Mr Alexander Oskar Holverson was born in Rushford, Fillmore, Minnesota 1 on 2 October 1869.2
He was the son of Amund Holverson (1833-1917), a blacksmith, and Rachael Holleque (b. 1845). His father was Norwegian by birth whilst his mother hailed from Illinois and they were married on 2 March 1864 in Fillmore.
He had six known siblings: Henry T. (1865-1944), Alfred Reuben (b. 1872), Sydney Edwin (1877-1958), Emma (b. 1880), Mary Alice (1883-1973, later Mrs Andrew Urness) and Walter Reuben (1888-1950).
He first appears on the 1870 census living in Rushford and was still in that city by the time of the 1880 census. His family later settled in Alexandria, Douglas, Minnesota.
Mr Holverson was reportedly a well-known salesman; he opened the Boston office of Cluett, Peabody & Company and had considerable success, living on Strathmore Road, Brighton for five years. He appears on the 1905 census as a lodger at Pearl Street, Buffalo, New York and was described as a travelling salesman. Upon receiving a promotion he was relocated to the New York office around 1909. A Freemason, he was a member of Transportation Lodge 842.
He was married in Manhattan on 5 May 1906 to Mary Alice Towner (b. 1876), a native of Bradford, Pennsylvania. 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. Alexander's 1911 passport describes him as standing at 5' 9" with blond hair, blue eyes, a fair complexion and a round face.
For their return to the USA Mr and Mrs Holvorsen boarded the Titanic at Southampton as first class passengers (ticket number 113789 which cost £52) on 10 April 1912.
Mrs Holvorsen survived the sinking, escaping in lifeboat 8; Mr Holvorsen was among the lost. His body was later recovered by the MacKay Bennett (#38):
NO. 38. - MALE. - ESTIMATED AGE. 45.
CLOTHING - Black overcoat; grey suit; black and grey necktie; blue shirt; green pyjamas with black stripe; underclothes; patent leather shoes; four gold teeth, top left, and five below left.
EFFECTS - Gold watch with black beetle in case; silver card case; fountain pen; trinket case containing five scarf pens, watch chain, gold tie clip, gold mother of pearl cuff links, and studs to match, solitaire diamond ring, one other set cuff links; one unmounted stone; smoked glasses; pocketbook; 12s., 2 keys; knife; two £5 notes; letter of credit for $5000, No. 7710, by Kountze Bros., N. Y.
NAME - A. 0. HOLVERSON.
The body was delivered to his brother Henry Holverson of Alexandria, Minnesota and forwarded to New York on 1 May 1912 for the burial in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.
His mother lived less than six months after his death and she died in Alexandria on 25 September 1912. His widow returned to New York and never remarried; she passed away in 1918 and was buried with him.
Articles and Stories
Unidentified Newspaper (1912)
New York Times (1912)
Boston Daily Globe (1912)
Jeffrey Kern, USA
Michael A. Findlay, USA
- Many sources give his birthplace as Alexandria, Douglas, Minnesota. His family later settled there but early census records, his passport and his marriage record indicate Rushford to be his birthplace.
- Birth years given range between 1866 and 1870. He appeared on the 1870 census as a 6-month-old infant confirming his 1869 birth year.
References and SourcesRecord of Bodies and Effects (#38)
Boston Daily Globe, 16th April, 1912
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
Record of Bodies and Effects: Passengers and Crew, S.S. Titanic (Public Archives of Nova Scotia)