17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Tuesday, April 16, 1912: Am fishing around for a subject to write a theme on. We are to commit these to memory and rattle them off on the last day of school.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
There are some interesting things directly related to what Grandma wrote that I could write about today– but I feel like I must share a newspaper article from a hundred years ago today.
I’ve seen so much about the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking on April 15, 1912 in the national news, so I’d like to tell you how Grandma probably learned about the sinking.
An article in the local paper, the Milton Evening Standard, on April 16, 1912 reported the sinking and included a local connection:
1525 DROWN AS TITANIC SINKS
625 WOMEN AND CHILDREN SAVED
MANY NOTABLES WERE ABOARD
Giant Ship Rams Iceberg on
Her Maiden Trip From Liverpool to New York
Special to the Standard
New York, April 15—Early reports of the loss of life aboard the White Star liner Titanic are not exaggerated.
Only 675 out of 2,200 comprising passengers and crew escaped.
1,525 persons, among them many notables, went down with the ship. How they met death will never be known, but it is believed the upmost order prevailed and the men aboard met their fate calmly as the Titanic sank after a four-hour struggle to keep afloat. . . .
And, now here’s the local angle–
MRS. BALDWIN SAFE; WAS NOT ON BOARD THE TITANIC
Mother Here Gets Message That
Returning Tourist and Daughter
Came on Another Ship
Anxiety over the fate of Mrs. Hasel Baldwin, daughter of Mrs. John McCleery, of 20 N. Front Street, and Mrs. Baldwin’s daughter, Mary Shaw, who it was feared might have been aboard the Titanic, was set at rest this morning by the receipt of a telegram from Mrs. Baldwin who stated that she and her daughter had reached New York safely this morning on board the S.S. President Lincoln. Mrs. McCleery upon learning of the Titanic fatality anxiously scanned the newspapers for the passenger lists, but Mrs. Baldwin’s name was not among them. The uncertainty which was cleared by the receipt of the telegram was added to by the fact that it was known that Mrs. Baldwin had had some difficulty in securing passage at Liverpool, owing to the crowds of tourists coming back for the summer season in America, and it was feared that passage may have been booked at a late hour aboard the Titanic.
Mrs. Baldwin and her daughter will reach here tomorrow. They have been touring France for a year and a half.
To add a bit of context–
According to the Milton History website, Mrs. Baldwin’s Father, John McCleery had been a prominent attorney in Milton and involved with the Milton Car Works which manufactured railroad cars. (It was later called ACF). He also was the founder of the Milton Trust and Safe Deposit Company.
A hundred years ago more prominent people probably lived in Milton than do today. Back then there were several large factories—and the businessmen and managers who ran those firms lived in the town.
I’m amazed how quickly news traveled a hundred years ago. Obviously people in Milton knew about the sinking of the Titanic the day after it happened. And, the article about Mrs. Baldwin suggests that people knew about it prior to this newspaper article. For example, the article says, “Mrs. McCleery upon learning of the Titanic fatality anxiously scanned the newspapers for the passenger lists . . . “ Maybe there were “Extras” of the paper that have not survived over time.