Mrs Mary Alice Holverson

Mary Alice Holverson

Mrs Alexander Oskar Holverson (Mary Alice Towner) was born in Bradford, Pennsylvania on 21 September 1876.

She was the daughter of Harry Luther Towner (1850-1913), a physician, and Ellen 'Ella' Victoria Newell (1853-1882), both native Pennsylvanians who had married on 8 August 1872.

She had two siblings, her brother Dana W. (1874-1934) and younger sister Carolyn Belle (1882-1973, later Mrs Milton Guernsey Berry).

Mary appears on the 1880 census living at an unspecified address in Athens, Bradford, Pennsylvania. Her mother died in 1882, only months after the birth of her sister Carolyn, and was buried in Tioga Point Cemetery in Athens; her widowed father would remarry, this time to Harriett Kaefer (b. 1872) and they had a son, Clifford Anthony (b. 1891), and a daughter, Winifred (b. 1896), both born in New York. Her family remained living in Bradford, appearing there on the 1900 and 1910 censuses.

She was married in Manhattan on 5 May 1906 to Alexander Oskar Holverson (b. 1869), a salesman from Minnesota. The couple remained childless and appear on the 1910 census as residents of 568 West 149th Street, Manhattan.

The couple had been on vacation in South America since late 1911/early 1912, spending time in Buenos Aires, Argentina before departing for England where they arrived in Southampton on 6 April aboard the Aragon and stayed at the Piccadilly Hotel in London. For their return to the USA Mr and Mrs Halvorsen boarded the Titanic at Southampton as first class passengers (ticket number 113789 which cost £52) on 10 April 1912.

Mrs Halvorsen survived the sinking, escaping in lifeboat 8; her husband was among the lost. His body was later recovered and returned to New York for burial.

Mrs Halvorsen returned to New York and never remarried; she continued to lived in Manhattan, later at 509 West 122nd Street. The following year, on 15 October 1913, she lost her father. Reportedly a poorly lady most of her life, she died from kidney failure on 2 May 1918 aged 41 and was buried with her husband at Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx, New York.

Her last known surviving sibling Carolyn died in Washington, DC in October 1973.

Courtesy of Michael A. Findlay, USA



Mary Holverson in 1912
Minneapolis Star Tribune  (1912) 

Articles and Stories

New York Times (1912) 
Denver Post (1912) 

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Mr and Mrs Holverson (11 posts)
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Gavin Bell, UK
Michael A. Findlay, USA
Phillip Gowan, USA
Jeffrey Kern, USA

References and Sources

State of New York Department of Health Certificate of Death
Denver Post
, April 19, 1912
Search archive British and Irish newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

(2020) Mary Alice Holverson Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #164, updated 13th January 2020 10:45:36 AM)