Idaho (Propeller), U12069, sunk, 6 Nov 1897
- Full Text
THE IDAHO SUNK, - NINETEEN DROWN !
In a Terrible Storm Captain Gillis and Eighteen of the Crew of the Western
Transit Company's Vessel Find Watery Graves in the Lake off Long Point.
ONLY TWO OUT OF TWENTY-ONE ARE SAVED BY THE STEAMER MARIPOSA.
THE LIVING. - Second Mate, name unknown; William Gill, a sailor.
The DEAD. - The names of the dead are unknown to the survivors. Those known are: Capt. Gillis, of Buffalo; Ed. Smith, Pittsburg; -?- Bell; a Swede from Chicago, and 15 others.
In a blinding storm of hail and rain, the steamer IDAHO of the Western Line sank at 4 o'clock yesterday morning, 12 miles off Long Point, Lake Erie, and so far as can be learned Capt. Gillis and 18 of the crew of 21 were lost.
The two who were saved were the second mate and a deckhand named William Gill of Rochester, who were rescued with great difficulty by the crew of the steamer MARIPOSA, about 8 o'clock this afternoon.
The IDAHO left Buffalo Friday afternoon for Milwaukee and Chicago with a cargo of general merchandise. She carried a crew of 21, consisting of: -
Capt. Gilles of Buffalo.
Seven Deck Hands, coal passers and other helpers.
Capt. Frank D. Root of Chicago, master of the steamship MARIPOSA, told the story of the sinking of the steamer IDAHO to a News reporter early this morning The MARIPOSA reached Buffalo shortly after 11 o'clock last night, after the stormiest trip of the season. The MARIPOSA was met outside the breakwater by two tugs of the Hand & Johnson line and was towed to the Northern Elevator on the Tifft Farm. Capt. Root had been up for almost 24 hours and was tired out. He was lying on a couch in his ststeroom when the News man saw him.
"I never saw old Lake Erie in a worse mood than she was from early Friday morning until I got in tonight," said he. "I was mighty glad that I had a cargo of oats on board, for it shifted easily, and the MARIPOSA weathered the storm in great shape. This is a big vessel and the rough weather did not give us much inconvenience.
"I was in the cabin at 2:00 this afternoon when my mate, Myron Chamberlain, came in and said he thought he saw a little wreckage about a mile away. I told him I thought he was mistaken, for I had not passed any boats on the way down. I took my glasses and went on the hurricane deck and saw a little speck towards the Canada shore. It didn't then look like wreckage, but I gave orders to steer for the thing and see what it was.
"As we moved closer we saw indisputable evidence that there had been a wreck. We could just see what appeared to be a spar and it looked to me at though there were two men fastened to the rigging. I gave orders to crowd on all steam and the MARIPOSA flew through the water. The lake was terribly rough. The boat rolled and the sea was as high as a mountain.
"As we approached the object in the water my glasses showed me that two men were holding on to the spar. In 15 minutes after the time my mate first discovered the rigging, we were so close that we could see two poor fellows hanging on for dear life. They were signaling to us for help, one with his coat and the other with his hat. As soon as we got near enough for our voices to be heard I told them to stick to their posts and we would soon have them off in safety.
"For God's sake, hurry up ! We are almost dead," one of them shouted. We tried to lower our life boat, but we soon saw that it would never live in the sea that was running and we abandoned that idea. Then I made up my mind that I would try to run near enough to the sunken steamer to seize the two seamen and take them off. The first attempt was not successful. The sea was so high that we did not get within 25 feet of the fellows. When they saw we missed them the began to cry with terror.
"We had to go a quarter of a mile before we could turn the MARIPOSA around again. We made for the two men again and the effort was just as fruitless as the first one. The steamer did not go within 50 feet of the wreck that time and in his terror the mate shouted that he could not hold it out another minute. Gill, the deckhand, began to cry with fear, and I made up my mind I would save their lives if it was within my power. I gave orders to turn around again and it took quite a while, but this time we made it. I ran the bow of the MARIPOSA right up to the spot where the exhausted men were clinging.
"The mate seemed to be paralyzed with cold and fear and it was some little time before he would throw out his hand to us. The men finally seized him and dragged him over the deck. It was different with Gill. He seemed to be frightened out of his wits and when the sailors on my boat shouted to him to jump over, he clung closer than ever to the spar. They literally tore him away from the spar.
"Both men were so exhausted from their long fight from death that they would have fallen to the deck if my men had not caught them. The were soaked to the skin. Their hands and faces were purple from the cold. Their teeth chattered and I had some doubts if they would live from the exposure and shock. I had the men taken to the nearest cabin and gave them stimulants. Then we took off their clothing, gave them dry stuff to put on and gave them food. Then we gave them some hot drinks and put them to bed. After an hour or so they were in condition to talk and they told a tale of suffering such as I have never heard since I began sailing the lakes many years ago.
"Unfortunately I forgot to ask the mate his name. He told me that the IDAHO was making her 2nd. trip of the season to Milwaukee with a cargo of merchandise She left Buffalo about 2:30 o'clock Friday afternoon and everything seemed to go all right until she was about 12 miles off Long Point. Then the wind began to blow a hurricane and the ship began to leak. The men started to work the pumps and for a long time succeeded in keeping the water low enough to allow the fire in the boilers to go all right.
"The anchor was dropped, but it was one of the old-fashioned kind and was of little use. The men began letting out the windlass, but while they were doing it they saw that the water was gaining on them.
"They worked the pumps more vigorously than ever, but the water kept getting higher and higher, and finally it reached one of the boilers and put the fire out. It was only a short time before the water reached the other boiler, and then the steamer began to float helplessly in the trough of the sea. The men abandoned the pumps and awaited events.
"I guess the poor fellows didn't have lont to wait began slowly to sink and the captain gave orders to launch the yawl and while the men were doing it the collapse came. The mate told me that the boat turned over on her side, stern first. The yawl went with her and every member of the crew, except Gill and the mate, were swept into the lake. There is not the slightest possibility of any of the crew except the two I got being saved. The IDAHO was 12 miles from the Point when she went down and no human being could ever live in that sea and
reach land safely.
The mate and the captain knew very little about the men who were on board the boat. They did tell me that the IDAHO had 21 men on her when she left port Friday afternoon. I tried to get them to remember the names, but all they could tell me taht the captain's name was Galles and that he was a Buffalo man. The second mate and the deck hand were new on the boat, and that accounts for their failure to remember the names of any of the crew. The two engineers, firemen, cooks, greaser and deck hands all shipped from Buffalo."
