Mr Franz Karun, 39, was born 2 December 1872 near Milje, Austria-Hungary (modern Slovenia). He was the son of Janez Karun who was born in Milje in 1846 and died there in 1895. Janez Karun was married in 1870 to Marija Treljec who was born 12 December 1849 in Predoslje, Slovenia and who died in Milje in 1896.
Franz was married to Marianna Vombergar and they had five children: Frances, Urban, Manca, Frank and Mary (1).
Left to Right: Frances, Manca, Mary, Franz, Marianna, Frank, and Urban. Taken in Milje, Slovenia in 1912.
(Courtesy Phillip Gowan)
Karun later moved to Galesburg, Illinois where he ran a boarding house for railroad workers, however, the family retained Austro-Hungarian citizenship.
In 1912 Karun had been back to his homeland and was now returning to Galesburg2 with his daughter Manca3. They bought their tickets for 138 Swiss francs from the agent: Im Obersted & Cie, Basel. They boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as third-class passengers4. Travelling with them was Franz' brother-in-law5 (probably Johann Markun)
Stories which appeared in the Galesburg press of 22 and 23 April 1912 contained many errors. "Anna" is identified as Franz's niece and the two are reported to have swum away from the wreck before being hauled aboard a passing collapsible when in fact they most likely boarded a lifeboat which was lowered from the deck.
After their rescue the Karuns were helped financially by the American Red Cross:
No. 229. (Austrian).
Frank Karoun of Galesburg who was one of the fortunate ones who escaped with their lives when the Titanic went down, has brought suit against the White Star Company to recover for the loss of $700 in money and about $850 in personal effects. - The Quill, 4 June 1912
One year later the Karuns were mentioned again in the press when an outer wall collapsed on the hotel/boarding house that they owned and it was uncertain whether they would remain in Galesburg. Indeed, about a year after the disaster the family returned to Austria-Hungary (Slovenia). Manca's four siblings later returned to the United States and died here. Manca herself did not return to the states but married a Mr Anton Juvan6, she continued living in Slovenia and died there.
After the death of his first wife in 1914, Franz Karun married Angela (born 1888, died 1924); they had one daughter, Angela Karun (born 1918). Angela married Joza Kovac (1913-1991) and is still (1998) living in the town of Visoko, (near Kranj), Slovenia.
Franz Karun died in Milje, Slovenia on 7 July 1934.