Chicago, IL Eastland Disaster, Jul 1915 - Filled to Capacity

Steamer Filled to Capacity.

The steamer was filled to capacity and hundreds were turned to other boats, according to S. G. Hall of the Western Electric picnickers. “I got to the dock,” said Hall, “and was told to go to the other boats, as the Eastland was too crowded. There were fifteen or twenty people behind me and more coming fast. “I was told that 7,000 tickets had been distributed among the company’s employes [sic], and that there were to be six boat loads. The only boats that I heard wee to be used, however, were the Eastland and the Theodore Roosevelt. “I had scarcely gone ten feet toward the Theodore Roosevelt when the Eastland began to list. Hundreds ran to the rail, and many climbed over its sides as it turned over. All were thrown into the water.”

W. K. Greenbaum, manager of the Indiana Transportation Company, who is in charge of the excursion, said: “We had chartered five steamers for the excursion of the Western Electric Company’s employes [sic] to Michigan City, Ind. today. We had the steamers Eastland, Petoskey, Theodore Roosevelt, Racine and Maywood. “The Eastland was the first boat to load and the docks were crowded with passengers who were to be taken on the other boats near by. One United States steamship inspector and two assistants watched the Eastland load. They stood at the gang plank and counted the passengers as they went aboard. Their reports show there were 2,500 passengers on the Eastland, its full capacity under the United States steamboat regulations. I have no idea how the accident occurred.”

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 25 Jul 1915