There is seemingly no doubt that all but the two men who were rescued exhausted from the rigging were drowned. Wm. Gill, the deck hand, tells this story of the disaster: -
"We ran into nasty weather as soon as we left Buffalo, but kept heading into the sea all night. We were abreast of Long Point and it was blowing and hailing like ---- when it was discovered that the boat was leaking. The bilge pump would not work and the water kept gaining.
"The firemen worked up to their knees in water and the crew tried to wind the vessel around and get under shelter at Long Point.
"The fires were going down, but on the second trial, with four men at the wheel, we got her around.
"The captain had ordered the crew forward and I should say there were about 15 of them in the forepeak, trying to get the starboard anchor free. When down she went, stern first.
"I had gone into the cabin and had to break through the glass to get out. I followed the second mate, who was just ahead of me and we climbed into the rigging. We hung on there until the MARIPOSA took us off, this afternoon about 3:30 o'clock.
"Several vessels passed us, but none of them near enough for us to signal.
"The MARIPOSA had to go around us three times before they could get to us. The crew tried to clear away the yawl, but it got smashed to pieces, and finally they ran the steamer's nose close up to the wreck and pulled us on board over the turtleback.
"I was so stiffened and numb that my hold around the mast had to be wrenched loose."
Gill did not know the name of the second mate, who was rescued with him, and neither did the rescuers on board the MARIPOSA.
He did know, however, that his "partner," Ed. Smith of Pittsburg, a man named Bell and a Swede, who said he was from Chicago, were among the lost.
He said that he thought an attempt had been made to clear away one of the steamer's boats, but it was so dark and stormy that he couldn't tell whether they got away or not.
He was very sure that they could not have reached shore anyway.
Gill cannot say too much for Capt. Frank Root of the MARIPOSA, or of the men who climbed down over the steamer's side and into the awdul sea to rescue him and his mate. Among these were Jow Leonard, William Langell, Otto Dawson, Andrew Murphy and William Thodey.
Gill was suffering from his long exposure and was somewhat dazed when seen on board the MARAPOSA early this morning.
The second mate lost no time in getting away from the steamer MARIPOSA. As soon as she tied up to her dock at the Northern Elevator he left the steamer without telling Gill or any of the members of the crew of the MARIPOSA where he was going. The sailors supposed he was going to a lodging house near the foot of Michigan Street, but a vigilant search through all the houses in the neighborhood failed to discover him. The men in the tug office at the foot of Main Street did not know where he was or anything about him.
It could not be learned at an early hour this morning what the names of the crew were. It was said that their names were probably known to the officers of the Western Transit Company, but the officers had not been notified of the loss of the steamer at an early hour this morning.
The IDAHO lies in about seven fathoms of water, about 12 miles off Long Point. She is rapidly breaking up and her cargo is floating about the lake.
The IDAHO was built by the Western Transit Company in 1863 and for 15 years afterwards was looked upon as one of the finest passenger steamers that plowed the lakes.
The steamer was 220 feet long and 32 beam. Her net tonnage was 906 tons and her gross tonnage 1110.
For years the steamer made trips between Buffalo and Duluth, with passenger and freight, but when the larger boats made their appearance the business of the IDAHO dropped off, and during the past five years she has not been in commission regularly.
Last year the steamer made very few trips, and then she did not carry passengers. When navigation opened this spring the officers of the Company decided not to fit out the steamer and she was tied up at a dock near the foot of Commercial Street for several months.
At the time of the Grand Army Encampment in August, the Grand Army committee made application to the officers of the company to use the boat as headquarters for the naval veterans. The company granted the necessary permission and the boat was tied up in the Coit Slip and was used during the week the naval veterans were in this city.
Three weeks ago the business of the Western Transit Company became so great that it was decided to fit out the IDAHO and use her during the remainder of the season. The boat made one trip to Milwaukee and it was decided to send her up the lakes until the season of Navigation ended.
The boat took on a cargo of package freight last Thursday and on Friday Capt. Gilles was given orders to prepare for another trip.
The weather was threatening then and the boat was detained until late in the afternoon, when the wind went down a little and the order was given to go ahead An hour after the steamer left port the wind came up again and towards 6 o'clock it had increased to such violence that owners of lake craft gave orders for their boats not to leave port until the wind abated. None of the captains, except Capt. Root of the MARIPOSA, who arrived yesterday, reported anything of the IDAHO on the way down the lake.
Long Point is about 60 miles away from Buffalo and is on the Canadian shore Whenever the weather is nasty on the lake, vessels which are in the vicinity of the Point make for it, for it is considered one of the best natural harbors.
When taken from the rigging of the IDAHO, Gill and the second mate were clad only in shirts, trousers and coats. Gill was bareheaded, but the mate had a cap, the waving of which attracted the attention of the MARIPOSA.
Gill says that when the large pump broke down the crew tried to bail the vessel out with buckets, but had to give up because the water gained so fast. He says that the captain called the cook, the two mates and one of the engineer to help get out the anchor. It was but a few minutes later that the ship foundered, and he thinks the fireman, coal passers and several others were drowned in the hold like rats.
Chief Engineer Smith, of the MARIPOSA says he saw the two consorts of the NICARAGUA, which parted her tow line Friday night some miles up the lake. He said one of the barges seemed to be making fairly good weather of it, but that the other seemed to be laboring heavily, and he thought it doubtful if she could reach port. The NICARAGUA arrived here all right yesterday.
The loss of the IDAHO is the worst Lake Erie disaster since the sinking of the DEAN RICHMOND off Dunkirk four years ago, when the captain and crew, numbering 17, were drowned.
Buffalo Evening News
Sunday, November 7, 1897 p.1 col. 2-3-4-5
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STORIES OF WRECKS
Told By The two Survivors Of A Horrible Castrophe.
16 ARE DROWNED
Names Of The Lost Ship Idaho's Illfated Sailormen.
One Of The Most Severe Gales That Ever Swept Broad Erie's Bosom.
HISTORY OF IDAHO.
Buffalo, Nov. 7. -- The following are the names of 16 of the 19 men who lost their lives when the steamer IDAHO, which sank during the gale on Saturday morning above Long Point in Lake Erie: Alexander Gillies, Captain, Buffalo; George Gibson, First Mate, Buffalo; William Clancey, chief engineer, Buffalo; John B. Taylor, stewart, Buffalo; Nelson Skinner, first assistant engineer; Lewis Millmore, watchman; Richard McLean, wheelsman; Robert Williams, wheelsman; A. J. Richards, lookout; Henry Thompson, lookout; Conrad Greory, fireman; John Healy, assistant steward; Frederick Miffort, oiler; Edward Smith, deckhand, Rochester, N. Y.; M. Bell, deckhand.
