Titanic Passengers from California


Aboard the maiden voyage of RMS Titanic there were eleven passengers known to have been living in California, United States at the time, seven of which had been born there. It is also known that a further four people who had been born in California who no longer lived there were also aboard the ship.

It is interesting to note that all but one of the passengers born in California and only four of the total number of people living there were traveling aboard Titanic as first class passengers. All four of those of them not in first class were traveling in third class, while no passengers known to have been living in or born in California were sailing in second class. There were no crew members aboard known to have been Californian, the vast majority of the crew being British, anyway.

It is notable that only one of the passengers known to be born in California was not born in San Francisco and that of the eight living in but not born in California at least four lived in San Francisco.

Nine of the passengers with a known California connection joined the ship at the very start of the maiden voyage from Southampton, United Kingdom on 10th April 1912, with the another six joining later in the same day when Titanic called at Cherbourg, France, the first of her two stops on the way to New York, United States. No persons living in or previously living in California are known to have joined the ship at Queenstown, Ireland, Titanic’s second and last call.

When Titanic sank, nine of the passengers connected to California survived and six were lost. Of those born in California four survived and three were lost, made up of three male first class passengers being lost, one female first class, one third class female child, one first class male and one male child being saved; the two male passenger survivors (a father and son) lived in California as well as at the time the one female child, the others born in California lost or saved at this time lived elsewhere. All three of those born in California but living elsewhere were lost made up of three male first class passengers. Of those living in California but not born there five survived and three were lost, made up of two male first class passengers and one male third class passenger lost, two female and one male first class passenger saved and one third class female and one female child saved.

In addition, there were number of passengers aboard Titanic who were intending on going to live in California, including 36-year-old second class survivor Kate Buss who was traveling from her home in Britain to join her fiancé living in San Diego, to whom she soon after married there, and in the next year had a daughter together with.

Passengers born in and living in California (survived)

Beatrice Sandström - a one year old child, born to Swedish parents in San Francisco, returning to her father in San Francisco from a visit to family in Sweden with her mother and sister. Traveling in third class, they boarded Titanic at Southampton and were all rescued by boarding Lifeboat 13.

Dr Washington Dodge – a 52-year-old who lived in and was the elected (tax) assessor for the City of San Francisco. He had been born in Sanora, California in 1859. Boarding Titanic at Southampton, he was traveling with his son and wife. He was rescued by boarding Lifeboat 13. His wife and son were rescued in an earlier to leave lifeboat.

Washington Dodge Jr. – a 4-year-old child born in and returning home to San Francisco with his mother and father. He had boarded Titanic with them at Southampton, and survived Titanic by boarding Lifeboat 5 with his mother, one of the first lifeboats to leave the ship. His father was rescued in a later to leave lifeboat.

Passengers born in California (survived)

Gertrude Thorne – a 37-year-old born in San Francisco who was returning home to New York aboard Titanic. She had boarded Titanic at Cherbourg on 10th April 1912. She was rescued by leaving Titanic in Lifeboat D, actually the last lifeboat to be successfully lowered from the ship.

Passengers born in California (lost)

Edgar Meyer – a 28-year-old born in San Francisco was returning home to New York aboard Titanic with his wife Leila, with whom he had boarded Titanic with at Cherbourg on 10th April 1912. His wife was rescued.

Herman Klaber – a 41-year-old hop merchant and businessman born in San Francisco but at this time living in Portland, Oregan, though is said to have been a regular visitor to and to have also owned a home in San Francisco. Returning from a business trip, he boarded Titanic at Southampton.

John Baumann – a 48-year-old businessman born in San Francisco but at this time living in New York. He boarded Titanic at Cherbourg.

Living in but not born in California (survived)

Agnes Sandström – a 24-year-old who was returning back with her two children to her husband in San Francisco from a visit to her family in Sweeden. Traveling in third class, they boarded Titanic at Southampton, and on the night of the sinking all three were rescued in Lifeboat 13.

Marguerite Sandström – a 4-year-old traveling to her father in San Francisco with her mother Agnes ane one year sister old sister Beatrice. Returning home for a visit to family in Sweden, they boarded Titanic at Southampton on 10th April 1912, traveling in third class. They were all rescued in Lifeboat 13.

George Brereton – a 37-year-old said to be resident of Los Angeles. He is known to have been a professional gambler and is said to have used his skills aboard Titanic. He boarded at Southampton and was amongst the survivors from Titanic landed in New York by Carpathia.

Ruth Dodge – a 38-year-old resident of San Francisco sailing home aboard Titanic with her husband Washington Dodge and her son Washington Dodge Jr. They had boarded Titanic at Southampton, and on the night of the sinking she and her son were saved by boarding Lifeboat 5. Her husband was rescued in a later lifeboat.

Virginia Clark – a 26-year-old living in Los Angeles. Boarding Titanic at Cherbourg with her husband Walter Clark, she was sailing home from a trip to Europe. She was rescued by boarding a lifeboat on the port side of the ship, known to be Lifeboat 4.

Living in but not born in California (lost)

James Webber – an around 66-year-old born in Cornwall, United Kingdom, but is said to have long lived in California. It was reported after the disaster that he had been sailing on Titanic returning home from an around the world trip which had included visiting his family in Cornwall. He is mentioned to have been a resident of San Bernardino, although it is usually said he had been a San Francisco. Traveling as a third class passenger, he was aboard Titanic when she set sail from Southampton on 10th April 1912.

Jakob Birnbaum – a 24-year-old businessman and diamond dealer who was returning home to San Francisco from a business trip on which he also visited family. He had boarded Titanic had boarded Titanic at Cherbourg.

Walter Clark – a 27-year-old businessman living in Los Angeles, travelling aboard Titanic from Cherbourg with his wife, Virginia Clark. His wife was amongst those saved.



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