The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Oct. 8, 1887

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The body of Miss Minnie Membury, drowned off the prop. California, arrived at Napanee last night. This morning it was conveyed to the Anglican church at Adolphustown where a funeral service was held. The remains were by friends interred in the Allison plot near by. Miss Membury was only 24 years of age and a general favorite. She left Chicago with the intention of going to Toronto, there to visit, and thence to Napanee and her home at Sackett's Harbour. She was a sister of Mrs. John Roblin, of Napanee. Another sister, from Boston, passed through here yesterday en route to Napanee.

This morning, at 3 o'clock, the body of the late Miss Ella Pappa arrived at the station and was taken in charge by Undertaker Reid. She looks quite natural, the short short time she was in the water saving her from any discolouration of countenance. The remains were conveyed to her late home from which place the funeral will occur tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. It will be conducted by Rev. S.G. Bland.

Capt. J.V. Trowell and Chief Engineer Ellis accompanied the bodies to Toronto. Capt. Trowell was asked for a statement of the disaster, but begged to be excused.

Engineer Ellis was asked for his version, but he was more reticent than Capt. Trowell.

"You have seen the statement attributed to McManus, one of your crew, to the effect that Capt. Trowell deserted the men in the wreck and that he refused to come back when he was called?" queried a reporter of the Toronto World.

"McManus, I see, though, contradicted the report. He probably meant the first mate."

At this juncture Mr. W.A. Geddes pulled Ellis away, and thereafter he was as dumb as an oyster. His remark, however, would lead to the belief that Legault, the first mate, who, with two of his companions, appropriated one of the boats, was the person whom McManus called to.

Mr. Membray entertained this idea and believed that if the mate had not been so anxious for his personal safety his niece and the other victims would have been saved.

The body of Purser Foley, it is claimed by the officers of the California, was robbed of at least $500. When the body was found, the pockets of his pants had been turned inside out and the money to the amount mentioned, which he was known to have placed there before the bank sank, had disappeared. In an inside coat pocket, however, was $160 in gold, which the thieves overlooked. The theory is entertained that the body was first discovered in the water by parties who were searching for wreckage, and that the thieves, after rifling the body, let it drift ashore with the tide.

An official investigation into the wreck of the propeller California has been ordered by the minister of marine, and will probably be held in Toronto by Capt. Harbottle.


The steambarge Nile cleared light for Deseronto yesterday.

The schr. British Queen cleared today with 130,000 feet of lumber for Oswego.

The prop. Glengarry and barges Gaskin and Glenora left for Charlotte yesterday to load coal for Port Arthur.

Wreckers in this city have been asked to make offers for the raising of the prop. California this fall.

If Capt. Rothwell does not sell the steamer Princess Louise he will rebuild her this winter.

The props. Lake Ontario and Cuba, Montreal, and Ocean and Persia, St. Catharines, called at Swift's wharf yesterday.

The schr. Oliver Mowat, as soon as discharged, will be hauled out and overhauled. She will receive a new set of sails.

Capt. J. Robertson, of the schr. Gleniffer, reports that while lying at anchor behind Point au Pelee, Lake Erie, riding out the storm, he saw a black harbor tug go down, apparently with all on board. The name is unknown.

Arrivals: Bark Oriental, Charlotte, 576 tons coal and coke; barge Southampton, Charlotte, 576 tons coal and coke (sic); barge Gaskin, Charlotte, 551 tons coal; prop. Lake Ontario, Montreal, 100 cases bath bricks; schr. Annie M. Foster, Cape Vincent, light.

Clearances: Schr. L. Rooney, Oswego, 151,633 feet lumber.

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Date of Original:
Oct. 8, 1887
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Oct. 8, 1887