The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
E. L. Hackley (Propeller), U135615, sunk, 3 Oct 1903


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STEAMER HACKLEY FOUNDERS IN LAKE MICHIGAN; 11 DEAD.
Marinette, Wis., Oct. 5. -- During a squall Saturday night on Lake Michigan the steamer J. H. HACKLEY capsized and 12 persons were drowned. The Goodrich Line steamer SHEBOYGAN rescued the other seven persons on board the HACKLEY after they had drifted all night in Green Bay, clinging to bits of wreckage, and brought them to Fish Creek Sunday.
      The HACKLEY was struck by the squall when off Green Island. The upper works of the vessel was blown away. The boat then turned over and went down in deep water.
      THE DEAD.
As the HACKLEY went to the bottom those who could seized floating wreckage.
The waves were rolling high and several of those who at first saved themselves from immediate death lost strength and sank. It was not until 7 o'clock Sunday morning that the steamer SHEBOYGAN sighted the seven helpless survivors and rescued them.
The officers of the SHEBOYGAN feel sure that they took aboard every person afloat, but some of the persons who were rescued say that it is possible that one or more of the 11 persons missing may have escaped death.
      The SHEBOYGAN ran into Fish Creek with the likehood of rescueing other persons was improbable. The rescued persons were exhausted from their struggle against drowning. Search is still being made for any others who may have escaped.
      STORY OF THE PURSER.
Purser Blakefield, one of the survivors of the HACKLEY, gave a vivid description of the wreck. He said:
      "The squall struck us about 6 o'clock as we were just north of Green Island. It came suddenly and with terrific fury. I was in the pilot house with the captain and we tried to bring the HACKLEY into the wind but she would not heed the wheel.
      "Then of a sudden she listed and began to fill with water. Realizing that the passengers and crew were becoming panic striken, I left the captain in the pilot house and ran aft to let down the lifeboat. By the time I got aft the HACKLEY was filling so rapidly that it was apparent it would be impossible to launch any boat. There came another fierce blast and the upper works went by the board. Then the steamer began to sink rapidly. Eighteen of the nineteen people aboard were gathered on the deck, most of them in a state of panic. The situation was made particularly heartrending by the women, who shouted hysterically.
      WOMEN FIRST
      "As the boat sank it was clear that there was only one hope of anyone being saved and that was by clinging to the wreckage. I gave orders for the men to put the women on it first. They did so and behaved well, every man remaining on the sinking boat until the women had been placed on pieces of the cabin and other wreckage. It was then a wild scramble on the part of each man to get such pieces of planking as he could secure and cling to.
"Every man found something to float on except the captain, who remained in the pilot house to the last, doing his best to right the boat. He finally went down with her.
"We floated on different pieces and for a few minutes we were in sight of each other but soon darkness came on and we seperated. The last person that I saw except for those with me were the two Vincent girls from Egg Harbor, who were floating together.
      The HACKLEY left Menominee, Michigan, Saturday afternoon late and was bound for Fish Creek and Green Bay.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Monday, October 5, 1903
      . . . . .
     
      During a squall Saturday night on Lake Michigan, the steamer E.L. HACKLEY capsized and 12 persons were drowned. The Goodrich Line steamer SHEBOYGAN rescued the other 7 persons on board the HACKLEY after they had drifted all night in Green Bay, clinging to bits of wreckage, and brought them to Fish Creek Sunday. The HACKLEY was struck by a squall when off Green Island, 7 miles from Marinette.
      Port Guron Daily Times
      Monday, October 5, 1903
     
     
Sturgeon, Wis., Oct. 15. -- After a week's search the wreck of the steamer HACKLEY has been located. She lies between Egg Harbor and Menominee on the east side of Green Island. Some cloths and a hat belonging to one of the women who were lost was brought up by the grappling hooks, but no bodies were recovered. A diver will search the hull for bodies.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Thursday, October 15, 1903

     
The wreck of the propeller E.L. HACKLEY has been located after a week;s search between Egg Harbor and Menominee, on the east side of Green Island. No bodies have been found and divers will search the hull.
      Buffalo Evening News
      October 16, 1903
     

The steamer CECILIA HILL arrived at Menominee yesterday to take the place of the lost steamer E. L. HACKLEY, on the Green Bay route.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Thursday, May 11, 1904
     
     
Steam screw ERIE L. HACKLEY. U. S. No. 135615. Of 91 tons gross; 57 tons net. Built Muskegon, Mich, 1882. Home port, Chicago, Ill. 79.0 x 17.4 x 5.2 Crew of 4. Of 200 indicated horsepower.
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1902
     


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Notes:
Reason: sunk
Lives: 11
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
1903
Subject(s):
Local identifier:
McN.W.21020
Language of Item:
English
Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 45.10776 Longitude: -87.61427
Donor:
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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E. L. Hackley (Propeller), U135615, sunk, 3 Oct 1903