Joseph Holland Loring was born on 18 March 1882 at his parent’s home at 202 Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, the son of Francis L. Loring and William Anna Holland. At the time of the birth, Francis Loring was working as a grain dealer.1 The Loring’s eventually moved to New York City, residing in a mansion at 811 5th Avenue (in 1910, the parents had a chef, housekeeper, kitchen boy, chambermaid, house man, laundry man, and two butlers (the last four servants were Japanese).2
Joseph was living at 811 5th Avenue in 1902 when he applied for a United States passport, intending to go to England for three or four years. He was described as being 5 ft 9 inches tall, had small blue eyes, a large nose, a full mouth, a short chin, dark brown hair, a fair and clear complexion, and an oval face.3
Joseph was married in the fall of 1904 in St. George, Hanover Square, London, England to Henriette Claudine Wieniawska.4 Henrietta was born in 1877 the daughter of Henryk Wieniawski (1835-1880), a well-known Polish violinist and composer, and Isabella Hampton.5 In October 1904, Joseph was in Seattle, Washington, where his friends Captain and Mrs. James Nugent hosted a party in his honour.6
In the 1900s, Joseph frequently travelled back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean. On 11 January 1905, Joseph and Henrietta Claudine Loring arrived after a voyage from Liverpool into New York City aboard the S.S. Arabic.7 Joseph and Henriette’s daughter Frances Holland Loring was born in New York City on 26 November 1906.8
He left Liverpool and arrived in New York City on 10 April 1908 aboard the Lusitania. He was working as a stock broker.9 Joseph and Henriette’s second child, Joan Holland Loring, was born on 14 December 1908 in London, England.10 He travelled on the Lusitania a second time in 1908, leaving from Liverpool on 26 December 1908 and arriving at New York City on 2 January 1909.11
In 1911, the Loring family lived in St. George Hanover Square in London, England. Joseph’s sister Marie was married in late 1911 or early 1912 to George Rheims. Reportedly, the Loring parents did not approve of this match.
Joseph Loring and George Rheims boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg, Joseph traveling on Ticket no. 113801, for which he paid £45 and 10 shillings. The two men had adjoining rooms on B deck. On the night of April 15th, Joseph and George were in the smoking room “trying to figure out the speed of the boat to see what the run would be the next day.” A steward told them the Titanic was going very fast and the three went out into the hallway outside of the smoking room and noted the vibration of the ship, something Loring had not previously noticed
After the collision the two men seemed unsure what to do.12 They headed up to the deck wearing lifebelts and Joseph waited while George ran below to grab some possessions. After George returned, the two men stripped to their underwear, preparing to dive overboard, but Joseph hesitated, wondering whether he should head to the stern.13 Joseph and George shook hands at the last moment, and Joseph remained behind while his brother-in-law jumped overboard.14
Joseph’s body was never recovered. A memorial service was held at St. George’s Church in Hanover Square on 25 April 1912.15 Henrietta sailed from Liverpool aboard the Carmania in mid-May 1912. “Mrs. Loring took a great quantity of choicest flowers aboard the Carmania at Liverpool. Last Friday evening the vessel reached the meridian of the longitude of the disaster, though far to the south of it. Captain Dow ordered the ship stopped. Mrs. Loring, though ill, was taken in a steamer chair to the rail of the steamer and while the other passengers stood with bared heads, dropped the flowers into the water.16 She arrived in the United States on 12 May 1912.17 She must have immediately returned to England, and then came back to New York City with daughters Frances and Joan aboard the Lusitania, arriving on 15 June 1912.18
After his death, Joseph’s estate was valued in July 1912 at 41,786 pounds.19 Henriette remained in New York City for a while, she was listed in the 1915 Social Register.20 She either remarried or returned to Europe afterward (or both).