Encyclopedia Titanica

Edward Gifford Crosby

Edward Gifford Crosby
Edward Gifford Crosby

Captain Edward Gifford Crosby was born on 26 October 1847.

Crosby married Catherine Elizabeth Halstead and they lived in Muskegon, Michigan before moving to Milwaukee in 1897. In 1903 Crosby founded the Crosby Transportation Company which by 1910 was operating four steamers out of Milwaukee: Nyack, E. G. Crosby, Conestoga and May Graham.

The Crosbys lived at 474 Marshall Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and they had two children, Fred 1 (who did not travel on the Titanic) and Harriette. They boarded the Titanic at Southampton as first class passengers (ticket number WE/P 5735, £71). Captain and Mrs Crosby occupied cabin B-22, Harriette was in B-26.

On Sunday 14 April, Edward had retired about 9 p.m. and Catherine about 10:30 p.m. She was awakened by a sort of 'thump' some time after that Edward dressed and went out to find out what was happening. He came back, a few minutes later, and stated, rather bluntly to his wife, "You will lie there and drown!" He then went to his daughter's cabin and told her the ship had been rather badly damaged. It appears that Crosby then went off again and was not with his wife and daughter when they boarded one of the forward lifeboats on the starboard side.


CLOTHING - Green tweed suit and overcoat.

EFFECTS - $500; £80 in notes; £6 in gold in purse; 8s. 6d. in silver; pipe; memo book.

Milwaukee, Wis.

Crosby lost his life in the sinking, his body was later recovered by the MacKay Bennett (#269).

The body was delivered to Howard G. Kelley of the V.P., G.T. Railway for transportation back to Milwaukee on 3 May 1912. On 7 May 1912 his funeral was held on one of his two Lake Michigan Steamers and afterwards his body was cremated at Forest Home Cemetery. His cremains were placed in Fairview Mausoleum, later his wife's casket was placed inside the same crypt with his ashes. Their daughter Harriette's remains were later entombed in the same mausoleum, but in another crypt.2

Fairview Mausoleum
Fairview Mausoleum


1. Fred G. Crosby died in Rhode Island in March of 1966 at the age of 84. His son, Ned, died in 1979 at the age of 68.
2. In 1995 all the dead from Fairview Mausoleum were disinterred because the building was abandoned and collapsing. Nearly 1000 human remains were removed. The disinterred remains from Fairview Mausoleum were re-interred in the ground at Graceland Cemetery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1997. At Graceland Cemetery casketed remains of Catherine Crosby and cremated remains of Captain Edward Crosby Harriette (Daughter) were reinterred. Catherine's was a cloth covered metal casket, his was a square-shaped brass coloured urn. The daughters was a metal urn. The grave marker lists all three Crosby's with the statement, "Passengers on the Titanic". In addition there is an engraved ship representing the Titanic and a Titanic Historical Society Emblem. The reinterrment and memorial were made possible by the Titanic Historical Society, Mark Rick, John Pludeman and Wally Miller (Miller Monument). Pictures of the Mausoleum and it's Demolition.

Newspaper Articles

Chicago Tribune (17 April 1912) Edward Gifford Crosby
Chicago Daily Journal (17 April 1912) Pitiful Appeals for News at Office Here Ungratified
Chicago American (18 April 1912) AWAIT NEWS IN DETROIT
Chicago Tribune (19 April 1912) Floes Fateful to Crosby


Titanic Commutator (1999) , Titanic Historical Society, Vol. 22, No. 2
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Comment and discuss

  1. Mike

    Colonel Gracie's book lists Mrs. Crosby as escaping in boat 5. Recent research into Elmer Taylor's account seems to indicate that the Crosbys were with him and his wife in boat 7. In that case, how could Officer Pitman (definitely in boat 5) have wrapped a sail around Mrs. Crosby to keep her from freezing (according to Walter Lord)? Or is that something he could have accomplished while the two boats were tied together?

  2. Mike Poirier

    Where does Taylor's account say he was definitely in boat 7? No one else from boat 7 mentions them in their accounts. From what I understand Elmer Taylor jumped into 5 right before it was lowered.

  3. Mike

    My source is item 3 under "Notes From the Lifeboat Lists", where it is stated people were "put into" Mr. Taylor's boat, rather than "taken out" of it, thus indicating boat 7 rather than boat 5. Mr. Pitman transferred four(?) people from boat 5 to boat 7 to even things out (Mrs. Dodge wanted to leave anyway). Any ideas?

