The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
William Buckner (Schooner), capsized, 1 Oct 1849

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SAD ACCIDENT: A mother and three children perished. -- The schooner Wm. BUCKNER, Capt. McDonald, on her way from Big Badenoc to Chicago, laden with lumber, sprung a leak off Ozaukee [Port Washington] in the storm on 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 three 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, 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 preparing 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 expected ever to be saved, was enough to melt a heart of stone. Mr. Simpson came from Hampden, 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 eight months old. sad indeed, is his affliction; his whole family 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

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Reason: capsized
Lives: 4
Remarks: Total loss
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Wisconsin, United States
    Latitude: 43.38722 Longitude: -87.87564
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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William Buckner (Schooner), capsized, 1 Oct 1849