White Star Line 1849 - 1934

Featured Artifact from the Collection

- Carrie Chaffee Titanic Pin -

Featured Artifact Image

In 2001, the White Star Line Memorial Foundation was fortunate in having acquired a pin that reportedly belonged to Carrie C. Chaffee. The seller gave details of how he acquired the pin from a thrift store in Fargo, North Dakota some years prior, and his "hunch" it belonged to Carrie Chaffee who still has descendants in the area, but could not explain the "hunch". We explained that without a direct link to Carrie Chaffee we would not be willing to pay a great amount for the pin. After a matter of weeks and an attempt by the seller to get more than our base offer, an agreement to buy was made, but the seller quickly refused the offer. After a period of about two more weeks, the seller decided to sell at the base price set earlier, and the deal was finally closed. The seller explained what a good deal we got as other items from Carrie's collection of Titanic artifacts were only in local displays in ownership retained by the family. We stated that the seller seemed very convinced the pin was Carrie's and he said it was a certainty. After acquiring the pin, we began looking into the leads given by the seller in hopes of gathering more about the pin and why it was donated without any special mention. Was it a pin that Carrie had acquired from another White Star Line trip and thus insignificant? What other trips had the Chaffee's made?

Hoping to find who donated it, we contacted the thrift store that the seller claimed to have purchased the pin from, but they had no record of either a donation or selling of the pin, or any hat pins in their store. The person who researched the records asked a co-worker who was there at the period in question if any such pin had made an appearance there and she did not recall any such donation or transaction. It began to look as though the foundation had been the target of a con. We contacted the seller who stood by his story despite the evidence, and he again claimed the pin Carrie Chaffee's and was purchased by her husband on board the Titanic. The seller offered to buy the pin back if we felt the pin was not genuine. We suggested that legal authorities will be contacted if we had been decieved.

We also made contact with Carter Chafee, a great-grandson of Herbert and Carrie Chaffee, to see if he could shed any light on whether the pin was possibly Carrie's and whether it was donated to any thrift stores in Fargo. Carter began an inquiry among surviving relatives as he was shocked any such item would have been donated by family if it did have a connection to the Titanic. He stated "Knowing how fiercely proud this family is of any and all things Chaffee, and how they swap and provide to each other heirlooms and ancestral artifacts, to suggest that anyone intentionally or knowingly gave this pin, or any others, outside the family is inconceivable."

Through further research, Carter reported that "........my grand uncle, Lester, who lived almost all of his life in Amenia died in 1981. His 2nd wife, 3rd wife, and his children were all involved in cleaning out his home, office, and estate. Lester had an extensive collection of Titanic memorabilia including many, many books, lots of articles and clippings that I was fascinated by. I feel that the pin was in or among other items that were donated and what it was or its true value were unknown to the donor, or it would never have left the "family"."

A later report from Carter suggested that the pin left the family through dishonest means. He wrote; " My grandfather, who met her on the docks in New York in 1912, died in Fargo and quite a bit of his possessions were "stolen" by his "family". The foundation understood from the seller of the pin that he knew members of the family and it seems that he may have acquired it knowing what it was in some sort of debt payment or other transaction, but as it was an item that may be deemed as "hot", the market for such an item was limited and selling it likely illegal. Apparently in need of money for an upcoming marriage, the seller parted with the pin, suggesting what it was, but unable to tell the full story.

However the pin made its way out of the family, it has found a safe refuge with the foundation and has been a delightful addition to the collection and awed all who have seen it displayed.

Carter Chaffee generously provided the following information to the White Star Line Memorial Foundation:

Herbert F. Chaffee

Herbert Fuller Chaffee in 1908
(Photo courtesy of Carter G. Chaffee)

Herbert Fuller Chaffee, son of Eben Whitney Chaffee and Amanda Fuller was born on Nov. 20, 1865 in Ellsworth, Connecticut and died in the Titanic disaster on the North Atlantic Ocean April 15, 1912.He married December 21, 1887 Carrie Constance Toogood, daughter of George Edwin Toogood, who was born in Wells, England January 27, 1823, and came to America in 1834. George Edwin married Ellen Board in July of 1854 in Manchester, Iowa. She had been born in Burnham, England March 2, 1830 and had come to America in 1849. One of four children, Carrie was born Aug. 28,1864 in Manchester, Iowa, and died July 4, 1931 in Amenia, North Dakota, where she is buried.

Herbert (Bert as he was affectionately known) attended the common schools of Sharon, Ellsworth, Connecticut and later Amenia Seminary, Amenia, New York, staying with his Aunt Deed and Uncle Jerome Chaffee in Leedsville, Amenia, New York, and walked back and forth from there to school.

