Encyclopedia Titanica

Emily Borie Ryerson

Emily Borie Ryerson
Emily Borie Ryerson

Miss Emily Borie Ryerson was born in Chicago, Illinois on 8 October 1893.

She was the second daughter and third child of Arthur Larned Ryerson (b. 1851) and Emily Maria Borie (b. 1863) who had married in Philadelphia on 31 January 1889.

She had four siblings: Susan Parker (b. 1890), Arthur Larned (b. 1891), Ellen Ashfordby (b. 1895) and John Borie (b. 1898). The family appear on the 1910 census as residents of Cooperstown in Springfield, Ostego, New York. 

Emily had been on vacation in Europe with her parents, sister Susan, brother John and two servants Grace Bowen and Victorine Chaudanson when the family received devastating news: her brother Arthur, a Yale undergraduate, had been killed in an automobile accident on 8 April 1912. Cutting their holiday short the entire party joined the first available ship which was the Titanic and boarded at Cherbourg as first class passengers (ticket number 17608 which cost £262, 7s, 6d), occupying cabins B57, B63 and B66.

On the night of the sinking Emily waited with her family and their servants for some time to board lifeboat 4; she was among the rescued but her father was among the lost. 

Emily was married in Christ's Church, Cooperstown on 23 October 1915 to George Hyde Clarke (b. 30 April 1889); a Harvard graduate and racquet sports enthusiast from Ostego, Clarke was the son of realtor George Hyde Clarke and Mary Gale Carter. A tall man, Clarke stood at 6' 3" with a long face, blonde hair and grey eyes. 

George Hyde Clarke

George Hyde Clarke in 1923

The couple made their home in Cooperstown and had seven children: Mary Hyde (1916-1981, later Mrs Kenneth Paton), Emily Ryerson (b. 1917, later Mrs Danilo Machado), Susan Parker (1918-1944), Jane (b. 1919), George Hyde Jr (1921-1943), Ann Hyde (b. 1924, later Logan) and Arthur (b. 1927). 

Emily continued to travel in later years and her 1923 passport describes her as standing at 5' 8" and with brown hair and eyes, with an oval face, broad nose and a scar on her left wrist.

Emily and her family were living at Hyde Hall on both the 1920 and 1930 census records; shortly after in 1932 she and Clarke were divorced and he was remarried in 1933 to Dorothy Benjamin, née Rennard (b. 1895). He died on 20 September 1955. Emily herself was remarried to artist, actor and writer Stephen Beach Cooke (b. 15 May 1898), another Ostego man.

In 1943 Emily suffered the loss of her son George in an accident whilst he was training for combat duty with the US Air Force; just a year later her daughter Susan was killed whilst piloting a WASP plane on 4 July 1944.

On16 September 1948 Emily became a widow when her husband Stephen Beach Cooke, a veteran of both World Wars, died following a brief illness.

In the early 1950s, Emily and her brother Jack both visited the set of Fox's movie Titanic and were pictured with one of the stars, Audrey Dalton. 

Emily lived at Ringwood, Cooperstown for the rest of her life and she died following a stroke on 25 June 1960 aged 66. She was buried in Lakewood Cemetery.

References and Sources

The Freeman's Journal, 22 September 1948, obituary (of Stephen Beach Cooke)

Newspaper Articles

Evening Bulletin (18 April 1912) POSTPONE RYERSON FUNERAL
Chicago Tribune (13 October 1913) News of the Society World : Mrs. Ryerson Returning
Chicago Tribune (17 February 1914) Miss Emily Ryerson
New York Times (5 September 1915) MISS RYERSON TO WED
Chicago Tribune (7 October 1915) ROUND ABOUT THE SOCIETY WORLD.
New York Times (26 October 1915) Marriage Announcement (2)
New York Times (3 June 1932) Emily Ryerson Clarke Sues for Divorce
New York Times (13 December 1933) MRS. D. R. BENJAMIN WED TO G. H. CLARKE
New York Times (13 June 1943) G. H. CLARKE JR. KILLED
New York Times (26 June 1960) MRS. S. BEACH COOKE
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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Miss Emily Borie Ryerson
Age: 18 years 6 months and 7 days (Female)
Nationality: American
Marital Status: Single
Embarked: Cherbourg on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 17608, £262 7s 6d
Cabin No. B57/63/66
Rescued (boat 4)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Saturday 25th June 1960 aged 66 years

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