Long Point Lake Erie, NY Steamer IDAHO Wreck, Nov 1897

THE WRECK OF THE IDAHO.

NINETEEN OF HER CREW DROWNED IN LAKE ERIE WHEN THE STEAMER WENT DOWN.

ONLY TWO MEN WERE SAVED.

Buffalo, Nov. 7. --The following are the names of sixteen out of the nineteen men who lost their lives on the Western Transit Company's steamer Idaho, which sank in the gale Saturday morning above Long Point on Lake Erie:
M. BELL, deckhand.
CONRAD BLANKER, fireman.
WILLIAM CLANCY, chief engineer, Buffalo.
GEORGE GIBSON, first mate, Buffalo.
ALEXANDER GILLIES, captain, Buffalo.
LOUIS GILMORE, watchman.
WILLIAM GREGORY, fireman.
JOHN HEALY, assistant steward.
RICHARD McLEAN, wheelsman.
FREDERICK MIFFORT, oiler.
A. J. RICHARD, lookout.
NELSON SKINNER, first assistant engineer.
JOHN D. TAYLOR, steward, Buffalo.
HENRY THOMSON, lookout.
EDWARD SMITH, deckhand, Rochester, N.Y.
ROBERT WILLIAMS, wheelsman.
The names of three of the men drowned are unknown to the steamship company. One was a fireman, another a deckhand, and a third a porter.
The names of the two men saved are:
LOUIS LA FORCE, JR., second mate.
WILLIAM GILL, a deckhand, living at 137 Kent Street, Rochester, N.Y.
It is not known at the office of the Western Transit Company, where the greater portion of the dead men hail from.

The IDAHO An Old Craft.
The IDAHO went out of commission three or four years ago, but this Summer she was overhauled thoroughly. After her overhauling she was placed at the disposal of the Naval Veterans' Association, and by that organization was used as the flagship during the Grand Army of the Republic Encampment in August. At the close of the encampment she was put into commission again as a freighter.
The Captain of the ill-fated steamer, ALEXANDER GILLIES, was one of the most widely known of the lake seamen. He was forty-one years old and knew the waters like a book. His brother, DONALD GILLIES, is Captain of the steamer Harlem.
When the big steel steamer Mariposa arrived in port, close on to midnight last night, with the news of the disaster to the IDAHO and having on board the two surviving members of the crew, Capt. ROOT had this to say regarding the storm on the lake and the rescue of the two men:
"It was one of the worst gales I ever experienced in all my years on the lakes. We started from Chicago with a load of oats. All the way down the lakes we had a fight with the storm and I thought once or twice of putting in somewhere until it blew over. I'm glad I didn't for I fear that if I had these two men who came down with me would have gone to join their mates by this time."
"It was about 12:30 yesterday afternoon when I first learned of the wreck of the IDAHO. I was on deck when my first mate, MYRON CHAMBERLAIN, came to me and told me that he had sighted a spar off to the north, and that he thought there were a couple of men clinging to it. He pointed it out to me, and when I got the glasses on it I could distinguish the men plainly. We were running under a good head of steam at the time, and I put on more and headed for the spar."
"When I got near I was puzzled how to help the men off, for I could not lower a boat in such a storm. Finally I circled about the spar until I ran alongside and my men picked the poor fellows off. They had to drag them away from the spar by force, for they had been there so long that their arms had become almost dead and were twisted about the mast and almost frozen fast to it. When we got them on board we put them in bunks and gave them some warm food and soups and had them feeling pretty good physically when we reached harbor."

The New York Times New York 1897-11-08