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Tillie Taussig

Tillie Taussig
Tillie Taussig

Mrs Emil Taussig (Tillie Mandelbaum) was born in Manhattan, New York on 18 December 1872.

She was the daughter of German-born Jewish parents Herman Mandelbaum (1849-1933), a tobacco merchant, and Rosa Weil (1849-1921) who had both come to the USA in the 1860s from Kassel and Baden, respectively. She had two siblings: Sarah (1869-1948, later Mrs Max Dessavier) and Blanche (b. 1883, later Mrs Gabriel Lang). The family appear on the 1880 census as residents of 834 First Avenue, Manhattan.

She was married on 18 January 1893 to Emil Taussig, the Bohemian-born son of a children's clothing manufacturer. Their only child, a daughter named Ruth, was born towards the end of 1893.

The family appear on the 1900 census as residents of 1335 Madison Avenue, Manhattan. By the 1910 census they are still residents of Madison Avenue, later living at 777 West End Avenue by 1912.

Following a visit to Vienna, the Taussigs boarded the Titanic at Southampton as first class passengers (joint ticket number 110413 which cost £79, 13s). Tillie and her husband occupied cabin E67.

On the night of the sinking the Taussigs were reportedly alerted to the danger by German steward Alfred Theissinger, he telling them "You better put on your lifebelts and rush out on deck." "Is it as serious as all that?" asked Mr Taussig. "Yes, hurry" was Theissinger's reply.

Mrs Taussig later described the events of the night of the sinking (New York Times, 22 April 1912):

"When we came on deck... Capt. Smith was preparing the eighth boat to be let down. There was only one seaman in sight, but a number of stewards had rushed up between the crowding men and women. The Captain turned to the stewards and asked them if they knew how to row. They answered ‘'Yes' hastily, and four of them were allowed to jump in. Only twenty women were near the boat, and these were put in. My daughter Ruth was among the first, but I said that I wouldn't go if my husband did not accompany me. There was room for fourteen more after the last woman had found her place, and they all pleaded to let the men take the empty seats. But the Captain said that he would not allow it. I was frantic. There was that boat, ready to be lowered into the water and only half full. Then the order came to lower. The men were pleading for permission to step in, and one came forward to take a place next to his wife. I heard a shot and I am sure it was he that went down.

"Then the boat swung out from the deck. I was still with my husband, and Ruth had already disappeared below the deck. I gave a great cry---I remember perfectly calling out the name of my daughter---and two men tore me from my husband's side, lifted me, one by the head and one by the feet, and dropped me over the side of the deck into the lowering boat. I struck on the back of my head, but I had furs on, and that fact probably saved me from greater injury.

"The terrible thing was that we had so much room left for the poor men who were snatched away. When we got to the water the four stewards who had told the Captain they could row couldn't row at all. There was only one seaman to command the boat and an English woman whose name I cannot now remember took an oar and rowed until we were half a mile from the Titanic. My daughter also had furs on. The sailor took them from her. You'll not need them,’ he said, and we never saw them again...."

Mrs Taussig and her daughter escaped in lifeboat 8. Following her arrival in New York Tillie stayed with her father, Herman Mandelbaum at 1,229 Park Avenue.

Five months after the disaster, while administering her late husband's estate, Mrs Taussig found some shares which had, hitherto, been thought worthless. Mrs Taussig sold the shares, for the Engelhardt Collapsible Lifeboat Company, for $2000.

Tillie was remarried on 14 February 1920 to Morris Samuel (b. 11 November 1863), a clothing merchant and widower originally from Rochester, New York, and they resided in Manhattan. By 1921 the couple were residents of 305 West End Avenue, later moving to 270 Park Avenue by the middle of the decade. From the latter part of the 1920s into the late 1930s, it seems that they were permanent inhabitants of the Savoy Hotel on 5th Avenue. By the time of the 1940 census, they were living at East 58th Street.

Morris and Tillie were avid globe trekkers, visiting many destinations including France, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Hawaii, Palestine, Egypt, Gibraltar, Monaco, Italy, Greece, Algeria, Turkey, Spain, Tunisia and Portugal. They appeared on passenger lists for ships such as: Aquitania, Mauretania, Berengaria, Ile De France, Matsonia, Maui, Normandie and Leviathan.

Tillie was made a widow for a second time on 2 August 1948. She herself passed away in Manhattan on 17 June 1957 aged 84.  She is buried in the Samuel family Mausoleum in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Hawthorne, New York.

Newspaper Articles

New York Times (3 February 1912) Yesterday's Wills
New York Times (22 April 1912) Smith Called Back Half-filled Boats
New York Times (21 June 1921) Memorial Notice (7)
New York Times (20 April 1933) Herman Mandelbaum
New York Times (20 October 1933) Estates Appraised
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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mrs Tillie Taussig (née Mandelbaum)
Age: 39 years 3 months and 28 days (Female)
Nationality: American
Religion: Jewish
Marital Status: Married to Emil Taussig
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 110413, £79 13s
Cabin No. E67
Rescued (boat 8)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Buried: Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Hawthorne, New York, United States

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