  4. Peter Engberg-Klarström

    The Crosbys entered a lifeboat with Mr and Mrs Taylor. Mr Taylor stated in a lengthy interview quoted in the Atlantic Daily Bulletin that he left in an early boat, into which four or five people were put. Mrs Crosby also said she was in either the first or the second boat that left the ship. Mr Taylor also gave a few other references to boat 7 in the article mentioned above. With the Taylors and the Crosbys, there were indeed 28 people in that boat (Col Gracie thought Robert Daniel was in that boat, but Mr Daniel was mentioned as one of the passengers in No 3 by one of the ladies in that... Read full post

  5. Peter Engberg-Klarström

    Officer Pitman never mentioned this as far as I know; Mrs Crosby said in her account that 'an officer' gave her a sail to keep her from the cold. On the other hand, Mrs Crosby said there were two officers in her boat, and I have a feeling she thought the two lookouts in her boat, i e Hogg and Jewell, counted as officers.

  6. Michael Findlay

    Hi Peter and Mike, After reading Elmer Taylor's memoirs again, I believe that the Taylors and Crosbys were in boat #7. While Taylor never remembered the boat number, he did mention that the passengers who were transferred were "taken into" his boat, not "taken out." For years, I always had the group in #5 (largely due to Mrs. Crosby's account and Colonel Gracie's detective work.) Many passengers in boat #7 remember that there were twenty-eight people in the boat. This number could not be reached until the four passengers were transferred from boat #5. Mr. and Mrs. Bishop, as well as... Read full post

  7. Mike

    Thanx for the replies. The Crosbys being in boat 7, the first boat away, would fit in better with Captain Crosby's determination to get them off the ship (as recounted by Lord in "A Night to Remember") than waiting for the second boat, #5.

  8. Trent Pheifer

    Trent Pheifer

    Hey everyone I have a quick question, Were these two born on the same day and in the same year? I was looking through my stuff and noticed it, I was wondering if I had just miscopied it somewhere or if it was true. Thanks for any help you can provide me! -Trent

  9. Phillip Gowan

    Hey Trent, Edward G. Crosby was born in Rochester, New York on February 18, 1842. Mrs. Crosby was born in Waterloo, New York on October 26, 1847. Hope all is well with you- Phil

  10. Trent Pheifer

    Trent Pheifer

    Hey Phil, Thanks for clearing that up. It seemed impossible for them to be born on the same day same year! I have another question for you, With all the dates that you have regarding passengers and the ship, how do you keep it all organized? Is there a program that you can buy that makes it easier to find specific events, and jump from day to day? I was just wondering, b/c the dates I have been collecting are adding up, 30 pages now, and it is getting hard to find certain dates and go through the data on the computer. Thanks again for all the help! -Trent

  11. Phillip Gowan

    Hi Trent, I have all that information inserted into an EXCEL spreadsheet and I do a criteria search on it when I'm looking for a specific name, place or date. It took me a long time to create the spreadsheet but it is easily maintained and now I just go into randomly and add or correct anything I need to. Besides the alphabetical spreadsheet, I've also created a few others that rank things like oldest to youngest, order of the survivor deaths, etc. I've not done one to capture the information in a calendar type arrangement like you're doing, but I'd think just a plain excel spreadsheet... Read full post

  12. Trent Pheifer

    Trent Pheifer

    Sounds good, if I'm ever down that way I'll give you a call! Thanks for the tip on the EXEL form, I have mine in Lotus right now so maybe I will transfer it to EXEL so that I can search through the info more easily. It's great to hear that you enjoy the calendar, it makes all the work worth it!! I was doing the math and once I hopefully find everyone's birthday the calendar will be over will be about 100 pages! Yikes lol. Still got a lot of work! Thanks again for all the help! -Trent

  13. elizabeth anne

    elizabeth anne

    Does anyone have any information about Harriet R Crosby?I would really like some, and anything helps.

  14. Andrew Maheux

    Elizabeth, If you havent all ready, check her biography. There is some info on her in the book "Titanic The Great Lakes Connection" My best, Andrew M.

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Captain Edward Gifford Crosby
Age: 70 years 1 month and 24 days (Male)
Nationality: American
Marital Status: Married to Catherine Elizabeth Halstead
Last Residence: at 474 Marshall Street Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 5735, £71
Cabin No. B22
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body recovered by: Mackay-Bennett (No. 269)
Buried: Graceland Cemetery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

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