Lake Superior, MI Steam Barge WESTERN RESERVE Disaster, Sept 1892

Western Reserve freighter.jpg

WRECKED IN SUPERIOR.

STEAMER WESTERN RESERVE GOES DOWN IN A GALE.

Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Sept. 2 -- The steel steam barge WESTERN RESERVE cleared from her Tuesday noon light for Two Harbors with a crew of twenty-one and a jolly party of passengers, consisting of Captain P. MINCH, owner of the boat, his wife, three children and his wife's sister. When she passed Iroquis the wind came up strong from the west, and she commenced to pound. This continued getting worse. When on the sourse between Whitefish and Keewenaw, without a moment's warning, at nine o'clock Tuesday night, she split in two about midships and sand in ten minutes. The crew managed to get both yawls down, and nineteen persons got into the wooden boat, including Captain MINCH, his wife, three children and wife's sister. The wind then increased to a furious northwest gale, and the yawl was tossed around by the heavy set with its living cargo until seven o'clock Wednesday morning, when one mile from shore, ten miles below Grand Marais, near life saving station number twelve, she capsized and all hands made a most desperate attempt to reach the shore, but it was of no avail, as only one man succeeded, he being MARTY STEWART, the wheelman, whose residence is in Algomac, Mich. It is thought that MR. MINCH and others of the crew lost their lives in attempting to save the women and children.
Newberg, Mich., Sept. 2 -- Up to ten o'clock this morning but three bodies had been recovered from the wreck of the 'Western Reserve', Captain MINCH, a lady supposed to be his wife, and an unknown lady. They were but partially clothed as though they had hurried from bed to the boats to escape.

The Daily Northwestern Oshkosh Wisconsin 1892-09-02

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THE STEAMER BROKE IN TWO.

LOSS IN LAKE SUPERIOR OF THE WESTERN RESERVE.

ONLY ONE SURVIVOR OF THE TWENTY-SEVEN PERSONS ON BOARD -- THE OWNER AND HIS FAMILY AMONG THE DROWNED -- HARRY STEWART'S STORY OF THE DISASTER.

Cleveland, Ohio, Sept. 1. -- The terrific northwester which swept down the chair of great lakes on Tuesday afternoon claimed for its prey one of the finest steel steamers that ply these inland seas, and the broken shell of the splendid Western Reserve is now at the bottom of Lake Superior.
The details of the awful disaster are as yet meagre, and it is impossible to account for it satisfactorily. Whether the terrific seas threw her on her beam ends and broke her in two, or whether her boilers exploded or she collided with some other ill-fated craft, is as yet unknown. So far as can be learned, HARRY STEWART, a sailor, of Algonac, Mich., one of her crew, is the only one of the twenty-seven persons on board who lives to tell the story of the loss of the vessel. It may be that a few others have reached safety and their existence has not yet been discovered, but it is very improbable.
The Western Reserve was a magnificent steel steamer, launched but twenty months ago from the yards of the Cleveland Shipbuilding Company. So far as the public knew, no stancher boat sailed the lakes. She was over 300 feet in length and was valued at $220,000.
On Sunday afternoon the Western Reserve left this port light bound for Two Harbors for a cargo of ore. She had on board her principal owner, Capt. P. G. MINCH of this city, his wife and two children, his wife's sister, MRS. JACOB ENGELBOY of Vermillion, and her daughter BERTHA, aged nine, besides a crew of twenty-one men. She passed the Sault Canal at 12:30 o'clock on Tuesday, and found so fierce a sea running that she took refuge behind Whitefish Point, an unusual thing for so stanch a vessel. Late Tuesday evening, however, she continued on her course, only to meet disaster off Ausable Banks, Deer Park, a few hours later.
It is thought by many here that her boilers, which had never been entirely satisfactory, either gave out or exploded under the strain of the voyage in the teeth of the gale. It is stated that she broke in two, and, being light and riding very high in the water, this lends some plausibility to the report.
The bodies of Capt. MINCH and MRS. ENGELBOY drifted ashore at 9 o'clock this morning at Newberry, Mich. They are now at the Deer Park Life-Saving Station.
So far as the list of the lost can be made out to-night, it shows these names:
P. G. MINCH, vessel owner, of Cleveland.
MRS. P. G. MINCH.
CHARLES MINCH, aged ten, son of MR. and MRS. MINCH.
A Daughter of MR. and MRS. MINCH, aged six.
MRS. JACOB ENGELBOY, Vermillion, Ohio.
BERTHA ENGELBOY, aged nine.
ALBERT MYERS, Vermillion, Ohio. Captain of the Western Reserve; regarded as one of the best sailors on the lakes.
FRED ENGALLS, first mate.
CHARLES LE BEAN, second mate.
WILLIAM H. SEAMAN, Vermillion, chief engineer; leaves a wife and five children.
CHARLES WILES, second engineer.
CARL MYERS, wheelman; a son of the Captain.
DANIEL FORBES, lookout.
BERT SMITH, steward.
GEORGE DAVIS, assistant steward.
S. T. HATTEN, fireman.
JOHN LATOHAM, fireman.
HORACE BOROUGH, fireman.
ROBERT SIMPSON, oiler.
MARTIN KLAUSEN, oiler.
DANIEL STICKNEY, deckhand.
R. LONGFIELD, deckhand.
ALBERT DAVENPORT, deckhand.
DANIEL O'CONNELL, deckhand.
M. COFFER, deckhand.
JOHN WILSON, deckhand.

The New York Times New York 1892-09-02