Then, he attended, and graduated from Williston Seminary, a scientific school at East Hampton, Massachusetts on June 19, 1885.*

Before this however, he had made several trips to Dakota, the first being, at the age 16, in the spring of 1881, the year his sister died. He spent his summers in Dakota after that time. Upon his graduation he took an active part in the business of the company and in 1888 he was "appointed assistant treasurer and assistant agent of the company."**

In July of 1885, Amanda Chaffee, with Bert, left Connecticut to join her husband in Dakota.***

She returned to Connecticut in the fall, but the following May with John Reed's younger son, Robert B. (Rob), her grandson, she returned to reside permanently in Dakota.

Herbert went to Oberlin, Ohio in January 1887, accompanying Walter Reed, his cousin, not intending to stay. Then he met Carrie Toogood, and hung around a while, the particular attraction seems to have been some fruit cake sent to her by her mother. In 1886 she had enrolled for 3 years and entered Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio where she studied at the Conservatory of Music (1 year) and the College of Art (1 year). She possessed a beautiful soprano voice and sang a great deal as a soloist all her life. Trained in music, later on she would give voice, piano, and violin lessons to children, both hers and to the children of prairie farmers while managing a complex household and giving birth to six children: Eben Whitney Chaffee II, Dorothy Chaffee Stroud, Herbert Lawrence Chaffee, Florence Adele Chaffee Reed, and Lester Fuller Chaffee (one other child died in childhood). Mrs. Chaffee was renowned for her decisive mind and her willingness to confront any situation.

Herbert accompanied his father and mother to Dakota later in the spring, and stayed in Dakota until after the church there was dedicated, July 14, 1887. He then visited Carrie Toogood at her home in Manchester, Iowa, where they became engaged. He returned to Dakota until going to Iowa to be married on December 21. They returned to Oberlin where they stayed until March when he was called to Connecticut on account of his father becoming ill. He went to Dakota with his parents in the spring, with Carrie joining him there May 1, 1888. They moved into living quarters above the general store for a few years, until their house was built. Their house was rebuilt in 1895, again in 1905 and was wrecked on Carrie’s orders in 1920.

Land Company Headquarters

The Amenia and Sharon Land Company Store and Headquarters, about 1890.

After his father's death in 1892, Herbert eventually assumed the position held by his father, of President and General Manager of the Amenia & Sharon Land Company, a company consisting of shareholders from Amenia, New York and Sharon, Conn. He was described as a "man of exceptional business ability and successfully conducts the affairs of the extensive form of which he is head.....and is held in the highest esteem by his fellow men. Mr. Chaffee is a man of broad mind, and keeps pace with the times in all public affairs, and is earnest in his efforts to advance the community in which he lives and strengthen good local government, and is deservedly popular." ****

A struggle among the stockholders of the Amenia and Sharon Land Company dominated the years 1892 till 1895. The “eastern faction” were interested in liquidating the farm by selling the company lands and divide the proceeds among the stockholders. The “western faction” were interested in developing a bonanza farming operation. Legal battles and factional disputes resulted in the splitting up of the original land company into two groups. The “eastern faction” with Joseph R. Guernsey as trustee received 7,360 acres of land, buildings, personal property, and land contracts valued at $175,912.92. The “western or Chaffee faction”, retained the name of the company, and 14,331 acres plus several elevators, other buildings, personal property, and land contracts valued at $301,590.19. The actual division of property took place on March 27, 1895.

During this time of company in-fighting, Herbert had not been idle. He had managed to form, obtain the right-of-way for, and construct a railroad. The Red River Valley and Western Railroad Company ran about 20 miles, from the town of Chaffee to the Great Northern Railroad at Addison, and was soon profiting the Amenia and Sharon Land Company, which before this had to haul all grain from Chaffee and surrounding areas to Casselton, about 14 miles away, a long and expensive drive by wagon.

In 1892 the new 2 cent U.S. postage stamp “Farming in the West”, introduced at the Omaha Exposition, featured a harvesting picture taken on an Amenia and Sharon Land Company farm outside of Amenia, N.D. For the next 20 years they used the stamp on all letters with a caption under the stamp reading “ The picture on this stamp is from a photograph taken on one of our farms at Amenia, N.D.”

The other important item that he accomplished during this time period was to move the Land Company away from the single farm concept, to individual units. The entire operation was subdivided into a series of farms of 320 to 640 acres. The company would furnish the land and seed and the tenant the labor and operating capital. In 1904 there were 131 separate leases. The tenant system probably was one of the reasons why the company proved to be more durable and longer lasting than any of the other great bonanza farms.

