Dickinson Bishop - Titanic First Class Passenger

Mr Dickinson H Bishop was a 25 year old, American, first class passenger travelling aboard Titanic with his newlywed wife, Helen Bishop. They were returning from their honeymoon to Europe and North Africa. The couple occupied cabin B49, and had boarded Titanic at Cherbourg, France.

Dickinson Bishop, who was the son of George and Virginia Bishop, was born on Thursday 24th March 1887 in Dowagiac, Michigan USA. He married Mary Lee, a wealthy woman whose family owned Dowagiac’s Round Oak Stove Company.

Sadly during childbirth in 1910, Mary Bishop died. She left Dickinson Bishop a vast amount of her vast estate upon her death, including her share of the Round Oak Stove Company.

Dickinson Bishop met Helen Walton, a daughter of a successful business man, and married her on 7th November 1911 in Sturgis, Michigan. For their honeymoon they decided to travel to Europe and North Africa. They travelled to Europe aboard White Star Lines, RMS Adriatic.

They decided to return to their home to Dowagiac, Michigan, by joining the maiden voyage of White Star Lines new RMS Titanic. By the time she boarded Titanic Helen was pregnant.

At the time Titanic collided with the iceberg, Dickinson was reading in his cabin. He soon after woke Helen, and they both went up on deck to see what was happening. After being reassured by one of the ships stewards, they returned to their cabin; where he continued to read, until fellow passenger Albert Stewart knocked on their door around 10-15 minutes later to advise them to dress and leave their cabin.

After comfortably dressing and bearing in mind there may be an emergency, they left their cabin and joined other passengers who were congregating on A deck. Then, Dickinson again returned to his cabin, this time to collect some clothing for Helen. While still there Helen come into the cabin to say that they had been told to put on their life belts, which they did before making their way to the boat deck.

After waiting on the starboard side for at least around 5 minutes, Both Dickinson and Helen were told to board lifeboat 7, which was the very first lifeboat to leave the sinking Titanic. Their lifeboat was safely rescued by Carpathia shortly after 5am.

On board Carpathia, Dickinson sent a wireless message to both his mother and to F Lee of the Round Oak Stove Company, who would have been a relative of his first wife. In New York, on Tuesday 30th April 1912, Both Dickinson and Helen gave evidence to the US Titanic Inquiry.

On Sunday 8th December 1912, Helen gave birth to their baby son, Randall Walton Bishop. Sadly he died just two days after he was born.

Tragically while the couple were returning from a dance in a car, on 5th November 1914, the car hit a tree and Helen was thrown 25 feet from the car, fracturing her skull. Her injuries were so bad that, the next day, the New York Times reported that she was dying. Dickinson only suffered minor injuries.

Fortunately Helen did not die, not immediately at least. She had a steel plate placed in her skull and recovered, though, it is said that the accident changed her mentally, and in January 1916 Dickinson and Helen divorced. She died after a fall just 3 months later; it looks like her death was a result of her previous accident.

Dickinson married his third wife, Sydney Boyce, on 14th march 1916. It appears that he may have had three children with her, if not three likely two.

He served his country during the First World War.

Dickinson Bishop died on Thursday 16th February 1961 in Ottawa, Illinois, USA. He was buried on Monday 20th February 1961 at Ottawa Avenue Cemetery, Ottawa, Illinois.

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