The names of the other three drowned are unknown to the steamship company. One was a fireman, another a deckhand and the third, a porter.
The names of the two men saved are Louis LaForce, Jr., second mate and William Gill, deckhand, living at 137 Kent Street, Rochester. It is not known at the office of the Western Transit Co. where the greater portion of the men hailed from.
The IDAHO went out of commission four years ago, but this summer was thoroughly overhauled.
She was placed at the disposal of the Naval Veterans Association and by that organization used as a naval flagship during the GAR encampment in August. The captain of the ill-fated steamer, Alexander Gillies, was one of the most widely known of lake men. He was 41 years old.
When the steamer MARIPOSA arrived in port about midnight last with the news of the disaster to the IDAHO and having on board two surviving members of the crew, Capt. Root had this to say regarding the storm and the rescue:
"It was one of the worst gales I have ever experienced. All the way down the lake we had to fight the storm. I was on deck when my first mate Myron Chamberlain, came to me and said he spotted a spar off the north end. He thought men were clinging to it. When I got my glasses on it I could distinguish the men plainly. I headed for the spar and ran alongside and my men had to drag them from the spar by force, for they had been there so long thay had become benumbed and could not help themselves."
William Gill, the rescued deckhand said; "We left here Friday night for Chicago. Everything seemed all right until we got outside the breakwater and then we were struck by the worst storm I ever saw. When the first big breakers struck us we were tossed up in the air like a top and a second later a big breaker came over our port bow and rolled down amidships a foot deep. We did not pay much attention to the storm. We had felt wind before. The captain consulted the mate and decided we could weather it, and kept his course.
"The gale was getting woreo every minute. We were near Long Point and the captain started to put in there with the intention of beaching the ship, but the leakage gained so rapidly it was too late. Two men were at the wheel, but could do nothing with her. Two more went to work with them and headed her around and headed her towards land."
Captain Gillis started the pumps, but the water gained so that it put the fires out."
"We knew we could not live in the trough of the sea, and the only hope was to run out her anchor and bring her head up into the sea and let her outride the gale. Every seaman realised the danger of attepting that in the face of the hurricane."
"At a word the anchor dropped from the bow, and the chain began to play out, but the sea was too heavy, and instead of the anchor catching with a firm grip and bringing the ships head up into the storm with a jerk it went too slow and simply tumbled into the tbough of the seas.
"From the Port to the starboard great mountains of water rolled into the hold, and after a monent the ship keeled over and the boat went down stern first."
"What became of ny mates I don't know. No boat could have lived for a minute in that terrible sea. I was near the spar. I went up the rigging as fast as I could. Another one went up with me. The second mate."
"The vessel was rolling to and fro as she struck the botton but she righted as she settled and through the waves rolled her from port to starboard, the spar remained out of water and the mate and myself clung to it."
"The hail and sleet covered us and cut us like shot. It seemed as though daylight would never come."
"Wnen daylight came we could not see a sail anywhere and the sea was running as hirh as ever. Hour after hour we waited, and then I saw the MARIPOSA coming. When I saw her head for us, I tried to tell the mate, but could not. He saw her coming and gave me a happy look."
"When the MARIPOSA got within a cable length of us a man shouted, "Don't give up, we'll get you off soon."
"When she was within a few rode of us a big roller swept her far out and she went off to starboard rolling heavily as she got in the trough of the sea. Then she came back again and
again missed us. The third trip around she ran right along side of our spar and as she went past a dozen men reached out for us I don't know who got hold of the mate, but Mr. Smith got hold of me and dragged me from the spar over the rail of the MARIPOSA." The second mate, Louis LaForce, told a harrowing story to the crew of the MARIPOSA. He said that in the rush of men from the hold, one of them, a watchman, was trampled to death. The crew was frantic to get outy of the place. Six or eight he said must have been drowned like rats.
Monday, November 8, 1897
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WANTED, A PLIMSOLL.
There seems to be no question that the wreck of the IDAHO was mainly due to the persistency of her captain in keeping on his course in Friday night's gale, instead of seeking shelter when he could, behind Long Point. Something may be due, too, to the age of the boat and to the fact that hand pumps were depended on to keep her free of water during the perilous operation of turning in the heavy sea to seek shelter when it was found she could not keep on. The IDAHO was 35 years old and should not have been put to such a test. (part)
Buffalo Evening News
Monday, November 8, 1897 2 - 1
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PATROLLING LONG POINT.
It is Hoped Many of the Bodies of the IDAHO crew May be Washed Ashore.
Up to noon today the officials of the Western Transit Company had not succeeded in learning the names of the porter, deck hand and fireman who are in the list of the missing as unknown. The officers explained to a News reporter this morning that the three men shipped on the vessel just before she left port and that no record of their names was kept at the office. The men were shipped by George Gibson, the first mate, who is among the victims of the disaster. Most of the other victims are remembered by second mate La Force.
All this morning people straggled into the office of the company to make inquiries concerning the identity of the three unknown men. They said relative had shipped on boats, but were unable to tell what vessel. The officials of the Western Transit Company could not give them any satisfaction.
Manager Douglass said at noon the beach in the vicinity of Long Point was being patrolled to discover the bodies of the dead crew. He was unable to say whether a tug would be sent to the wreck or not.
"If one is it will be sent by the insurance companies," said he. "A tug could not land and I don't believe any good could be accomplished if we did send one up. The chances are there are no bodies on the boat. The men are probably at the bottom of the lake. There is no telegraph station at Long Point and we have been unable to communicate with the Point.
"Gillies was a splendid captain," said Manager Douglass. "He has been with the Western Transit Company for over 10 years. He was a sailor when he came to this country and worked himself up while in our employ. He was mate on one of other boats during part of the season. He was a clear headed fellow and we would trust him with any boat."
Capt. Donald Gillies of the steamer HARLEM arrived this morning with his boat. Capt. Gillies was shocked when he learned of the foundering of the IDAHO and the death of his brother.
The Western Transit officials valued the IDAHO at $15,000 and it is thought the cargo was worth $50,000. Both were insured. The insurance companies have not decided whether to make an effort to recover either.
Buffalo Evening News
Monday, November 8, 1897 1 - 2
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GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATION OF IDAHO DISASTER.
Washington, D. C., Nov. 8. - The News correspondent was today informed by Supervising Inspector General Dumont, that the disaster to the IDAHO in Lake Erie will be promptly investigated and the blame located, if possible. The investigation will be made by Supervising Inspector Galvin, of the Ninth district, because of the recent death of Mr. Martin, Inspector of Hulls, at Buffalo.
