Waukegan, IL Steamer LADY ELGIN Wreck, Sept 1860

Lady Elgin In Port Lady Elgin historical marker.jpg Lady Elgin etching of disaster.jpg Lady Elgin wreckage site.jpg

TERRIBLE CALAMITY
ON LAKE MICHIGAN

Sinking of the Steamer Lady Elgin.

Over Three Hundred Lives Lost.

CHICAGO, Sept. 8 -- The steamer Lady Elgin was run into this morning by a schooner off Waukegan, and sunk within twenty minutes after the collision took place.
She had upward of 350 passengers aboard, including several military and fire companies. Only seventeen passengers have been saved as far as known.
COL. LUMSDEN, of the New Orleans Picayune, and family are supposed to be among the lost.

LIST OF THE SAVED.
CHICAGO, September 8. -- The Black Yagers, Green Yagers, and several fire companies of Milwaukee, who had been on a visit to this city, were on board the ill-fated steamer.
The names of the saved are H. G. CLARYL, clerk; FREDERICK RICE, steward; EDWARD WESTAKE, porter; ROBERT GORE; THOMAS MURPHY; THOMAS CUNNINGHAM; MICHAEL CONNER and JOHN E. HOBART, of Milwaukee; THOMAS SHUE; TIM O'BRYAN; W. A. DAVIES and MILLMAN MILLS of Ohio; LYMAN UPDIKE, of Waugan, and H. INGRAHAM, member of the Canadian Parliament.
A son of the proprietor of the London News is supposed to be lost.
The books and papers were all lost.
After the collision the steamer floated south to to [sic] Winetka where she sunk.

CHICAGO, Sept. 8, P.M. -- In addition to those reported as saved this morning are the following:
CHARLES MAY; MICHAEL McGRATH; PETER WELCH; GEORGE REGAN; WM. DENAR; JAMES McINIS; JOHN MURRAY; FREDERICK HALPIER; JOHN ROPER; T. PRITCHARD; JOHN EVERTSON and wife; JOHN DOYLE; MR. WALDE; ISAAC KINGSLEY; JOHN GILMORE; MR. BURKE and wife; JOHN McKINLEY; FREDERICK SNYDER; J. H. WILLARD; H. W. GUNNISON; PETER WALSH; WM. LEVYER; FREDERICK DEVERESKY; BRIDGET REHOE; JOHN ROSSLTER; E. DE BAR; JAMES ROGERS; FREDERICK FATTMEYER; E. POWERS; MRS. RIVERS of Milwaukie[sic], TERRY CROTHER, PATRICK MAHER, (fireman); MRS. SIMONDS; GEORGE DAVIS; PATRICK MYERS of Chicago; JACOB COOK of Foud du Lac; LIENT. GEORGE HARTSUFF of Leosackinack; JAMES ROGERS; a German Woman, name unknown; JOHN JACOBSON of New York; PETER WALSH.

CHICAGO, Sept. 9 -- The clerk of the steamer Lady Elgin, who is among the survivors, makes the following statement:
"The Lady Elgin left Chicago at half past eleven o'clock on Friday for Lake Superior. Among the passengers were the members of the Union Guard of Milwaukee, composing part of some two hundred and fifty excursionists from that city. At half past two o'clock this (Saturday) morning, the schooner Augusta, of Oswego, came in collision with the Lady Elgin when about ten miles from shore. The vessel struck the steamer at the midships gangway on the starboard side. The two vessels separated instantly and the Augusta drifted by in the darkness. At the moment of the collision there was music and dancing going on in the forward cabin. In an instant after the crash all was still, and in half an hour the steamer sunk. I passed through the cabins; the ladies were pale but silent; there was not a cry or shriek. No sound was heard but the rush of the steam and the surge of the heavy sea. Whether the ladies were not fully aware of their danger, or whether their appalling situation made them speechless, I cannot tell."
"A boat was lowered at once, with the design of going round to the starboard side to examine the leak. There were two oars belonging to the boat, but just at that moment some person possessed himself of one of them, and we were powerless to manage the boat. We succeeded once in reaching the wheel, but were quickly drifted away, and were thrown upon the beach at Winetka. Only two boats were left on the steamer. One of them contained thirteen persons, all of whom were saved. The other bore eight persons but only four of them reached the shore alive, the four others being drowned at the beach. Before I left the steamer the engine had ceased to work, the fires having been extinguished. The force and direction of the wind was such that the boats and fragments of the wreck were driven up the lake and would reach the shore in the vicinity of Winetka. As I stood upon the beach, hopelessly looking back upon the route we had drifted, I could see in the gray light of the morning objects floating upon the waters and sometimes, I thought, human beings struggling in the waves." H. G. CARYL.

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