Youngstown resident recounts events of the Titanic sinking

April 10, 2012 by  

Mary Jones Chilcote recently shared the events of the Titanic sinking as lived and seen through the eyes of her mother, Caroline Bonnell. Caroline, who died in 1950 as a result of skin cancer, left behind her a scrapbook filled with memories and news clippings about the tragic sinking.

April 15th marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. While much hyperbole about how the Titanic was supposed to be unsinkable has surfaced over the years, only one printer actually noted the ship as “unsinkable” in a brochure, printed before it set sail. Poster printing and other such items often make their way into the history books after historic events such as the Titanic’s sinking. In an effort to calm relatives of passengers that night, P.A.S Franklin, president of White Star, was quoted as saying,

“While we are not in direct communication with the Titanic, we cannot state too strongly our belief that the ship is unsinkable, and the passengers perfectly safe.”

In her scrapbook, Caroline recounts the events of that night. She and her cousin, Natalie Wick, were on their way back to Youngstown after taking a vacation overseas. In an article that Caroline penned not long after the event, she tells that she and Natalie had previously stated that they hoped they saw an iceberg. As they were in their cabin the night of April 14th, they felt the ship strike something, and Caroline said,

“We are going to see our iceberg at last.”

The girls, together with Natalie’s mother, Mollie Wick, and Caroline’s Aunt Elizabeth “Lily” Bonnell, were all instructed to get on a lifeboat. Sadly, Natalie’s father, George Wick, did not make it onto a lifeboat that night.