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Talbot Townsend, a New Brighton, Pennsylvania,
resident, built a stone flouring mill there and, becoming very
successful, proceeded to acquire much property in the vicinity
over the next 32 years, His granddaughter, Edith Junkins (c. 1859-December
29, 1924) married William Thompson Graham, founder of the Dixie
Cup Company, on February 7, 1876. They lived in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Edith Junkins Graham; her daughter Margaret;
and the governess, Elizabeth Shutes, boarded the Titanic at Southhampton
for its disastrous maiden voyage in April 1912. Edith occupied
cabin C-91 and Margaret C-124.. The cost of Edith's ticket, #
17582, was £153, 9 shillings and 3 pence. Margaret, who
had been born February 16, 1893, was 19 years old.
The following account is from the April 20,
1912, Trenton Evening Times interview with Edith and Margaret.
Edith said, "My daughter and I had a stateroom
on the port side near the stern, and we were awake, although in
bed, when the iceberg was struck. It was a grinding, tearing sound.
We didn't regard it as serious. I dressed lightly, but my daughter
tried to go to sleep. With us, in an adjoining bedroom, was my
daughter's companion, Miss E. W. Soutes [sic], a teacher. She
was the only other member in our party and was later saved with
us. She got up too, but my daughter insisted that the danger was
imaginary and told us to go to sleep. Shortly after that there
was a rap at the door. It was a passenger we had met shortly after
the ship left Liverpool - Washington A. Roebling, 2nd. He told
us that it would be best to be prepared for an emergency. I looked
out of my window and saw a big iceberg. We lost no time getting
into the saloon.
"In one of the passages I met an officer
of the ship. 'What is the matter?' I asked him. 'We've only busted
two pipes,' he said. 'Everything is all right; don't worry.'
"'But what makes the ship list so?' I
"'Oh, that's nothing,' he replied and
"On the deck we met Howard Case. We had
been introduced to him. We had had many pleasant talks with Mr.
Case, and I asked his advice, because I had already seen one boatload
of passengers lowered and I wanted to know if it would be safer
to stay on board. Mr. Case advised us to get into a boat.
"'And what are you going to do?' we asked
"'Oh,' he replied, 'I'll take a chance
and stay here.'
"Just at that time they were filling up
the third lifeboat on the port side. I thought at the time that
it was the third boat, which had been lowered, but I found out
later that they had lowered other boats on the other side where
the people were more excited because they were sinking on that
"Just then Mr. Roebling came up too. He
told us to hurry and get into the boat. Mr. Roebling and Mr. Case
bustled our party of three into the boat in less time than it
takes to tell it. They were both working hard to help the women
and children. The boat was fairly crowded when we three were pushed
into it. A few more men jumped in at the last moment, but Mr.
Roebling and Mr. Case stood at the rail and made no attempt to
get into the boat. They shouted good-bye to us, and what do you
think Mr. Case did then? He just calmly lighted a cigarette and
waved us good-bye with his hand. Mr. Roebling stood there too
-- I can see him now. I am sure that he knew that the ship would
go to the bottom. But both just stood there.
"I counted our fellow passengers. We were
thirty-four, including two sailors, two ship's boys and half a
dozen or more other men. The men didn't say a word. The women
quarreled a little because some of them didn't have room to sit
down. Then there was a long argument as to how far we should go
out. Some seemed to think that we ought to stay very near because
they said the ship wouldn't sink anyway. Others were in favor
of going away out. The trouble was that there was no one in command,
and the two sailors couldn't do much. The men were silent, and
that is why the women did most of the talking. There were sixteen
oar locks in our boats, but we lost three oars right off because
those who handled them didn't know anything about rowing. Then
I took the oar myself. I don't think I helped very much. It was
snappy cold, and I was dressed very lightly. Everybody seemed
rather dazed, but not so very excited. That came later.
"We went out about three quarters of a
mile, I think, following another boat which carried some green
lanterns. That was the only thing we had to go by. Behind us the
lights on the Titanic went out, and in an hour and a half the
big ship went down. It was in that hour and a half that the passengers
got their fright. We couldn't tell what was going on on the ship
but those shrieks and cries! I'll never forget them. And there
were many shots. I don't know how many. I saw many dead. That
"I saw Mrs. Harris on the Carpathia. She
appeared dazed and didn't say anything. I saw Mrs. Astor too.
She didn't appear ill when I saw her. Throughout the journey to
New York I didn't see Mr. Ismay. You see, he remained in his cabin."
Mr. Graham at this point asked his wife whether
she ever wanted to go abroad again.
"Never," she replied without hesitating.
"And how about you, Margaret?" he
"Well," replied the daughter, hesitating
a moment, "at least not immediately."
The Titanic sank the night of April 14-15, 1912.