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Titanic survivor had ties to Cazenovia, Nelson area

This obituary for Emma Ward Bucknell was run in a 1927 issue of the Cazenovia Republican.

This obituary for Emma Ward Bucknell was run in a 1927 issue of the Cazenovia Republican.

The marriage was not a smooth one, but the couple eventually had four children. Bucknell was in his late-70s when he died, leaving Emma a young widow.

She did not know how much he was worth until the will was read – it left her and the children independently wealthy.

After living on a restricted stipend for so many years, the inheritance made it possible to provide the best schooling for the children. Emma was returning home on the R.M.S Titanic after visiting her daughter Maggie, who had married and settled down in Italy, when the ship struck an iceberg and sank.

She and her handmaiden commanded the oars on Lifeboat No. 8 until they were rescued the next day.

Emma never really got over the traumatic experience, and died in 1927 at Saranac Lake.

Her body was transported back to Erieville by train and then buried in the Ward lot, along with her mother Cordelia and younger brother Willie.

William Ward passed away in 1873 in India and was laid to rest there.

Two obituaries were then written, one was published in the Cazenovia Republican and the other in a New York City publication – neither mentioned she was a Titanic survivor.

M. Fay Lyon is the historian for the town of Nelson. He can be reached at flyon1@windstream.net.

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