Yet ANOTHER obit thread—the last "Triangle" survivor

In the past ten years, the last survivor of the Johnstown Flood died; and another Titanic survivor died a couple of weeks ago. Now this . . . She sounds like she was one helluva dame. I saw a photo of her in the NY Times at her 107th b’day party, and she looked better than I usually do in the morning!

Are all the Civil War widows finally gone? Any Spanish-American War vets still alive? I know there are still a handful of silent movie stars still kicking . . .

thank you, eve. she had quite a life.

Sigh. Thanks, Eve. Another living part of history gone. She sounds like one helluva lady.


The article reminded me of a story I read in papers within the last month. About the earthquake in India, and the crush of people trying to exit a diamond-cutting “sweatshop.” The doors had been locked to keep the employees from absconding with diamonds. And they were making something like $3/day. Many killed in attemps to flee the building. Deja Vu all over again. (Sorry, Yogi).

I don’t usually bump threads—but I noticed that no one has posted to this since Friday, and thought some of the Monday morningers might like to read this lady’s obit.

[Irish cop voice: " . . . move along—nuthin’ t’ see here . . . "]

Oh, crap—the link is no longer available! “Curse you, Los Angeles Times!”

So in the case of Titanic, we’re down to four or fewer, right? And all of those, like Milvina Dean, were probably infants when the “Old Canoe” went down and only remember the event second-hand.

I’ve been wondering for about a year now (and this is related to the OP): how many people born prior to 1900 are still alive? Worldwide. And how’s their health?

Last year on NPR one of their correspondents traveled around the country and interviewed centenarians. They were a pretty diverse group: a New York City college professor, an Oklahoma Native-American preacher, a woman who’d been openly lesbian her whole life, to name three. Of course, NPR chose the ones they thought were interesting, but the series left the impression there’s no one set of habits or lifestyle that tends to promote long life.

Nope, there’s one left. Mrs. Alberta Martin is still alive and kicking.

She was born Dec 4, 1906. On Dec 10, 1927, she married 82-year-old W.J. Martin, a confederate veteran. They even had a child together.

Zev Steinhardt

Near as I can tell, Gertrude Grubb Janeway is the last Union widow and Alberta Martin is the last Confederate widow.

Um, Eve, dear, 107 is a damned good run, especially since, by all rights, it should have ended ninety years ago. Just a suggestion, but, if you were to, say, enter the second half of the 20th century, perhaps you’d have fewer heroines dying on you.

Goodness, Drop, I wasn’t sobbing into my hankie because Rose Freedman was taken from us in the prime of her youth! I was just posting her obit as a fascinating glimpse at one of the last links to that era.

Five—I think there are a good many cententarians around (certainly enough to keep Willard Scott busy!). I remember a few years back seeing a very old man wearing a WWI uniform and being VERY impressed.

As far as silent movie stars, I can only think of a few still living: Fay Wray, Mary Brian, Anita Page (a pal of mine and a great gal), that Nazi bitch Leni Riefenstahl, as well as those who acted in silents as children (Mickey Rooney, Baby Peggy).

I used to belong to Cross and Cockade, “the society of WWI Aero Historians,” and was eating dinner with a book about the Fokker DVII in front of me when the little, old, German fellow next to me said, “You know, I used to fly those.” He’s probably gone by now. :frowning:

My word, but those LA papers are late. This link is from the New York Daily News, which ran the obit on the 17th. The Times (New York - that goes without saying :p) ran one on the 16th, and I would link to it except their site stays free only for one day.

The Times obit noted that the building where the fire occurred still stands on West 4th street. It’s now classrooms and laboratories for NYU. Interestingly, NYU’s plaque notes the location as the “site of” the fire, which makes it sound as if the building had been demolished. The thought of studying inside the same windows these young women flung themselves from is a little creepy, no?

Thanks, xtn (“I doesn’t have to call you Johnson!”). I will cut and paste from your link, in case it goes down, as mine did:

"Rose Freedman, last survivor of the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire that killed 146 lower Manhattan garment workers in 1911 and spawned industrial safety reforms, has died after a brief illness. She was 107. Freedman died in her sleep at home early Thursday, Steven Latham, executive producer of PBS’ “The Living Century,” said yesterday.

“Hundred-forty-six people in a half hour,” Freedman told the program for a recent broadcast. “I always have tears in my eyes when I think. It should never have happened.” The Triangle victims — mostly women and girls, and most of them Jewish immigrants — were killed when fire swept the Triangle Shirtwaist Co. on the eighth, ninth and 10th floors of the Asch Building at Washington and Greene Sts. on March 25, 1911. Some died at their sewing machines. Others were trapped
by a locked door, and many died after jumping from windows.

“It was horrific,” said Richard Strassberg, director of the Kheel Center at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. “These young women were dangling, and jumping out of the windows, and then they were on public display in the docks so they could be identified by their families.”

This obit left out a lot of her post-fire activities, including saving a relative during WWI and becoming a safety activist.

For the record, the last living Spanish-American war vet was Nathan E. Cook, who died on Sept 10, 1992 at age 106.

( Source )

While we’re on the subject:

Last living (U.S.) veteran of the American Revolution
Daniel F. Bakeman 4/5/1869 age 109.

Last living (U.S.) veteran of the War of 1812
Hiram Cronk 5/13/1905 age 105

Last living (U.S.) veteran of the Indian Wars (1861-1898)
Fredrak Frask 6/8/1973, age 101

Last living (U.S.) veteran of the Mexican-American War
Owen Thomas Edgar 9/3/1929 age 98

**Last living veteran of the Civil War **
Albert Woolson 8/2/1956 age 109

It should also be noted that the Department of Veteral Affairs is still (as of July 1, 1999) paying benefits to 15 dependents of Civil War Vets and 879 dependents of Spanish-American War Vets.

FTR, benefits for American Revolution Vet dependents ended 1911 (when the last dependent died [exactly one month after the Triangle Fire]), War of 1812 in 1946 and the Mexican War in 1962.

Zev Steinhardt

Albert Woolson was the last living Union Vet. However, John Salling, a Confederate Vet, lived until 3/16/1958, when he died at age 112.

Asked by Five:

I don’t know about Worldwide, but as of July 1, 1999, there were still 6,581 (U.S.) World War I Vets still alive (Source), the vast majority of whom would have been born before 1900. Add in non-vets and people from other countries and there are still quite a few 1800ers still out there.

Zev Steinhardt