 passengers. So I think that corridor can be deleted from the list.... Read full post

  6. Ben Holme said:

    Hi Rolf, As I mentioned in an earlier post, I personally consider it more likely that she occupied a cabin aft of E-8. As I said, she may even have been the woman observed by McGough. However, if in fact she did occupy one of the cabins in the first mini-passage i.e E1-E4, it occured to me that she would have had a very short distance to walk to the D-deck staircase. Therefore, she may not have been noticed as she went back and forth across "Park Lane". Also, if you look at the E-deck plan, you will notice that this first passage is located further forward than the D-deck stairway.... Read full post

  7. Rolf Vonk said:

    Hey Ben, Yes, I see your point. I do also not believe that Mr Chambers would have seen Miss Kreuchen when she used the little staircase to D deck. However, as I already mentioned, it seems strange to put a lonely woman into a cabin with the capacity of 4 passengers (what all the four cabins in the little corridor had). I would choose the inside 1 berth cabin for my maid and not a strange 4 person berthroom. I don't know, but it's just a tiny little distance from mini-corridor E8 into the long parklane avenue and just around the corner to mini-corridor E1 etc. I doubt if passengers never... Read full post

  8. Ben Holme said:

    Hi Rolf, I agree, it does seem unlikely that Miss Kreunchen was placed in a cabin with a capacity of 4. However, Laura Francatelli, the Duff-Gordon maid occupied one such cabin. I realise that Miss F was a little more "upmarket" than a maid, but their situations are comparable in that the Duff-Gordons paid for her cabin...I think! I see your point about the unlikelihood of Miss K passing unoticed, but as Daniel pointed out, she probably spent very little time on E-deck in her own cabin. The detail of her cabin being descibed as "flooded" suggests to me that the cabin was indeed far... Read full post

  9. Lester Mitcham said:

    Hi Ben, Rolf, My understanding is that Miss Francatelli was in E-36; which she seems to shared with Miss Wilson. E-36 was a 3-berth room. The only two 4-berth room that I know of in 1st Class were E-201 and E-203. The only rooms on the port-side of Park Lane in the forward section of the ship were for 3rd Class Passengers and for Crew. All of the 1st Class rooms were on the starboard-side of the ship. Park Lane or Scotland Road was the wide fore-aft passageway on the port-side of the ship. The name should not be applied to the Passenger's fore-aft passageway on the starboard-side. ... Read full post

  10. Lester Mitcham said:

    My apologizes Rolf, I misread your little staircase on D deck comment. On re-reading it you are saying she did not use it. We agree she could not have as it would have been underwater. Lester

  11. Daniel Rosenshine said:

    I was trying to post this yesterday, but ET wasn't responding for some reason, so here goes again: ======================================================= I'd like to also point out that Chambers and his wife did not sit around their cabin, thus it is an even smaller possibility that he could see the maid. He and his wife would have undoubtedly been probing the ship themselves. I'm not sure of the relationship of Kreunchen to her employer, whether she was more of a friend then a “tie up my corset” maid. If she was the latter, than no doubt, whilst all dressed for dinner she would have... Read full post

  12. Ben Holme said:

    Hi Lester, Daniel, Daniel - to further your point, bedroom steward Andrew Cunningham apparently neglected to notice some of the passengers in the locality of his "section" i.e Frederick Hoyt and his wife in C-93 and the Futrelles in C-123 (possibly). Lester - I always thought "Park Lane" referred to the starboard fore to aft corridor for 1st class passengers on the starboard side. "Scotland Road" on the port side was for 3rd class and crew. Park lane seems more of an appropriate name for the starboard passage. I'd be surprised if both names referred to the port corridor, but I guess it... Read full post

  13. Rolf Vonk said:

    Hi there, First of all I would see the parklane rather as the first class corridor, but I didn't know it was a real excisting name. I thought it was more like a kind of joke. However, I think it's almost certain that we can't place Miss Kreuchen in a specific cabin. We can only place her on the forward E deck and that's it. However I really think she is in one of the two forward mini-corridors and certainly not that little inside corridor with it four 4-person cabins. But I have to tell you that I don't trust that cabin list anymore at all. We are speculating about unknown cabins, but... Read full post

  14. Lester Mitcham said:

    Re Park Lane; Scotland Road. In ANTR Walter Lord says ".... the working alleyway on E deck ..... - the officers called it 'Park Lane', the crew 'Scotland Road'. Hope this helps, Lester

  15. Rolf Vonk said:

    Hi Lester, Thanks for the information. I haven't read Walter Lord's ANTR, however I have the movie. Though I can't remember that the name "Park lane" was mentioned in it. Regards, Rolf

  16. Daniel Rosenshine said:

    I always thought that "Park Lane" an upper class street in London was kind of a joke name for the E deck first class corridor. Lester makes a good point, but perhaps Walter Lord was wrong ... or confused. Ben; personally I do not think that the Futrelles were in C123. One other party that Cunningham would have forgotten to mention is the Harrises, in C83 (funny that, both cabins end with a '3', 83, 93). I guess even the cabins around E8 might be a possibility for Kreunchen. Then on the other hand perhaps Chambers wasn't that oblivious, to make a statement that as far as he knew, no one... Read full post

  17. Charles Provost said:

    Daniel: I would be interested in knowing why you think Mr. and Mrs. Futrelle did not occupy C123. I still think it's a very safe guess. Mrs. Harris did recall her friend as being accomodated across the corridor, and C121 is a little bit too far, I believe. C123 is the only one who would fit Mrs. Harris' allegations. We actually talk together quite often via email and it's the first time I hear your theory. :-)

  18. Daniel Rosenshine said:

    When you think about it, C123 was NOT across any corridor at all. There was a totally open space, of the aft grand staircase foyer between cabins C83 and C123. If I were in C83 and was referring to C123, I would not say it was across any corridor. Mrs. Harris did say that she had to cross the corridor. This did not imply a short distance (nor a long one), but C121, 119, 117 were all what I would consider as being across a corridor, requiring the corridor to be crossed ... so to speak. Daniel.

  19. Ben Holme said:

    re Park Lane: My source comes from "1912 Facts About Titanic" by Lee W. Meredith: "A narrower corridor connecting all of the first class cabins on the starboard side was called "Park Lane" after a more fashionable street in London." I'm not sure the book as a whole should be cited as authority, but for the moment I am inclined to agree with Meredith on this point. Daniel - Do you mean to say the "corridor" which Mrs. Harris mentioned actually referred to the aft grand staircase foyer and that the Futrelles occupied a larger, outside cabin on the port side? - I'll admit seems more... Read full post

  20. Daniel Rosenshine said:

    Ben, no, not at all. I was saying that I do not count the "corridor" as being the grand staircase foyer. I don't think that anyone would call the gr. st. foyer as a corridor. People are more likely to refer to it as a foyer. What I mean by the corridor and cabins and such is that the Futrelles were in a cabin in the more fore section of C deck, starboard side, a cabin such as C121, 119, 117. I HIGHLY doubt that the Futrelles were in a larger suite. They did not pay enough and Mrs. Harris doesn't say they were in a suite. Daniel.

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Credits

Gavin Bell, UK
Michael A. Findlay, USA
Phillip Gowan, USA
Peter Engberg, Sweden
Charles Provost, USA
Hermann Söldner, Germany

References and Sources

Photo: National Archives (Passport Applications File)
Search archive British and Irish newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2018) Emilie Kreuchen (ref: #181, last updated: 13th March 2018, accessed 4th April 2020 23:26:18 PM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/emilie-kreuchen.html