Encyclopedia Titanica


New York Times

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Woman Tells How Roebling and Case Saved Her---Others' Tribute to Dead
Among the chivalrous younger heroes of the Titanic disaster were Washington A. Roebling, 2d, of Trenton, and Howard Case of London, representative of the Vacuum Oil Company. Both were urged repeatedly to take places in lifeboats, but scorned the opportunity while working against time to save women. They went to their death, it is said by survivors, with smiles on their faces.

Both of these young men aided in the saving of Mrs. William T. Graham, wife of the President of the American Can Company, and Mrs. Graham's 19-year-old daughter, Margaret. The Grahams live in Greenwich, and Mr. Graham had been in the city for four days without a wink of sleep awaiting news of his wife and daughter. His first definite information that his family had been saved, Mr. Graham said yesterday at the Plaza, was when a representative of THE TIMES called him up and read a Marconigram to him telling him of the good news.

A TIMES reporter met Mrs. Graham and her daughter yesterday afternoon just as they were departing for their home in Greenwich. Both appeared to be in good health, though nervous and excited. They spoke in the highest terms of Mr. Roebling and Mr. Case, and said that it was hardly conceivable that men could be so gallant and calm. This is Mrs. Graham’s story:

"My daughter and I had a stateroom on the port side near the stern, and we were awake, although in bed, when the iceberg was struck. It was a grinding, tearing sound. We didn't regard it as serious. I dressed lightly, but my daughter tried to go to sleep.

"With us, in an adjoining stateroom, was my daughter's companion, Miss E. W. Scutes, a teacher. She was the only other member in our party and was later saved with us. She got up, too, but my daughter insisted that the danger was imaginary and told us to go to sleep.

"Shortly after there was a rap at the door. It was a passenger we had met shortly after the ship left Liverpool---Washington A. Roebling, 2d. He told us that it would be best to be prepared for an emergency. I looked out of my window and saw a big iceberg. We lost no time getting into the saloon. In one of the passages I met an officer of the ship.

"'What is the matter?' I asked him.

"’We've only bursted two pipes,' he said. 'Everything is all right; don't worry.'

"'But what makes the ship list so?' I asked.

"'Oh, that's nothing,' he replied, and walked away.

"On the deck we met Howard Case. We had been introduced to him. We had had many pleasant talks with Mr. Case and I asked his advice, because I had already seen one boatload of passengers lowered and I wanted to know if it would be safer to stay on board. Mr. Case advised us to get into a boat.

"'And what are you going to do?' we asked him.

"'Oh, he replied, 'I'll take a chance and stay here.'

“Just at that time they were filling up the third lifeboat on the port side I thought at the time that it was the third boat which bad been lowered, but I found out later that they had lowered other boats on the other side, where the people were more excited because they were sinking on that side.

"Just then Mr. Roebling came up, too. He told us to hurry and get into the boat. Mr. Roebling and Mr. Case bustled our party of three into that boat in less time than it takes to tell it. They were both working hard to help the women and children. The boat was fairly crowded when we three were pushed into it. A few men jumped in at the last moment, but Mr. Roebling and Mr. Case stood at the rail and made no attempt to get into the boat.

“They shouted good-bye to us, and---what do you think Mr. Case did then? He just calmly lighted a cigarette and waved us good-bye with his hand. Mr. Roebling stood there, too---I can see him now. I am sure that he knew that the ship would go to the bottom. But both just stood there.

"I counted our fellow-passengers. We were thirty-four, including two sailors, two ship's boys, and half a dozen or more other men. The men didn't say a word. The women quarreled a little because some of them didn't have room to sit down. Then there was a lot of argument as to how far we should go out. Some seemed to think that we ought to stay very near, because, they said, the ship wouldn't sink anyway. Others were in favor of going away out.

"The trouble was that there was no one in command, and the two sailors couldn't do much. The men were silent, and that is why the women did most of the talking. There were sixteen oar locks in our boat, but we lost three oars right off because those who handled them didn't know anything about rowing. Then I took an oar myself. I don't think I helped very much. It was snappy cold and I was dressed very lightly. Everybody seemed rather dazed, but not so very excited. That came later.

We went out about three-quarters of a mile, I think, following another boat which carried some green lanterns. That was the only thing we had to go by. Behind us the lights on the Titanic went out, and in an hour and a half the big ship went down. It was in that hour and a half that the passengers got their fright. We couldn't tell what was going on on the ship---but those shrieks and cries! I'll never forget them. And there were many shots, I don't know how many.

I saw many dead. That was frightful. I saw Mrs. Harris on the Carpathia. She appeared dazed and didn't say anything. I saw Mrs. Astor, too. She didn't appear ill when I saw her. Throughout the journey to New York I didn't see Mr. Ismay. You see, he remained in his cabin."

Mr. Graham, at this point, asked his wife whether she ever wanted to go abroad again.

“Never," she replied, without hesitating.

“And how about you, Margaret?" he asked.

“Well," replied the daughter, hesitating a moment, "at least not immediately."

[Note: This is one of four articles that appeared under this general headline. The other three relate to (1) Margaret Brown, (2) the Countess of Rothes, and (3) Malvina Cornell, Charlotte Appleton, Caroline Brown, Edith Evans and the Fortune Family, and can be found through those passengers' summary pages.]


Mark Baber, USA


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Encyclopedia Titanica (2004) WOMEN REVEALED AS HEROINES BY WRECK (3) (New York Times, Saturday 20th April 1912, ref: #3303, published 29 July 2004, generated 18th August 2022 04:17:46 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/women-revealed-as-heroines-wreck-4.html