Buffalo Evening News
Monday, November 8, 1897 1 - 2 & 3
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IDAHO'S FATED CREW !
All But Two of the Nineteen Who Were Drowned Have Been Identified.
TRANSIT COMPANY DENIES CULPABILITY.
Inspector Galvin Agrees With The Owners That The Boat Had Been Made Seaworthy
THE DRAMATIC STORY OF SECOND MATE LA FORCE.
Capt. Gillies Broke Down & Strong Men Wept When the Vessel Went to Pieces.
Most Of The Crew Lived Here.
There were 21 men aboard the ill-fated steamer IDAHO when she went down 12 miles above Long Point on Saturday morning. Of these only two were rescued. Of the 19 who perished, 17 have been identified. The names of the lost and the saved, with these exceptions, follow:
Alexander Gillies, captain, 34 Seventeenth Street, Buffalo.
George Gibson, first mate, 9 Sylvan Place, Buffalo.
William Clancy, chief engineer, 82 Goodrich Street, Buffalo.
John J. Taylor, steward, Albany Hotel, Buffalo.
Nelson Skinner, first assistant engineer, Auburn, N. Y.
Louis Gilmore, watchman
Richard Mclean, wheelsman.
A.J. Richards, lookout, Ogdensburg, N. Y.
Henry Thompson, lookout.
Conrad Blenker, fireman, Michigan & Ohio Streets, Buffalo.
William Gregory, fireman.
"Dutch Gus" fireman, Michigan & Ohio Streets, Buffalo.
John Leahy, assistant steward, 164 Ohio Street, Buffalo.
Frederick Miffort, oiler.
Edward Smith, deck hand, Pittsburg, Pa.
M. Bell, deck hand.
deck hand, name unknown.
porter, name unknown.
Louis La Force, Jr., second mate, 26 Michigan Street, Buffalo.
William Gill, 137 Kent Street, Rochester.
The above is the roster of the crew when the IDAHO left Buffalo. The officials of the Western Transit Company, which owned and operated the vessel, do not know the names of the other two men. There is reason to believe, however, that the two unidentified dead were W.H. Mogk and Harry Shannon. Mogk until last Thursday afternoon, occupied a room at Sutherland's lodging house at 66 Main Street, this city. On Thursday afternoon Mogk came down to the desk of the lodging house with his clothes wrapped up in a bundle. He told the clerk that he was going to sail on the IDAHO and has not been seen since in Buffalo. This is confirmed by the statements of two sailors who say that Mogk told them that he intended to ship on the IDAHO. Mogk is described as a respectable looking man about 25 years old.
The other man, Harry Shannon, was a young sailor who made his headquarters in this city. Last week he announced his intention to sail on the IDAHO and last Friday he was seen passing down Lower Main Street with his belongings. On the docks he met a friend and told him he was going to ship with the IDAHO. He has not been seen since, and it is a fair conclusion that both he and Mogk went down with the wrecked vessel.
THE IDAHO OVER THIRTY YEARS OLD.
The question has been raised whether it was a wise and prudent move to send an old boat like the IDAHO up the lakes in November, when the best of vessels are likely to go down in a fierce and sudden storm. She was a wooden vessel, built in 1863, being one of the oldest steamers on the lakes. Her dimensions were 220 feet length, 32 feet beam, with a gross tonnage of 1110. This is the vessel which was used by the Naval Veterans as headquarters during the G. A. R. encampment. She had been out of commission several years and when the veterans left she was overhauled and prepared for service again.
Gibson L. Douglass, vice-president and general manager of the Western Transit Company, denies the allegation that the IDAHO was an unseaworthy vessel "Within the past few months," said Mr. Douglass, we have spent over $4,000 making repairs on the IDAHO. A portion of the work was done by the Mills Dry Dock Company of this city, and some of the minor repairs were made by the company. The report that the IDAHO was not a safe boat is false."
Mr. Douglass also denies the report that after the first trip of the vessel several members of the crew quit because they were afraid that she would go down on her next voyage. He says that all of the crew of the Western Transit Company's boats are changed after each trip with the exception of the officers.
M. J. Galvin, U. S. supervising inspector of steam vessels, states that the IDAHO was given a particularly thorough overhauling before she made her first trip this season. He says that the vessel was rebuilt a short time ago and that the hull was perfectly sound. In his estimation the IDAHO was a powerful ship with large engines and stood as good a chance as any wooden boat in a storm blowing 58 miles an hour.
The IDAHO now lies pounding to pieces in 50 feet of water. Presumably nothing will be left in a day or two. The Western Transit Company will make no effort to save the vessel or any part of her cargo, which consisted of general merchandise.
STORY OF SECOND MATE LA FORCE.
Second Mate Louis La Force tells a thrilling story of the catastrophe of which he was one of the survivors. The narrative is best told as given to a reporter of the Express.
Louis La Force is a Frenchman, 32 years old. He has sailed the lakes for several years and has been connected off and on with the Western Transit Company. He made the trip with the IDAHO when she first left port this summer and he was aboard her as first mate when she left her moorings on Friday afternoon. He boards at Schraft's place in Michigan streets, between Elk and Ohio streets, and there he spent nearly all of yesterday. He is weak from his experience and is suffering from a severe cold contracted from the exposure. He went direct to his boarding house after being brought to this port and did not leave there till yesterday morning, when he was summoned to the office of the Western Transit Company to make a report of the tragedy. Later in the day he went to the house of Mrs. Gillies, the widow of the IDAHO's captain, and at 10 o'clock last night he returned to his lodgings. Here he was seen by an Express reporter.
"The story of the sail up to Long Point every one knows," he began. "That was told by the decker, who was taken out of the rigging with me. The weather was heavy and the sea ran over us almost from the time we left port. We went by Long Point when we might have had shelter there; and why we did so only the captain knows. He probably thought we could get along all right, and anyhow could run into Port Burwell if the sea got too high. It must have been when we were ten or twelve miles beyond Long Point, when it was seen that we could not make any other shelter and that we would have a dangerous time winding about.
The sea was head on almost. The waves struck a little on the port side and each one swung us a little. Finally water began to get in the hold.
CREW ORDERED TO MAN THE PUMPS.
"This meant that men would have to get to work at the pumps. There were no siphon arrangements on the IDAHO and the pumping had to be done by the crew. The men were ordered by the captain to get down into the hold to use the pumps and we went at it with a will. The water got in pretty fast and we had a hard time keeping it out. But we held our own for a time. The captain knew as well as all of us that it was chances against us that we would ever get to any port, and he gave orders to the crew to wind around and get back under Long Point. This was a risky thing to try with the sea and the wind in the direction they were, but it was the only thing to do. The boat was pointed half way around or diagonal with the sea when the expected happened. We had dreaded to think of getting in the trough of the sea, knowing that nothing in the world could get us out again, and that the water would rush down into the firehold and put out the fires.
