Encyclopedia Titanica

Alexander Oskar Holverson

Alexander Oskar Holverson
Alexander Oskar Holverson

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.

Alexander HolversonMr 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.


Chett Peabody & Co., N.Y.

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.

© Michael A. Findlay, USA


  1. 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.
  2. 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 Sources

Record of Bodies and Effects (#38)
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Record of Bodies and Effects: Passengers and Crew, S.S. Titanic (Public Archives of Nova Scotia)
Boston Daily Globe, 16th, 17th April, 1912
Buffalo Evening News, 24 April 1912

Newspaper Articles

Boston Daily Globe (16 April 1912) FORMER BOSTON RESIDENT
New York Times (4 May 1912) Death Notice of Alexander Holverson


Minneapolis Star Tribune (1912) Alexander Holverson
Search archive online


Gavin Bell, UK
Jeffrey Kern, USA
Michael A. Findlay, USA

Comment and discuss

  1. John H. Holverson

    John H. Holverson

    I seek information about First Class survivor Mrs. A. O. Holverson (born Mary Aline Towner of Bradford, Penn.) and her husband Alexander Oskar Holverson of Alexandria, Minnesota, who worked at Chett Peabody & Co., NYC. He perished, body #38. I am a relative just discovering old childhood stories to actually be true. Thanks so much. Thorvald J.H. Holverson

  2. Daniel Klistorner

    If I remember correctly, she filed a claim against WSL for lost property, something else may have been filed against WSL regading Mr. Holverson. Daniel.

  3. Olaf Larsen

    Hi Thorvald. I have some information about the Halvorsen family, as my great-great grandmother was Oscars fathers sister! I have letters from Oscars brother Henry, whose first letter tells about the disaster. According to this letter, Oscar (the name Alexander used daily(?)) was the one that was writing to the family in Norway, and Henry took over after him, but many years later. The last one I have is from 1940 (in Norwegian, even if Henry was borne in US!) It has been extremely difficult to find all information, especially as the first name Alexander never was used in the letters-nor any... Read full post

  4. Olaf Larsen

    The company that Alexander O. worked for is called Cluett Peabody & Co, and made shirts and collars. Material about them is found on the great pages of Rensselear County Historical Society,that covers many manufacturers and businesses in Rensselear and Troy. Their address is . There may have been other possible Cluett Peabody Companies at that time, but that is the only one I found on the web. Olaf.

  5. EG Lefebvre

    EG Lefebvre

    Hello, in which cabin this found the couple of first class, Mr. and Mrs Holverson. Would have idea on the bridge, or the number of room of the couple? He with the bridge D was you? Excuse my English E. L Lefebvre

  6. Charles Provost

    EG, Je croyais que tu allais m'envoyer tes questions par email, comme je te l'avais proposé... As-tu changé d'idée?

  7. EG Lefebvre

    EG Lefebvre

    Avez vous reí§ue mon message ou je vous pose mes question ?

  8. EG Lefebvre

    EG Lefebvre

    Avez vous reí§ue mon message ou je vous pose mes questions ?

  9. Charles Provost

    Oui, je l'ai reí§u, et j'y ai répondu. Je m'étonne que vous ne l'ayez toujours pas....

  10. EG Lefebvre

    EG Lefebvre

    M’avez vous récrit ? Je n’ait toujours pas reí§ue de réponses, peu t’íªtre esque tu n’envoye pas le massage a la bonne adresse.. PS : Au pire, envoye la réponse sur le forum.. Merci d’avance

  11. Matt Smith

    I take French classes but I'm not that good.

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr Alexander Oskar Holverson
Age: 42 years 6 months and 13 days (Male)
Nationality: American
Marital Status: Married to Mary Alice Towner
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 113789, £52
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body recovered by: Mackay-Bennett (No. 38)
Buried: Woodlawn Cemetery, New York City, New York, United States

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