The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
W. G. Bucknor (Schooner), capsized, 2 Oct 1849

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BUCKNER, W.G. Schooner, with a cargo of lumber, capsized Oct. 9, 1849, about 7 miles north of Milwaukee - 1 woman and 3 children drowned.
      Casualty List for 1849
      Erik Hyle's private papers

      . . . . .

      The schooner W.G. BUCKNER, which loaded with lumber at Bay de Noyue, sprung a leak and afterwards capsized, about seven miles north of Milwaukee, on the 2nd. inst. The crew were seven in number. Geo. Richards, owner of cargo, Wm. Simpson, wife and three young children, clung to the vessel 24 hours. The wife and children died of the cold. Wednesday noon, the schooner IRWIN took off the survivors and the bodies, and took them to Milwaukee. One of the children was washed overboard.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Tuesday, October 9, 1849 p.2

      . . . . .

PARTICULARS OF THE LOSS OF LIFE BY THE CAPSIZING OF THE SCHOONER BUCKNOR.--The Milwaukee Sentinel, of Oct. 5th., says the schooner LEWIS C. IRWIN, Capt. Spencer, arrived here yesterday morning bringing the survivors and the bodies of the
persons lost by the capsizing of the schooner BUCKNOR, on Tuesday last. The BUCKNOR was bound from Bay de Noc to Chicago, with a load of lumber, and when nearly off this port, at 1 A.M. Tuesday, was struck by a squall and thrown on her beam ends. She gradually filled and capsized, but meantime the crew and passengers, William Simpson, wife and three children, succeeded in getting on to the bottom of the vessel. They clung there for 30 hours before relief reached them, but in the meanwhile, Mrs. Simpson and her three children had all died from exposure and cold. The body of the youngest, an infant of eight months, was washed off the wreck by the sea. The bodies of the other two, who were three
and nine years old, and of the mother, were brought into this port by the IRWIN.
      A Coroner's Inquest was held over them yesterday, and a verdict rendered in accordance with the above facts. The bodies were interred here. The BUCKNOR was a very old vessel. She was owned by the captain, McDonald, and Mr. Clark, of Chicago. Mr. Simpson came from Delaware County, N.Y. His wife was 28 years old
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Wednesday, October 10, 1849 p.2

      . . . . .

Schr. W.G. BUCKNOR, capsized off Milwaukee, Lake Michigan; three lives lost;
      vessel raised...............................................$800
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Thursday, January 3, 1850

      . . . . .

SAD ACCIDENT. - A MOTHER AND THREE CHILDREN PERISHED. - The schooner WILLIAM BUCKNER, Capt. McDonald, on her way from Big Bay de Noc to Chicago, laden with lumber, sprung a leak off Ozaukee (Port Washington) in the storm of Tuesday
about 12 o'clock, when some six miles from land, and at 2 o'clock P.M., was capsized six or eight miles north of our harbor. There were on board the crew of seven men, (officers included,) Mr. George Richards, the owner of the lumber and Wm. Simpson, his wife and three children. When the schooner capsized they climbed on to her side, and for twenty-four hours were exposed to the fury of the wind and waves, through the terrible storm raging at the time. Mrs. Simpson and her three children died from cold and exposure. One of the children, aged 3 years, was washed overboard, and the body has not been found.
      Yesterday, about 2 o'clock, P.M. the schooner IRWIN from Southport,
discovered the BUCKNER lying on her side, and took off the crew. Mr. Richards, and Wm. Simpson, the sadly bereaved husband and father, and the bodies of his wife and two children.
      The survivors reached here this morning with the remains of those so suddenly and sadly deprived of life. Coffins were prepared at noon, and the burial was to take place as soon as possible -- probably this afternoon. Mr. Richards gave us the particulars, and his description of the agonizing scene, while they were all clinging to the vessel, hardly able to keep their hold when the strong waves broke over them, and not expecting ever to be saved, was enough to melt a heart of stone. Mr. Simpson came from Hampdon, Delaware County, N. Y. has been in the employ of Mr. Richards for the past 13 months, and is a man of
good character. His wife was 28 years of age, and the children 6 and 3 years, and 8 months old. Sad indeed, is his affliction; his whole family thus taken away at once. The BUCKNER was owned by Capt. McDonald and Mr. James Clark of Chicago. - Milwaukee Wisconsin, of the 4th.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      October 9, 1849

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: capsized
Lives: 4
Hull damage: $800
Freight: lumber
Remarks: Recovered
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Wisconsin, United States
    Latitude: 43.0389 Longitude: -87.90647
William R. McNeil
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W. G. Bucknor (Schooner), capsized, 2 Oct 1849