"We got in the trough as foul as any boat ever did, and the big rollers had fun with us. They washed us first up in the air and then let us drop down, and every time we thought the craft would turn clear over. While we were rocking our best, the captain stood out on the deck, hung on the rail and shouted; "get the buckets and bail !"
"The water in the hold was getting the better of us. The men had worked like beavers at the pumps, but first one of the things and then the other gave out. When the order to get the fire-buckets was given all the deckers and others of the crew made a rush for them and in a few minutes the gang was working wildly. I saw old man Leahy; he was more than 60 years old and not as lively as most sailors, bailing away with all his might. He looked like an old
man of the sea, and was as quiet as a statue. He had an idea I believe, before he left Buffalo that the IDAHO would not finish the trip and he was coming to be convinced that he had figured right. Another old man, who I guess was Taylor, the first steward, worked like a beaver too. The old fellows worked just as well as the young men.
THE WATER GAINED SLOWLY AND SURELY.
"Notwithstanding all our efforts to keep the water out of the hold it gained on us and slowly but surely crept up on the fires. This meant certain disaster and we all knew it. It kept rising and rising and we kept bailing and bailing and all the time the sea was beating the boat about like a plaything. It seemed sometimes to fly up in the air and come down with a splash. When it swung in the hollow of the wave ahead, it almost tipped over. We watched the water get nearer and nearer to the firebeds and at last splutter at the base of the flames. The stokers shoved in coal and raked out all the dead cinders and the result was that we had fire enough to run the GREAT EASTERN. But in a little while the bright, shining firebed began to turn dark.
"With the fires out it would be impossible to get the ship out of the trough of the sea, and if we stayed in the trough long we were bound to go down. Now we could hear things cracking on the deck and I looked up just in time to see a big wave carry off part of the cabin. It went with a rip and a roar, and the smashing of windows could be heard over the swishing of the waves above us. After we had worked nearly two hours, and were pretty close to being exhausted, the fires gave out almost entirely. The stokers did all they could to liven them up and we did all we could to keep the water down, but it was no go. The fires died out and there we were - beating around like a toy boat in a squall.
"We couldn't do anything but stay in the hold and listen to the beating of the storm and the cracking of the things on deck. Finally the captain showed up from somewhere and ordered part of us forward to the middle deck to put out the anchors. A gang of us ran for the anchor deck. This was our only hope. If the anchors could find something to hold on we might be able to swing our bows into the sea, and that would save us from the certain wreck that was to follow if we stayed in the trough.
NEARLY ALL THE CREW WENT FORWARD.
"Nearly all the crew went forward. Old man Leahy and old Taylor stayed aft. They were tuckered. Anyhow, the younger men told them to stay where they were rather than to get out where the wash of the waves might carry them off. The starboard anchor was thrown out and she caught. It did no good. It dragged along as if there had been no bottom and still we stayed in the trough. Then the port anchor was hoved and this dragged too. The captain saw the plight we were in and he hollered so we could all hear it:
'More line on the starboard anchor !' "We set to work to let out more line, and while we were doing this we felt the boat go down. I can't tell you all that happened just then. There was too much excitement. I do know that several of the men stuck to work trying to let out more line on the starboard anchor, in the hope it would still heave the ship around and save her. We were tossed around terribly, and we all could see that the stern was going down. It did not take long for it to happen when it got started. The stern just dropped, it seemed, and the bows shot up in the air, like the light end of a big teeter. We were thrown all over. To make things worse, the ship rolled and she was on her side. Here she stayed.
"Down in the middle deck the men were battered around like cattle. I succeeded in getting myself out of the tangle about the first one, and I decided to make a play for the rigging. I suppose they all thought this. The seven steps that led from the anchor deck to the main deck were almost straight up in the air, and I had difficulty in getting up them. With the swaying and jolting of the boat it was almost impossible to make headway. But I succeeded. I got to the end of the deck house, and there was a second's lull in the breaking of the sea. In this lull I pulled myself up to the deck house and got hold of the rigging. I knew then I was safe for the present. I went up as fast as I could and in a minute or two could look down on the wreck. The deck was almost stripped. I could not see a soul.
A STRUGGLE FOR SELF-PRESERVATION.
"The men in the middle deck were having a terrible time. It was hard even to get to the stairway and then it was a steep climb to get to the top deck. There was one light below. That was the only square lamp left on the ship. Louis Gilmore, the watchman, held this and he was at the head of the gang that was trying to get up to the deck. I watched him.
"I could see by the glimmer of the lamp that the men behind him were almost fighting in their anxiety to get out of the place. He got almost on the deck when he lurched backward and fell back to the middle deck. The rest of the men trampled him to death. The lamp went out in a moment and them everything was black. Some of the men got up on the deck; in fact most of them did, I guess. As they climbed out of the hatchway they clung on to the port rail of the ship. When they did this their bodies were parallel with the deck. To let go meant to drop to the opposite rail, which was under water, and be swept overboard. There was a chance, of course, in falling of striking the side of the deck house, but the odds were against this. One by one the men let go the port rail and slid off into the sea. Anyone of the waves that piled over us was enough to carry them almost to the Canadian shore.
"Other things happened in all this time. I don't know what became of Leahy and Taylor and two or three other men we left below. They may have got on deck and been swept off or they may have been drowned where they were. Someone was at one of the yawls. I could see him tugging away at the lashings. Someone else stood on the deck and sobbed. The captain cried aloud like a child. I could hear him plainly. Just were he stood I could not tell. While he was crying a wave swept against us and when the backwash roared, the captain could be heard no more.
"After I had been in the rigging a few minutes I could make out a man struggling on the deck. He had been one of those who hung on the rail and when he dropped he fell on the side of the deck house. I hollered to him to climb up and in a moment I saw him on his way to join me. I helped him when he got almost to the cross-trees. He said: "Are we all ?" "My God, it looks so ! I replied.
"That was the end of the struggles of the crew, so far as I know. The wave washed and washed and we settled and within a few minutes after the bows had lifted, the hulk was under water and the rollers were pouring over us as if we were a big log. A scream now and then near by, among the wreckage, told us that some of our poor companions were giving up. Soon the cries ceased and the sweeping of the waves and the breaking of the combers as they fell on the hulk, were all we heard. The moon shone on us once, and the scene was terrible. Pieces of the IDAHO were in the shallow of the long, high waves and as far as
the eye could see there was nothing but big, crested seas.
