Focus on History: The ship that sank 110 years ago

In this April 10, 1912 file photo the Titanic leaves Southampton, England on her maiden voyage. 

In this April 10, 1912 file photo the Titanic leaves Southampton, England on her maiden voyage. 

My grandfather, Harry Cudmore, had come to America from England to work as a silk weaver at Fownes, an Amsterdam glove mill, in 1911. His eldest son came with him.

Family legend has it that Harry’s wife Elizabeth and four of her children, including my father, were to come to America on the Titanic.  But grandmother dallied so long that they missed the doomed ship in April 1912.  They made an uneventful crossing later that year on a ship named the Majestic.

The Amsterdam Recorder had a solid local angle when the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic.

Monday, April 15, 1912 the newspaper reported, “There was much local interest aroused today in the mishap to the Titanic through the fact that an Amsterdam girl was numbered among the first class passengers.”

Jane Forby Hoyt was on the vessel with her husband Fred. Jane had lived on Chestnut Street in Amsterdam when she was growing up, the daughter of Frank and Emmeline Forby.

A stenographer, Jane married Fred Hoyt, a partner in a New York lace importing firm who was a yachtsman. The Hoyts were returning on the Titanic’s maiden voyage after touring Europe and Egypt.

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Jane was put on one of the last lifeboats. Donning a life vest, Fred went to a lower deck and jumped into the water. He grabbed a piece of wreckage to stay afloat.

The crew of the lifeboat Jane was in pulled Fred from the water and the two were reunited. Several hours later, the Cunard liner Carpathia picked up their lifeboat.

Jane lived until age 55. Fred died at age 67. They had no children.

Longtime reporter and public relations official Bryan Jackson has written a new book called “Why The Titanic Was Doomed.”

According to Jackson, another Capital District survivor was Gilbert Tucker, of Albany, who had been traveling with his family in Europe.

Jackson said, “The interesting thing is he was very embarrassed by the fact that he survived the sinking when so many others had perished. And I did interview a guy who knew him and he said you were never to mention Titanic in front of (Tucker).  He was very sensitive about it.”

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Jackson has been interested in the Titanic, the most magnificent ocean liner of her time, since he was a child.   He said the ship was destined for disaster before leaving the docks at Southampton because of mistakes made by her owner, designers and by the men who sailed her.

A New York City area woman who survived the sinking of the Titanic, Marie Grice Young, died in 1959 at what was then Mount Loretto Nursing Home on Swart Hill Road in the Town of Amsterdam at age 83.

A native of Washington, D.C., Young was well connected, having given music lessons to President Theodore Roosevelt’s daughter Ethel. Young was rescued on one of the first lifeboats to leave the Titanic.

After the disaster Young felt compelled to write to President William Howard Taft to deny a published report that she had conversed with Presidential aide Archibald Butt as the disaster unfolded. Butt, who died with the ship, was military attaché to both Presidents Roosevelt and Taft.

Butt supposedly asked Young to remember him to all the folks back home.

Young wrote, “The alleged interview is entirely an invention.”

She added, “When I last saw Major Butt, he was walking on deck, with Mr. Clarence Moore, on Sunday afternoon.”

Young was living in New York City when she entered Mount Loretto. One relative listed in her obituary was a great niece in Loudonville.

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