Encyclopedia Titanica

Mary Peebles Wick

Mary Peebles Wick
Mary Peebles Wick

Mrs George Dennick Wick was born as Mary Peebles Hitchcock in Youngstown, Ohio on 12 October 1866.

She was the daughter of William James Hitchcock (b. 1827) and Mary Johnson Peebles (b. 1837). Her father was a native of New York and her mother from Pennsylvania. Her known siblings were: Almira (1859-1934, later Mrs Myron Arms), Frank (b. 1861) and William James (1864-1936). She was educated in Farmington, Connecticut and besides that lived all of her life in Youngstown.

Mary, known to friends and family as Mollie, was married on 19 June 1896 to George Dennick Wick who, like her father, was an iron businessman. George was a widower with one child, Mary Natalie (b. 1880); he was president of assorted iron companies in various parts of Ohio. Mary and George had one child of their own, George Dennick Jr, on 19 March 1897.

Mary WickMary's husband George had been suffering from ill-health for several years and it was decided that a vacation to Europe might benefit his wellbeing and prevent him having to retire. Along with her husband, step-daughter Mary and a cousin, Caroline Bonnell, Mary departed from Youngstown in February 1912, leaving behind her son who was at school in Wallingford, Connecticut. They spent time in Naples, Venice, Paris and lastly London. In France they met Washington Roebling and Stephen Weart Blackwell who would also be aboard the Titanic on the voyage home. The family boarded the Titanic at Southampton as first class passengers (joint ticket number 36928 which cost £164, 17s, 4d). Also joining them at Southampton was another in-law, Elizabeth Bonnell.

When the collision occurred, Mrs Wick thought that a boiler had exploded. They were in their stateroom when her daughter and Caroline Bonnell came to tell them that the Titanic had struck an iceberg. Mr Wick rebuked the suggestion. Later, a crewmember must have told them to put on their life preservers and go up on deck. There, they were met by Natalie and Caroline. Caroline went below to bring her aunt Elizabeth up on deck and then the Wicks and Bonnells waited. The women were placed into lifeboat 8. Mollie Wick looked up and watched her husband stand at the rail and wave goodbye. They drifted about for five hours in the cold before being rescued by the Carpathia.

Mrs Wick's name was not on the initial lists of survivors and the Ohio newspapers speculated that she had died. Her son did not find out his mother had survived until several days after the sinking. He and William F. Bonnell were among the family members that travelled to New York City to meet the Carpathia. When they applied for tickets to enter the restricted area, they found that dozens of reporters had already claimed tickets as family members.

Mrs Wick refused to believe that her husband George was lost and remained in New York for several days with her family awaiting news. Family related that in New York, still standing in the clothes she wore to leave the ship, Mary's waiting family brought her to a dress shop to kit her out. Although prostrated at the loss of her husband, she was reportedly stoical and did not break down whilst in the next fitting room a wealthy New York woman, reportedly also a survivor, was being fanned and had smelling salts held to her nose.

A memorial service was held in Youngstown on 24 April 1912 for the loss of her husband. A family member travelled to Halifax, hoping to identify his body but it was never recovered.

Mollie Wick never remarried and remained living in Youngstown, reportedly wearing dark-coloured clothing in mourning for the rest of her life. Among her many activities, she was later the president of the local YWCA and was held in high esteem by her other committee members and the local community. During the 1914-1918 War she was active in the National League for Women's Service and was on the Board of Supervisors of the Mahoning County Red Cross. She was also president of the Woman's Workers Society of the First Presbyterian Church and on the board of the Youngstown City Hospital.

Mollie Wick died on 30 January 1920 as a result of pneumonia. Local press at the time reported that her stepdaughter Natalie was en route from England for a visit when her death occurred.

She is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Youngstown and her husband is commemorated on her grave.

Her son George was later married to Ruth Kuhn (1899-1974), a Tennessee native, and had three children: Antoinette Mary (b. 1919), George Dennick (b. 1922) and David Kuhn (b. 1927). He lived in various places, including Ohio and Connecticut and he eventually died in Columbus, North Carolina on 13 March 1975.

Mrs Wick's grave at Oak Hill Cemetery, Youngstown, Ohio

References and Sources

Biographical History of North-eastern Ohio (1893) Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago
1900 Census, Ohio, Mahoning County, Youngstown, 615 Wick Avenue, Enumeration District 61, Page 1, line 40

Newspaper Articles

New York Times (16 April 1912) Wealthy Youngstown Folk Aboard
Daily Northwestern (17 April 1912) A SAD FAREWELL
Mrs. Wick's recollections
Cleveland Plain Dealer (18 April 1912) SIXTEEN OHIOANS ARE STILL MISSING
Cleveland Plain Dealer (20 April 1912) REMAINS IN HOPE HUSBAND IS SAVED
The Youngstown Vindicator (31 January 1920) DEATH COMES TO MRS. WICK : BEAUTIFUL LIFE IS ENDED


Youngstown Vindicator (1912) Mary Wick

Documents and Certificates

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Comment and discuss

  1. Mike Poirier

    Did Mary Hitchcock Wick ever leave behind an account that talks about the Titanic or her cabin #? Thanks Mike

  2. Michael Findlay

    Hi Mike, To the best of my knowledge, Mary Wick's accounts of the sinking, of which there were very, very few, do not contain any reference to her cabin number. Much of what we even know about the Wick's experiences aboard the Titanic comes from Caroline Bonnell. We know that Mr. and Mrs. Wick occupied a room on C-deck, and were very close to the cabin of Caroline Bonnell and Miss Mary Wick. Some researchers have ventured a guess as to the possible location but the evidence is too scare, in my opinion, to say for sure. I hope you're doing well. Mike

  3. Mike Poirier

    Hi Mike: Thanks for the note. So I'm guessing the mention of Mary Natalie Wick watching the third class play with ice came from Caroline.. Hope all is well on your end. Mike

  4. Charles Provost

    That was a good question, Mike. I have always wondered what was Mr. and Mrs. Wick cabin number, too. We will probably never know, although it is very possible they were not far from the Misses Wick and Bonnell, as Michael told you.Side note to you, Michael (Findlay): Did you get my message? Nothing really important in it, so feel free to response to it when you have time. Just checking... My best regards to you, guys. Charles

  5. Robina Mont

    Robina Mont

    Hi i'm looking for any info about Miss Natalie Wick. Can anyone know what became with her after Titanic? Thank you Ruby

  6. Delia Mahoney

    Hello Ruby, Natalie Wick married Lt. Col. Thomas St. Aubyn Nevinson in 1916. They had two daughters. She died in 1944 in England. All the best, Delia

  7. Martin Williams

    Although many of the American first-class passengers came from the eastern States, there were others aboard who hailed from slightly further afield. Among them were Colonel George Dennick Wick, his second wife Mary (or 'Mollie'), and his daughter by his first marriage, Natalie. They had been on holiday in England and were returning home with two of their relations, Lily and Caroline Bonnell. George Wick was a very prominent industrialist in Youngstown, Ohio, and he rates his own illustrated entry on Wikipedia: ... Read full post

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mrs Mary Peebles Wick (née Hitchcock)
Age: 45 years 6 months and 3 days (Female)
Nationality: American
Marital Status: Married to George Dennick Wick
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 36928, £164 17s 4d
Rescued (boat 8)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Friday 30th January 1920 aged 53 years
Cause of Death:
Buried: Oak Hill Cemetery, Youngstown, Ohio, United States

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