ALL THEIR COMRADES HAD PERISHED.
"When light came there was no one to be seen. We didn't know but we should see some of the crew fastened about the wreckage near the boat, but they had all been washed away, the starboard yawl was drifting, bottom up, about the hulk, fastened by the lashings. Probably some of the crew had tried to get the boat off. When a wave caught her she was overturned by the drawing on the unfastened line. Whoever was in her must have been thrown into the sea. Later we could see the shore, but it was dismal and barren, and we knew that no help could come from there. Shortly after daylight we sighted a puff of smoke west of us. I waved my hat and my friend, who was William Gill, tried to wave his arms. He
was so stiff he couldn't do it. His arms were folded around the mast and he was seated on the cross-tree. The boat we saw went on by. Another was sighted after a while and that went by. About 10 o'clock in the morning a third one showed up on the horizon, and we thought from the looks of her smoke that she was headed towards us. She went on, though, and left us shivering on the mast, with the waves rolling beneath us and touching our feet as they skimmed along.
"It was about 1 o'clock, I guess, when away up the lake, I sighted another puff of smoke. This might be the last boat to pass till night, and we knew if we failed to attract it we would have another night to spend in peril. I began to wave my hat the first thing, and I said to Gill:
"Gill, this is our last hope. If she goes by it's all over. We can't stand it till tomorrow."
"Gill, the poor fellow, tried to wave his hands. They were stuck tight, and the best he could do was to wobble his right one, just a little. It wouldn't have attracted anything. But it was all he could do. I was frantic. I stood up on the cross-trees and even hollered. I swung my hat away over my head and away out on both sides; and after a little I saw the mast of the boat. Then the trail of smoke shifted a little, and I thought the boat was veering towards us. I waved my hat harder than ever then. I watched the spars and compared them with the smokestack. Gradually it began to get in a line with the stack. I watched it so hard that I got dizzy. In a few minutes more the stack and spar looked as one; they were in a straigt line and the smoke from the ship was trailing straight behind.
"'Thank God, she's coming for us' I said to Gill.
"She was, surely enough. She drew nearer and nearer, and we soon could make out her hull. The story of the rescue by Capt. Root, Steamer MARAPOSA, you know. I was hardly able to climb down from my perch. Gill was so stiff that his arms had to be unclasped."
Capt. Alexander Gillies was a native of Scotland and came to this country in 1882. He was well know to lake seamen and was considered a thoroughly capable man, being looked upon as an authority in seamanship of the Great Lakes. He leaves a widow but no children. His brother Capt. Donald Gillies, lives in this city. His mother now lives alone in the Isle of Islay. Two sisters are in America, and a brother and sister in Glasgow. The unfortunate widow is prostrated by the tragedy.
Fred Miffort, the oiler of the wrecked vessel, was an unusually fine young man. He was 33 years old, six feet tall and of splendid build. He was a young man of exemplary habits, who had earned a bonus for steady service with the Western Transit Company, and who saved his earnings. His parents live in Fremont, Ohio, where his father is a well-to-do wine merchant. He is also survived by a brother who lives in Fremont. While in this city Mr. Miffort boarded with Mrs. Lizzie Martin at 213 Seneca Street.
William Clancy, the chief engineer, was perhaps the best known of the seamen who went down with the IDAHO. He was 52 years old and had been a marine engineer for 32 years. Mr. Clancy had been in charge of the IDAHO's engines all the season. He is survived by a wife and a 13-year-old daughter, who live at 8 Goodrich Street.
John D. Taylor, the steward, was 60 years old, and had seen long service on the Great Lakes. He was with the IDAHO when it made it's first trip in early October. He was a widower and made his home at Springbrook with his sister.
Jonh Leahy, the assistant steward, was one of the oldest of the Inland mariners and was known from one end of the Great Lakes to the other. He was 63 years old and made his first voyage in 1852 as a steward's helper. Every summer since then has found Leahy on the lakes. Since 1877 he has been employed by the Western Transit Company. When not on the lakes he made his home in Chicago. A sister of Mr. Leahy, a Mrs. Toolin, lives in this city.
George Gibson, first mate of the IDAHO, was 38 years old. He had been a sailor on the lakes for the last eight years. Mr. Gibson is survived by a widow, infant child, mother and sister, who live at 9 Sylvan Place. His family is left in poor circumstances and his widow is ill.
A.J. Richards, the lookout, lived at Ogdensburg and was the son of Capt. Richards of the tug THOMAS WILSON, which plies on Lake Ontario.
Nelson Skinner, first assistant engineer, lived at Auburn. He had been an engineer on the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg road and the Lehigh Valley road, but left the service last August.
Buffalo Evening News
Monday, November 8, 1897 p.6, col. 1, 2, & 3
. . . . .
TWO BODIES FROM THE IDAHO.
Capt. Neil of the CRANAGE Passed Corpses and Wreckage From The Steamer.
Capt. Neil of the steamer THOMAS CRANAGE, which arrived here about 8 o'clock this morning, reports that when off Long Point, about 3:30 o'clock, his vessel passed close to two floating bodies, supposed to be from the wrecked steamer IDAHO. They were quickly passed and lost in the darkness, or, the captain says he would have turned back and picked them up. Capt. Neil is quite positive that there were cork jackets on the bodies, which would indicate that there was more time for preparation for the disaster on the IDAHO than the stories of Mate La Force and deck-hand William Gill would indicate.
Capt. Neil also reports passing through wreckage of various description.
The theory that another vessel, a schooner, was lost near Long Point in the gale that sunk the IDAHO seems to have been disproved. The Canadian schooner Van Straubenzee, for which fears were entertained, has arrived safely at Cleveland. The fact that several bales of cloth had been found by the fishing tug DAVIS, 10 miles north of Erie, gave rise to another rumor of disaster.
Most of the incoming captains on Sunday and Monday did not know of the loss of the IDAHO, and the mast they saw was probably that from which La Force and Gill were taken by the crew of the MARIPOSA.
"GUS" HERING A VICTIM.
At the office of the Western Transit Company today it was learned positively that "Gus Hering of the city, known as "Dutch Gus," was firing on the IDAHO and was lost. The identity of one deckhand and a porter remains to be established.
A telegram to General Manager Douglass from Port Dover states that the fish tug GERMAINE, Capt. James Low and crew, have been engaged to search for the bodies of the drowned sailors. Capt Low reports picking up one hoisting gaff, a piece of bulwark, a gangway and one of the ships knees, or deck braces. This was 10 miles north-north east of Long Point. The character of this wreckage would indicate that the IDAHO was pretty thoroughly broken up.
