The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
James B. Wood (Propeller), U202867, collision, 23 May 1910

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      Struck Head On In Fog By Steamer WOOD, Went To The Bottom in Few Minutes.
Port Huron, Mich. - May 24. - In a collision between two big steel ships on Lake Huron, North of Point Aux Barques, in a dense fog yesterday morning, 17 men are believed to have been drowned.
The steamer FRANK H. GOODYEAR of Cleveland was sunk in 47 fathoms of water.
The steamer JAMES B. WOOD of Cleveland, which struck the GOODYEAR bow on, came into Port Huron harbor today with a big hole in her bow, carrying half a dozen survivors from the GOODYEAR. The latter carried a crew of 23 men and several passengers.
      Capt. F.R. Nemenger of Algonas, Mich., who commanded the GOODYEAR, Chief Engineer Gibson, Steward David Bassett, one wheelsman and two passengers, Mrs. Thomas H. Bassett and her daughter of Marine City, Mich., were saved and brought to Port Huron on the steamer WOOD.
The only hope of the survival of the others who were on board the GOODYEAR lies in the possibility of their having been rescued by the steamer SIR WILLIAM SIEMENS, which was near the scene of the wreck, and is due to Detour and Sault Ste Marie later today.
The GOODYEAR was struck amidships on the starboard side, while both of the bows of the WOOD were punctured.
In a moment it was seen that the GOODYEAR was doomed, as she began rapidly to fill with water. Everyone on board was supplied with a life preserver, and every effort was made to man and launch the small boats. But the water poured into the hold so fast that the heavy hatches were forced from their frames by the pressure from underneath and shot into the air in every direction. The falling hatches spread injury and death among the terrified crew and passengers of the sinking vessel.
With his infant in his arms, Steward Bassett had almost reached safety in one of the life boat, when one of the tumbling hatches snatched the baby from his arms. The little one fell into the lake, and was drowned, despite the frantic efforts of its father to recover it.
When the GOODYEAY settled beneath the surface of the water it was evident that she was practically broken in two, the action of the water having completed the destruction began by the blow received in the collision.
Following the accident, Capt. Gibson of the WOOD ordered the life-boats lowered and gave the crew instructions to make every possible effort to save any of the sailors of the sinking steamer.
Within a short time the yawl boat was brought alongside the WOOD and five people, Capt. Hemenger, Steward Frank Bassett, Mrs. Emma Bassett, Frank Mollick and George Grant were taken aboard, all in an exhausted condition, caused by their exertions to save themselves and the length of time they were in the water.

      Cleveland, May 24. - The steel steamer FRANK H. GOODYEAR was owned by the
Buffalo & Susquehanna Transportation Company of Buffalo but was operated by Mitchell & Co, of this city. The boat was fully insured. The GOODYEAR was 436 feet over all and of 3438 Net tonnage. She was built in 1902 at Lorain, O. The JAMES B. WOOD is owned by the Gilchrist Transportation Company of this city. She is a steel steamer of 5744 Net tons and 514 feet long.
The WOOD was bound down the lakes, light. The GOODYEAR was going up. The boats met head-on in the fog.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Tuesday, May 24, 1910

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      Friends Of Those Missing From Steamer Which Went Down, Have Given Up Hope.
Port Huron, Mich., May 25. - Families and friends of the missing 18 members of the crew of the steamer FRANK H. GOODYEAR, which sank Monday morning off Point Aux Barques, Lake Huron, after being rammed amidships by the steamer JAMES B. WOOD, have practically given up all hope of any of the missing party having been rescued. The steamer SIR WILLIAM SELMANS, which was said to have picked up some of the missing crew, passed Detour yesterday and made no report of having any survivors aboard.
A partial list of the missing follows:
John Bassett, aged three years, Algonac.
Gus Zaetsch, first mate, Algonac.
John Gibson, chief engineer.
Archie Fuller, second mate, Algonac.
James Plergis, South Chicago and John Papp, Cleveland, wheelsmen.
William Pitt, Midland, Ont., and William Schlueter, Milwaukee, watchmen.
Louis Kramer, Kenosha, Wis.
Iver Carter, Kenosha, Wis.
Fred Herman, Cheboygan, Mich., and Frank Jankovits, Chicago, deckhands.
William Rowert, Carsonville, Mich. and Howard Shook, Au Sable, oilers.
Vanderslaw Klubezewski, South Chicago and Ernest Streek, Kenosha, firemen.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Wednesday, May 25, 1910

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      Evidence Relative To Collision Will Be Heard And Serious Charges May Follow.
Detroit, Mich.¼ May 28. - Instead of being completed, it was announced last night, the governement has but begun its investigation of the circumstances leading to the ramming of the steamer FRANK H. GOODYEAR by the JAMES B. WOOd and the loss of 19 lives in Lake Huron Monday.
Capt. C.H. Westcott, supervisor of the eighth district, yesterday instructed inspectors W.W. Stewart and Frank Van Liew of Port Huron to continue with the investigations until the testimony of the entire crew of the WOOD and all the survivorr of the GOODYEAR is secured. The question of filing charges against individuals wil_ depend upon the findings of the Port Huron inspectors, who will exercise the functions of complainant, prosecutor and judge.

Port Huron, Mich.- May 28. - The statement of Frank Bassett, steward of the sunken steamer GOODYEAR, that Captain William McElroy of the steamer SIEMENS ran his steamer over some of the crew of the GOODYEAR who were clinging to floating hatches, and that he had refused to render any assistance to the men in the water, is declared to be untrue by Capt. Gibson of the steamer WOOD. Capt. Gibson says that Capt. McElroy of the SIEMENS was a short distance behind him and was alongside of him about ten minutes after the collision, that he did all any man could do and asked if he could be of service to him. The SIEMANS had a barge in tow and Capt. McElroy rounded to see if he could be of any service.
In a letter to his wife, Capt. McElroy says that he did all he could do to save some of the crew. It was so foggy that he could not see the men in the water, but could hear them, and that he threw over a number of life preservers, hoping that the unfortunate men would be able to pick them up. He then rounded his steamer when he was informed by Capt. Gibson that his ship was not sinking and was able to go back to Port Huron.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Saturday, May 28, 1910

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Steam screw JAMES B. WOOD. U. S. No. 202867. Of 7,154 gross tons; 5,744 tons net. Built West Bay City, Mich., 1906. Home port, Cleveland, Ohio. 514.0 x 54.0 x 27.1 Crew of 20. Freight service. Of 1,500 indicated horsepower. Steel built.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1911

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Reason: collision
Lives: nil
Remarks: Repaired
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William R. McNeil
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James B. Wood (Propeller), U202867, collision, 23 May 1910