Mr Frederic Oakley Spedden

Photo: © Leighton H. Coleman III

Mr Frederic Oakley Spedden was born in New York City 9 January 1867 the son of Frederic Spedden and Susan Douglas.

He lived at Wee Wah Lodge, Tuxedo Park, NY with his wife Daisy and son Douglas. The Speddens were wealthy and devoted their lives to their son, their travels and their hobbies - Frederic loved sailing. They generally spent the summers in Bar Harbor, Maine and wintered at various resorts around the world.

In late 1911 the Speddens sailed for Algiers on the Caronia. They were accompanied by two servants, Daisy's maid Helen Wilson and Douglas's nanny Elizabeth Burns. From Algiers the family moved on to Monte Carlo and then to Paris. In April 1912, at the end of their European holiday, the Speddens and their servants boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg for the return home. Mr and Mrs Spedden Occupied cabin E-34.

Frederic and his wife were awakened by the collision with the iceberg. They noticed that the ship was tilting, so they woke Douglas and the servants. The party made its way to the starboard boat deck, where the the women and children were loaded into lifeboat 3. After all the women and children had been loaded, Frederic, along with about 20 other men, were also allowed to board the lifeboat. At dawn, lifeboat 3 and the survivors were picked up by the Carpathia. The Speddens were remembered by their fellow survivors for many acts of kindness.

Whilst returning to New York on the Carpathia, Frederic Spedden and some other survivors (Frederic K. Seward - Chairman, Karl H. Behr, Molly Brown, Mauritz Björnström-Steffansson, George Harder and Isaac Frauenthal) formed a committee to honour the bravery of Captain Rostron and his crew. They would present the Captain with an inscribed silver cup and medals to each of the 320 crew members.

After the Titanic tragedy the Speddens carried on much as before. They continued to divide their time between Tuxedo Park and Bar Harbor. On February 3, 1947, while in the swimming pool of the Bath Club in Palm Beach, Florida, where he was spending the winter, Frederic suffered a heart attack and died.



Frederic Spedden 1921 passport

Articles and Stories

New York Times (1950) 
New York Times (1950) 
New York Times (1947) 
New York Times (1947) 
New York Times (1915) 
New York Times (1912) 
New York Times (1900) 

Comment and discuss

What ever happened to Polar the Titanic Bear (40 posts)
Douglas Spedden and Polar (13 posts)
Daisy Spedden's Complete account of the disaster (5 posts)
Daisy Spedden : Books / Diaries (4 posts)
Daisy Spedden (2 posts)
The Spedden's Home in Tuxedo Park (2 posts)
Robert Douglas Spedden (1 post)


Dave Aldworth, USA
Leighton H. Coleman III, USA
Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden
Phillip Gowan, USA

References and Sources

Colonel Archibald Gracie (1913) The Truth about the Titanic. New York, Mitchell Kennerley
Daisy Spedden Polar, the Titanic Bear. Edited by Leighton H. Coleman III
New York Times, 4 February 1947, Obituary
State of Florida Certificate of Death
Search archive British and Irish newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2011) Frederic Oakley Spedden (ref: #276, last updated: 13th April 2011, accessed 19th April 2021 15:41:37 PM)

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