It is reported that William Gregory, fireman, who was listed as one of the IDAHO's crew, was not on the vessel. It is said that he has been seen in Buffalo since the disaster.
Capt. Donald Gillies, brother of Capt. Alexander Gillies, came in on the steamship HARLEM yesterday afternoon. He did not know of the wreck of the IDAHO and the death of his brother, until he got into port.
PRAISE FOR CAPT. ROOT.
From every hand comes praise for the heroism of Capt. Frank Root of the MARIPOSA and his crew. The nerve of the captain in persisting after two failures in reaching and rescuing the two sailors is no more lauded than the expert seamanship which brought the hugh steamship, in a sea which Chief Engineer Smith says, rolled her rails under, up to the lonely mast and kept her there while the half dead sailors were dragged off. As Mr. Jansen, brother-in-law of first mate Gibson, who was drowned, put it:
"It was a brave deed of a good man who had a good boat and a good crew, and who had God's help at the wheel, for, without it, no man could ever have put the MARIPOSA alongside that spar and taken those two men off without knocking the spar down and drowning them."
The MARIPOSA is owned by the Minnesota Steamship Company, which has offices in Cleveland, and from H. Coulby, one of the officials of the line, Capt. Root has received a letter handsomely complimenting him on his own bravery and for the seamanship, coolness and discipline of his crew.
General Manager Douglass of the Western Transit Company, has also written a letter to Capt. Root, which the latter ought to frame and keep. Mr. Douglass will not give out the letter for publication, but his openly expressed admiration for the captain's conduct gives an idea of what the epistle contains
Buffalo Evening News
Tuesday, November 9, 1897 p.5 col. 3 & 4
. . . . .
INVESTIGATION OF THE IDAHO DISASTER.
Mate La Force Tells the Story of the Terrible Wreck
Before Supervising Inspector of Steam Vessels, M.J. Galvin.
Captain M.J. Galvin, the supervising inspector of steam vessels in this district, today bagan an investigation into the foundering of the Western Transit Company's steamer IDAHO off Long Point early last Saturday morning. The hearing was held in Capt. Galvin's office in the White building and lasted from 9 o'clock until almost 1 o'clock this afternoon.
The entire morning was devoted to the taking of the testimony of Louis La Force, the second mate on the IDAHO, who was rescued by the crew of the steamer MARIPOSA.
La Force told his story of the causes leading to the accident in a straight forward way and it was stripped of the dramitic language he used when seen by the newspaper men on Sunday. Capt. Galvin was after facts only and La Force simply answered his questions.
DID NOT EXPECT TROUBLE.
According to the story told by La Force today, the IDAHO was in good shape when she left her dock at 2:30 last Friday afternoon. He said a little sea was running at the time the boat left port and the crew did not look for any trouble from the winds.
According to La Force, the boat made good headway until she was 24 miles above Long Point. The Point was reached at 9:30 Friday night. The wind was increasing in violence by that time, but the IDAHO was still making headway. Capt. Gillies held a conference with First Mate Gibson and the witness. The three decided the boat was not in any danger and they determined to go ahead up the lake. La Force and three deckhands went below and stored the loose package freight between decks, so that the rolling of the boat would not shift it.
HURRICANE WAS BLOWING.
La Force said he went to bed at 1 o'clock in the morning. He did not know how long he slept, but he thought he was awakened by a sailor at either a quarter after 2 o'clock or a quarter to 3 in the morning. He said he jumped out of bed and rushed on deck. The lake had changed while he was sleeping. A heavy sea was running and the wind had developed into a hurricane. The sea was rushing into the gangways at a terrific rate and was emptying into the fire holes. La Force said the entire crew started to work at the pumps. The boat
was then about 24 miles above Long Point and Capt. Gillies made up his mind to turn back and seek shelter under the Point. He started to turn her around and succeeded. The boat started back for Long Point. The wind was increasing in violence all the time and the sea was getting heavier. Every sea that dashed against the boat found its way inside and into the fire holes.
The crew began working at the pumps and lowering the anchors. The soil was sandy at the Point and the anchors would not catch. La Force gave it as his opinion that one or more of the gangways were broken by the force of the waves and from that time on the boat slowly, but surely filled up. The cabin and upper works were knocked off. The boat rolled for about two hours after the water put out the fires and then sunk, stern first.
Capt. Galvin asked La Force how it happened he had presence of mind to scramble up the spar. La Force said he had been on the lakes for 16 years and knew when the boat began to sink the spar would be the last to remain above water. He said Gill followed him and in that way the two remained to tell the story of the IDAHO disaster.
Capt. Galvin adjourned the hearing at 1 o'clock until tomorrow morning. He will try to obtain the testimony of William Gill, the rescued deck hand. Gill is in the hospital now, not having entirely recovered from his awful experience last Saturday morning.
Capt. Galvin will also swear John Humble, superintendent of the Mills Dry Dock, and learn from him the exact repairs given to the foundered boat.
Capt. Galvin will probably transmit a copy of the evidence to the authorities at Washington, within a week. In all probility nobody will be blamed for the disaster. The men who were in charge of the boat at the time she foundered are all lying at the bottom of Lake Erie.
Buffalo Evening News
Wednesday, November 10, 1897 p. 1 col. 4 & 5
. . . . .
One of the lifeboats of the ill-fated steamer IDAHO was picked up by the schooner C. T. STRAUBENZIE while on her way from Port Colborne to Cleveland. It was marked No. 1 and looked as if it had been handled pretty roughly.
November 10, 1897
. . . . .
The steambarge CITY OF NEW YORK has been chartered by the Insurance companies haviregular crew and wrecking outfit, is today anchored at the scene of the wreck of the IDAHO. An examination of the wreck will be made and if the vessel's valuable cargo has not been too widely scattered by the waves, an attempt will be made to recover part of it. The expedition is sent out by the underwriters and D.H. Wilcox has charge of it. It is probable that no more than one or two bodies will be found in the IDAHO, as most of the crew were washed from the vessel's deck.
A telegram from Erie says that wreckage from the IDAHO has been found near the town. Fishing tugs have picked up the steamer's figurehead, a chair belonging to Capt. Gillies, and pieces of the vessel's upper works.
From Port Dover today cames the news that the Western Transit Company has engaged the fishing tug GERMAIN to patrol the waters for some days along Long Point in search of bodies from the IDAHO disaster. Some of the wreckage has already come ashore. It is hoped that the loss of this steamer will spur the Canadian Government into establishing a life-saving station at Long Point.
