Titanic Sinking - Clash Over Body

Clash Over New Yorker's Body.

An unexpected, not to say theatrical, tinge was given to the dead when at 10 o'clock this evening Medical Examiner Finn received a telegram from Rochester, N. Y., purporting to come from the widow of Stanley S. Fox of that city. The telegram was an imperative one directing the Medical Examiner to surrender the body to no one but the widow. There was immediate alarm among the provincial authorities, for it was recalled at once that during the day a Mrs. Fox, who said that she was a sister-in-law of the dead man, called at the curling rink, made the identification, and ordered the body removed according to the form which has been observed here since the dead were brought to shore.

A hurried investigation was made, and Dr. Finn soon found himself confronted with a perplexing problem. The body of Stanley Fox had not only been removed from the rink, but in had been removed from Halifax. It had been carried out of town on the Intercolonial train for St. John, N. B., at 8:55 o'clock this evening. It was already on its way to Boston, and the woman was accompanying it.

To Dr. Finn there seemed to be one thing to do. He wired to J. T. Hallisey, District Superintendent of the Intercolonial Road at Truro, a point on the course of the train, seventy miles along the route to St. John. His terse directions were that the Superintendent board the train when it went through Truro and remove the coffin from the baggage car. Word reached here shortly before midnight that the Superintendent had obeyed instructions. As far as could be learned here to-night the removal was done without any notice to the woman who was acting as its escort. It is thought that she may go on to St. John without learning what has happened.

The officials here do not pretend to know the story behind the telegram which came this evening. They have no reason at all to doubt that the woman in Rochester is Mr. Fox's widow as the telegram says. They have no reason to doubt that the woman who identified the body was his sister-in-law, Mrs. Fox, as she said she was. In the minds of the White Star people from the first there was a fear that there would arises some conflict in the claiming of the dead, but they particularly feared confusion in the claiming of the personal effects, which, in many cases, amounted to small fortunes. All that was required of the identifying party was that they should make affidavit as to their authorization from the executors or next of kin to take charge of the effects. But the Mrs. Fox who came to Halifax not only did not ask for the effects, but said that she did not have time to take them. She left in Halifax the money and other personal effects found in Fox's clothing.

In the records of the White Star office here Stanley Fox's address in Rochester is given as 38 Gregory Street. In his pockets when they found his body at sea were a letter of credit case, several memorandum books, $10 in gold, $65 in notes, a watch and chain, and several lesser items.

The New York Times, New York, NY 2 May 1912