Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Two Toledoans Lost off the Richardson
Toledo News Bee, 10 Dec 1909
Full Text
Two Toledoans Lost off the Richardson

United Press

Buffalo, Dec. 10,-- The freight steamer William A. Paine, arrived here today, bringing the 11 survivors of the crew of the ill-fated steamer William C. Richardson. The Paine had been anchored near the scene of the disaster since the Richardson went down yesterday. The Richardson was anchored five miles off the harbor, fearing to enter on account of the gale. The seas shifted her cargo and she went down, five of her crew perishing.

From a member of the rescued party, it was learned that the Richardson, heavily laden, was trying to head into the heavy gale of Wednesday night, when her steering gear became disabled. The members of the crew tried to make repairs, but the unwieldy vessel wallowed in the trough of the sea, and all their efforts proved futile. Just before daylight Thursday, she finally rolled over, as the result of her cargo shifting, It had been plain for some time before that she was likely to founder, and distress signals were sounded.

Paine to the Rescue

Behind the Richardson, and also having great trouble to keep afloat in the storm, was the Paine, Although she was laden so heavily as to be almost unmanageable, her captain put on full steam ahead and made for the Richardson, but when he reached her, the big freighter had gone down stern foremost. Her bow was still above water, and the survivors of the crew were huddled there. All of the lights on the Richardson were extinguished and the Paine narrowly escaped running into the wreck.

When the survivors were finally landed on the Paine, they reported that Samuel Mayberry, the chief engineer, of Cleveland and Mrs. John Bransford, also of Cleveland the second cook, had been below when the steamer turned turtle, and were drowned.

Before the Paine arrived on the scene, Sidney Smith, the second mate; Edward Graney, watchman, both of Toledo, and E.J. Cleary, first mate, of Detroit, had launched a yawl to try to make shore for help. The small boat has not been seen since, and it is believed that it foundered in the darkness soon after leaving the Richardson.

Media Type
Item Type
Date of Publication
10 Dec 1909
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 42.7805865319848 Longitude: -79.0916638789063
Randy Johnson
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Two Toledoans Lost off the Richardson