Buffalo Evening News
Thursday, November 11, 1897 7 - 8
. . . . .
It is agreed on all sides here that Captain Frank Root of the MARIPOSA should be presented by the United States Government with a gold medal for his bravery in rescuing the sailors from the sunker steamer IDAHO.
Friday, November 12, 1897
. . . . .
Much Of It Coming Ashore Near Silver Creek
Watching For Bodies Of The Victims.
The sunken steamer IDAHO must now be pretty thoroughly broken up. Wreckage has been blown clear across the lake by the heavy westerly gales, and pieces of the steamer's upperworks and timbers have been picked up on the beach at Silver Creek and Dunkirk. The vicinity is being closely watched for bodies. The wrecking expedition sent out from here on the steambarge CITY OF NEW YORK has been lying idle under shelter of Long Point, the weather having been too severe to venture near the IDAHO. The fishing tug GERMAIN of Port Dover has also been unable to continue the search for bodies on account of the heavy sea running.
The shock of the news of her husband's death made Mrs. Alexander Gillies seriously ill, and for a time her life was despaired of. She is now out of danger, however.
There will be a performance of "On the Bowery" in the Lyceum Theatre Sunday night for the benefit of the sufferers from the IDAHO wreck - the mother, wife and child of the first mate, the captain's wife and the two survivors, Louis La Force and William Gill.
Buffalo Evening News
Saturday, November 13, 1897 4 - 4
. . . . .
STERN OF IDAHO.
Board Bearing The Name Of The Ill-Fated Steamer Picked Up Near Dunkirk.
Dunkirk, N.Y., Nov. 13. - The heavy northwest winds washed considerable wreckage of the foundered steamer IDAHO ashore this afternoon, and the beach in the vicinity of Battery Point is literally strewn with it.
C.E. Adams and Harbor Inspector Elbridge found among the driftwood the portion of her stern bearing her name, "Idaho of Buffalo."
It has been placed on exhibition in the window of a local jewelry store, and is attracting considerable attention. Two chairs, a couple of matresses and an Old Testament, with the letters "F. E. G." written on the inside of the cover, were found near Washington Avenue dock this evening.
T.H. Blood, assistant to Coroner Blood, with a corps of assistants, has made a thorough search of the beach between Dunkirk and Silver Creek today for the purpose of finding any of the bodies of the victims of the ill-fated steamer, but their search was unrewarded, as none of the bodies has as yet come ashore.
Buffalo Evening News
Sunday, November 14, 1897 1 - 4
. . . . .
Mrs. Donald Gillis of Buffalo, has made an announcement that she will; pay a reward of $50.00 to the person who will recover the body of Captain Gillis the master of the IDAHO which foundered last Saturday off Long Point. Captain Gillis went to the bottom with the IDAHO.
November 18, 1897
. . . . .
IDAHO FOUND AGAIN.
Another Wrecking Expedition Starts Out To Attempt To Recover Her Cargo
The wreck of the steamer IDAHO, the location of which was lost through the disappearance of the spar to which the two survivors clung, has been found again and marked by Insurance adjuster D.H. Wilcox, who has been searching for the sunken vessel for some days. From what Mr. Wilcox says it would seem that mearly the upper works of the IDAHO have been broken up and that her hull remains intact.
At any rate, he has confidence enough in the belief that much of the steamer's valuable cargo can be recovered, to charter the steam-barge SAGINAW VALLEY
Second Wrecking Expedition Returns After An Unsuccessful Attempt.
The second wrecking expedition, which was sent to the sunken steamer IDAHO, near Long Point, in the steambarge SAGINAW VALLEY, returned to this port yesterday, after unsuccessful attempts to get at the IDAHO's cargo. The weather was so stormy that the wrecking steamer spent nearly all her time under the shelter of Long Point.
The diver says that the IDAHO's hull seems to be intact. The insurance companies will make no further efforts this year to get at the IDAHO's cargo.
Buffalo Evening News
November 29, 1897 5 - 5
. . . . .
The police at the Seneca Street station believe that the unknown fireman, who shipped at the last moment on the steamer IDAHO and went down with the crew off Long Point, is a man named William Brown. For several years Brown has been employed winters at the Seneca Stree station as a fireman.
Shortly before the IDAHO left port Brown came to the station house and remarked that he was out of work, but was on the lookout for something on the docks. He has not returned to take his winter job, as he surely would if he was alive, the patrolmen say. He has been missing since the IDAHO left this city.
Buffalo Evening News
Tuesday, November 30, 1897 4 - 1
. . . . .
FROM THE IDAHO.
Body Seen Floating Supposed To Be That From The Wreck.
Duckirk, Nov. 30. - Elias Allenbrand, who resides on East Second Street, reported that while rowing in a small boat near Alcott Ross and Sculley's dock late Sunday evening he saw the body of a man floating in the water, which he believed was one of the sailors of the foundered IDAHO. A close watch has been kept along the beach ever since, but as yet the body has not washed ashore.
Westfield, Nov. 30. - Yesterday while a party of boys were out hunting for wild ducks they found a blue coat on the beach. In one of the pockets there was a small testament with "Silas R. Lynn, 1877" written on the cover. It is supposed to have been the property of one of the unfortunate sailors who perished in the IDAHO.
Thuesday, November 30, 1897 4 - 2
. . . . .
ECHO OF THE IDAHO DISASTER.
Surrogate Marcus this morning granted to Elizabeth Moyk power to sue the Western Transit Company for damages for the death of her son William J. Moyk, who was lost in the wreck of the IDAHO.
Buffalo Evening News
Thursday, December 2, 1897 1 - 2
. . . . .
The first body from the wreck of the IDAHO, which went down off Long Point on November 6, 1897, has been found. It was ashore at Hamburg-on-the-Lake on Thursday. Yesterday it was brought to the Morgue and last night it was identified as that of George Gibson who was first mate of the IDAHO.
The body was badly decomposed and the only possible was to identify it was by means of clothing.
Buffalo Morning Express
June 25, 1898 6-6
. . . . .
The compass of the wrecked steamer IDAHO was recovered by divers on their recent expedition.
July 28, 1898
Steam screw IDAHO. U. S. No. 12069. Of 1,110.97 tons gross; 906.80 tons net. Built Cleveland, Ohio 1863. Home port, Buffalo, N.Y. 220.5 x 32.0 x 12.3
Merchant vessel List, U. S., 1897
- Media Type:
- Item Type:
- Reason: sunk
Hull damage: $15,000
Remarks: Total loss
- Date of Original:
- Local identifier:
- Language of Item:
- Geographic Coverage:
- William R. McNeil
- Copyright Statement:
- Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes