Encyclopedia Titanica

Richard Frasar White

Richard Frasar White
Richard Frasar White

Mr Richard Frasar White was born in Winchendon Springs, Massacusetts on 26 December 1890, the son of Percival Wayland and Edith Frasar Wheeler. Richard had an older brother, Percival Jr.

Richard's father, with whom he sailed on the Titanic, was a prominent and successful cotton manufacturer in Winchendon Springs, Massachusetts. A few years before they sailed on the Titanic, the White family moved from Winchendon Springs to Brunswick, Maine.

Richard was a 1912 graduate of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. He finished his undergraduate studies sooner than expected (in December 1911) but decided to wait until June 1912 to partake in the official commencement exercises in which he would march with his graduating class. During the interim, and as a reward for his academic accomplishment, Percival took his younger son to Europe for a month. Both father and son crossed over on the Olympic, the Titanic's sister ship. The success of their crossing on the Olympic impressed Mr White so much that when returning home, he booked their passage on the Titanic's maiden voyage.

Richard WhiteDuring the trip, they befriended Mrs Elizabeth Lines and her daughter Mary. On the night of the sinking, Mrs Lines remembered that it was Mr White who knocked on their stateroom door to inform them of the danger. The Whites and Mrs Lines and her daughter had staterooms near each other. One unidentified survivor later contacted Mrs White to tell her that "her husband and son were last seen removing their shoes in preparation for their leaps into the sea." Both men then jumped together.

Only the body of young Richard would be recovered a week later by the MacKay Bennett. Interestingly, when the body description was recorded, it indicated that the body appeared to be 37-years-old. Richard was only 21.

NO. 169. - MALE. - ESTIMATED AGE, 37. - HAIR, VERY FAIR.

CLOTHING - Brown suit; white shoes.

EFFECTS - Keys; match box; gold watch; blood stone ring.

NAME - FRASER WHITE.
The Pines, Brunswick, Me.

Positive identification was later established by Richard's brother, Percival Jr.

Richard's body was returned to Brunswick, Maine (via Boston, under the care of F. A. Smith), where impressive funeral services took place. Faculty and fellow students from Bowdoin College attended and presented Mrs White with Richard's diploma. Following the funeral, Richard's body was returned to the family plot in the town cemetery at Winchendon Springs, Massachusetts.

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr Richard Frasar White
Age: 21 years 3 months and 20 days (Male)
Nationality: American
Marital Status: Single
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 35281, £77 5s 9d
Cabin No. D26
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body recovered by: Mackay-Bennett (No. 169)
Buried: The Town Cemetery, Winchendon Springs, Massachusetts, United States

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References and Sources

Record of Bodies and Effects: Passengers and Crew, S.S. Titanic (Public Archives of Nova Scotia) (#169)

Research Articles

Michele Albion Titanica! (2013) The highest example life can furnish
Richard Frazar White, Bowdoin College, and the Titanic

Newspaper Articles

Unidentified Newspaper BRIDE WALKS BESIDE CASKET OF HUSBAND
Worcester Telegram (16 April 1912) Walter Porter Among Those on Titanic
Miss. Carrie Endres Sister of Worcester Man Also on Board Lost Liner
New York Times (3 May 1912) MILLET'S BODY CREMATED

Images

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Boston Post (1912) Richard F. White
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Comment and discuss

  1. William Russo

    William Russo said:

    If anyone has any stories, anecdotes, or information on this young man who is often an overlooked first-class passenger, please send me a message privately or post it here. Without knowing its history, I purchased a home that once belonged to his family on their former estate. Both Richard and his father were fatalities on the ship, though Richard's body was recovered and he is buried about a mile from where he was born. Thanks for any and all responses.

  2. William Russo

    William Russo said:

    Biography on outside the reading room on deck and had his photograph taken. For years this picture was misidentified. Family members now confirm the identification in TALES OF A TITANIC... Read full post

  3. Arun Vajpey

    Arun Vajpey said:

    I received William Russo's book Tales Of A Titanic Family a few days ago. Even a preliminary scan of the book showed that this is full of the sort of the information I was after about Percival & Richard White, my favourite passengers of the Titanic. It explores their family set-up, their known Titanic experiences and so on. The latter is mainly through reports of survivors Elizabeth and Mary Lines as well as Gertrude "Jean" Hippach since both men died in the disaster. But most importantly, it throws light upon the personalities of the two men, father and son. Reading about... Read full post

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Gavin Bell, UK
Michael A. Findlay, USA