A dispatch from Cheboygan, Michigan, says the schooner LOUIS MEEKER, Capt. West, was struck by a squall Wednesday night in Lake Michigan near Point Sauble and sunk in a few minutes. Five were drowned. The vessel had on board about 27,000 bushels of oats.
Port Huron Daily Times
Friday, August 30, 1872
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Detroit, Aug. 29 - In the late storm the schooner MEEKER was capsized and sunk in Lake Michigan. The Captain and four men were drowned.
The Toronto Mail
Saturday, August 31, 1872
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FOUNDERING OF THE SCHOONER " LOUIE MEEKER"
The Milwaukee Wisconsin has the following report of the loss of the LOUIE MEEKER on Lake Michigan:
The Vermont Central propeller MILWAUKEE arrived here yesterday afternoon bringing the surviving members of the crew of the schooner LOUIE MEEKER which foundered on this lake last week. From a conversation with them we learned that the ill-fated vessel left Chicago at 3 o'clock in the afternoon for Buffalo, having on board a cargo of a fraction less than 22,000 bushels of wheat. Owing to light winds she made slow progress. The weather had changed from clear to misty, with a light rain, accompanied with light squalls. Shortly before 10 o'clock in the morning, a squall was observed gathering in the southeast, which moved around to the west with considerable rapidity, and struck the MEEKER from a northwestery direction. Nothwithstanding all her light canvas had been taken in, she was thrown upon her beam end, so that the lower part of the hatches were two-thirds under water. She never recovered herself, and slowly sank, until fifteen minutes lates she disappeared beneath the waters.
"The first mate, Mr. Davis, was in the cabin when the squall struck the vessel. He immediately rushed on deck, passing Capt. West's son, a lad of six years, upon the stairs. Seeing the position of the vessel and comprehending the danger, he rushed aft and cut the fall which held the bow of the small boat. The stern fall was submerged, and the second mate made an effort to get at that and cut it. Meantime the crew pulled the steward on deck through a cabin window. The first mate next jumped into the water and cut the mizen gaff adrift, and as the vessel went down he and two seamen got away on it. The second mate was still engaged in an effort to free the small boat, and went down some distance with the wreck. When he reached the surface, he struck for and reached a piece of floating timber, which furnished him support. Two others, a passenger and a seaman managed to secure flyers, upon which they floated.
Capt. West was near the mizen rigging when the vessel went down head foremost. He asked Mr. Davis to save himself with them upon the gaff, but made no effort to do so, and as the vessel disappeared, uttered the words, "Oh Lord, have mercy on me." He was soon seen to rise to the surface after the vessel sunk, but soon disappeared.
The steward, The Captain's son and two seaman, who were drowned, were not noticed in the excitement of the moment, and are supposed to have gone down with the vessel.
They were in sight at the time of the disaster some five or six sail, but all were so much occupied in taking care of themselves that the accident to the MEEKER was unobserved. The survivors floated about on their frail supports until about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, when the schooner WILLIAM O. BROWN came along and picked them up. Several sail vessels and a propeller passed by when they were in the water, without observing them. On board of the BROWN they were treated with the greatest kindness, Captain R.L. Manning and his crew doing everything in their power to make the unfortunate men comfortable. Dry clothing was given to the men, and refreshments furnished in order to revive them. Mr. Davis states that among those with him on the gaff but one had a cap, and as they began to suffer from the cold this was passed around from one to the other to keep their heads warm. The names of the survivors were Charles E. Davis, first mate; Peter Danielson, second mate; Halver Thompson; Andrew Harts, and John Ryng, seamen; and Edward Erickson, a passenger. They unite in thanking Capt. Manning and crew of the schooner BROWN, for the generous treatment they received while on board, and seemed anxious, that public mention should be made of their uniform kindness.
The MEEKER went down in forty fathoms of water, between Pentwater and Little Point Sauble, about ten miles off the land."
The Toronto Mail
Friday, September 13, 1872
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