Buffalo, NY Dock Collapses, June 1912

Buffalo NY Victims of the Dock Collapse 6-24-1912.jpg

The section of the dock which gave women and children into the river was about fifty feet in length and twenty-five in width.
The medical examiner who examined the wreckage at dawn found that many of the jagged ends of the broken planks were rotten and that directly beneath the collapsed portion of the structure there were not supporting spiles. The platform of two-inch planks rested on cedar beams laid across the full width of the deck and many of these showed signs of decay.
Boats were sent down the river from Eagle Park early today to recover bodies. A mile below the landing there is a reef running several hundred feet out into the river, which, with a shore swing of the current, forms a natural basin, and into this, it is believed, many bodies will be carried.
The excursionists were members and friends of Court Amherst Lodge, No. 232, Foresters of America, who were on their annual outing. They were taken to Eagle Park on board the steamer Henry Koerber and the barge Lottie Koerber. The boats were warping into the dock to take on passengers for the return trip when the crowd began to gather on the dock.
There is some difference in the stories of eye-witnesses as to whether the boats contributed to the collapse of the dock by striking it when they came in or whether it sank under the sheer weight of the people standing on it. Skipper Fix declared today that there was no perceptible jar when he warped in. He had lines over two of the snubbing posts, but the pressure on these was not great, as he was steaming slowly against the current, which also was siding in the swing toward the shore.
In addition to the medical examiner's and the police investigation, a rigid inquiry into the cause of the accident will be instituted by the district attorney.
Among the missing are:
MRS. AUGUST L. HELSTROM, 34 years old.
EDNA LEIDHEISHER, 15 years old.
MRS. GEORGE McKEE and 10-year-old daughter.
NORMAN RICHMEYER, 10 years old.
MRS. GEORGE NESTER, 31 years old.
MARY NESTOR, 13 years.
MISS VIOLA SENF, 16 years old.
MRS. EDWARD WESTPHAL, 25 years old.
MRS. GRACE HEIDE, 28 years old.
NORA MEYER, 4 years old.

The Syracuse Herald New York 1912-06-24