Mrs Lillian Mae Minahan (née Thorpe)

Mrs William Edward Minahan (Lillian Mae Thorpe) was born in Fort Wayne, Allen, Indiana on 7 February 1875.

She was the daughter of Sylvanus Thorpe (b. 1852), a farmer and later a railroad conductor, and Mahala Babb (b. 1851). Her father was originally from Ohio and her mother from Shelby, Indiana. She had six known siblings: Ellis Ottis (b. 1878), Alva (b. 1880), Nellie (b. 1883, later Mrs Alomzo Holt), Fred (b. 1887), Lottie (b. 1892) and Dorothy (b. 1893).

She first appears on the 1880 census living in Buck, Illinois but the family later moved to Kansas, settling in Arkansas City and appearing there on the 1900 census. She was later married to a portrait artist named Paul Lawrence, Lillian reportedly being his muse, but little is known about that union and Lawrence is believed to have died early.

In 1903, while visiting friends in Wisconsin, Lillian met Dr William Edward Minahan (b. 1867) whom she later married, her first husband having died. The couple remained childless and settled in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, appearing there on the 1910 census. 

In early 1912 Lillian, her husband and sister-in-law Daisy were on a visit to their ancestral Ireland. They were the only first class passengers to board Titanic at Queenstown (ticket number 19928 which cost £90). They occupied cabin C78.

On the night of the sinking the Minahans spent time in the Café Parisien and enjoyed the company of Major Archibald Butt, the Wideners, the Thayers and Captain Smith before retiring to bed around 9.30 pm. Asleep at the time of the collision they were later wakened by the sound of a woman crying in the companionway outside their cabin and immediately began to dress. Leaving their cabin they headed to the portside boat deck and were shown to lifeboat 14. Minahan's last words to his wife and sister were report to be "be brave."

Lillian and Daisy were rescued in lifeboat 14 but were transferred to collapsible D during the night.

Upon landing in New York Lillian and Daisy were taken to the home of fellow survivors Charles and Annie Stengel of Newark, New Jersey until her brother-in-law Robert Minahan came from Green Bay to fetch them.

Following the disaster Lillian moved to California and on 28 March 1914 was remarried in Riverside to another physician, Kansas-born Dr Lee Perry Kaull (b. 1873), possibly an old acquaintance from her youth. Following WWI the couple settled in Jerome, Yavapai, Arizona where Kaull was appointed as chief surgeon at the United Verde Mining Corporation and the couple appeared there on the 1920 census. Lillian was widowed again when Lee Kaull died on 19 December 1923 and she returned to live in California, settling in Hollywood until her marriage to C. D. Danielson. During WWII she lived on Catalina Island while it was under jurisdiction of the Coast Guard and in 1947 moved to Laguna Beach where she lived for the rest of her life.

Lillian Danielson, née Thorpe, formerly Minahan, died on 13 January 1962 aged 86. She was buried in Melrose Abbey Memorial Park, Anaheim, California.

Credits
Gavin Bell
Peter Engberg
John Frey
Phillip Gowan
Thomas J Hawley
Lisa Bertrand Moore

References and Sources
The Laguna Beach Post (California), January 25, 1962, Obituary
Green Bay Press-Gazette, March 20, 1998

Pictures

Dr. William Edward and Lilian Minahan

DR. WILLIAM EDWARD AND LILIAN MINAHAN

 

Articles and Stories

TITANIC SURVIVOR MEMORIAL SERVICE

Laguna Beach Post  (1962) 

TITANIC SURVIVOR MEMORIAL SERVICE

 
THIRD SUICIDE IN FAMILY MYSTERY

Chicago Tribune  (1925) 

THIRD SUICIDE IN FAMILY MYSTERY

 
ASKED TO MEET TWO WOMEN

Chicago Daily News  (1912) 

ASKED TO MEET TWO WOMEN

 
Third Tragedy in Family

Chicago Tribune  (1925) 

THIRD TRAGEDY IN FAMILY

 
STENGELS TO CARE FOR MRS. AND MISS MINAHAN

Newark Evening News  (1912) 

STENGELS TO CARE FOR MRS. AND MISS MINAHAN

 
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