The Red River Valley Land and Investment Company was incorporated July 31, 1895. Its stockholders were H. F. Chaffee with 97 shares, his wife, Carrie and nephews Walter R. and Robert R. Reed with 1 share each, and James Vail of Chaffee, N. D. with 10 shares. The purpose of the new company was to secure control of the lands held by J. R. Guernsey, trustee for the “eastern faction” splinter group of the Amenia and Sharon Land Company. On August 2, 1895 the deal was completed. Thus, in 1895 most of the land originally owned by the Amenia and Sharon Land Company became what was in reality a family farm in the hands of the son and grandsons of E. W. Chaffee. From 1895 to 1911 the Red River Valley Land and Investment Company, the estate of E. W. Chaffee, and the Amenia and Sharon Land Company were all operating as separate organizations with H. F. Chaffee in charge of all three.

Buying and selling land made the Land Company one of the biggest land buyers/sellers/traders in North Dakota. With Amenia and Sharon Land Company as the “parent “ holding company, assets were often used as the basis for newly created companies. The four chief land companies were the Red River Valley Land and Investment Company, the Miller-Chaffee-Reed Company, the Chaffee-Miller Land Company, and the Wanotan Land Company. Some of the other companies that were spun off of the “parent” company, most with Herbert Chaffee as President or General Manager, included; Owego Land and Cattle Company, the Amenia Live Stock Company, Duluth-Superior Milling Company, N. W. Livestock Company, Chaffee Land and Loan Company, Sharon and Amenia Grain Company, Chaffee-Crites Bee Company, M. J. Woodard and Sons Company, John Miller Company, Clyde Elevator Company (a holding company for grain elevators), Amenia Elevator Company (which in itself controlled 26 elevators, 12 coal firms, and lumber yards in 27 villages in North Dakota and Minnesota), and the Amenia Telephone Company.

In all there were 32 separate firms and 2 company towns operated by or associated with the Amenia and Sharon Land Company. This does not separately enumerate the company elevators or the individual retail establishments of the Amenia Elevator Company and the John Miller Company. The same is true of the 61 separate farms owned by the company. At its height the “parent” company had land holdings of over 42,700 acres, control of at least 46 grain elevators, and gross assets of well over $8,000,000. An outsider who became very well acquainted with the operations of the Land Company was North Dakota’s first governor, John Miller. His estate in 1908 showed $117,250 in Amenia and Sharon Land Company related stocks and joint company ventures.

Herbert F. Chaffee was a very exacting man. Although he knew how to delegate authority, he was not one to overlook even the smallest details. Chaffee learned to handle the details of finances early in life. Personal letters and files among the company records have lists of expenditures made as a youth on train trips to his academy in Connecticut and even have day-to-day accounting of all money that he spent, down to the penny for candy. Throughout his life he carried an account book on his person. It was not even forgotten on his honeymoon trip to Hawaii in the 1880’s. From 1893 to 1912 he built the Amenia and Sharon Land Company into a Million-dollar organization when other bonanza farms were liquidating rapidly. The net assets of the company far exceeded those of any of the other bonanzas. Chaffee was the man most responsible for building a great and durable financial empire.

Chaffee had a good teacher in his father, Eben W. Chaffee, who delegated many duties to him at an early age and who impressed upon him a realization of the great opportunity that lay before them on the fertile prairies of North Dakota. Eben had to be absent from Amenia often, and Herbert was always left in charge. In 1884 when the elevator business was just getting under way and the senior Chaffee was east on a business trip, Herbert had sole responsibility for buying and selling grain. When Herbert was not more than 19 years of age, he sold 9 carloads of wheat; later in the day the market dropped 3 cents per bushel. He was happy over his early sale. When Eben attended the State Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1889, his son ran the complete farm operation and the elevators. He made decisions as to hiring men, harvesting, credit to tenants and outsiders, and even selling grain on the futures market, all tasks which required a considerable degree of maturity for one in his early 20’s. His responsibilities were greatly increased when on July 13, 1892, some 4 months after his father’s resignation, James S. Chaffee, who was acting general manager of the company, made H. F. Chaffee superintendent, conferring upon him “the same powers and authority exercised by me.” James S. Chaffee preferred to stay in the East and after the split in the company, Herbert became general manager. “Chaffee deserves the title of managing genius of the bonanzas.”*****

Herbert was one of those fortunate few who not only inherited talent but also a sizeable fortune. Like his father, he had considerable personal holdings which grew along with his company interests. Eben W. Chaffee had acquired 528 1/4 shares of stock in the company prior to his death. Of that amount Herbert Chaffee received 176 1/2 shares in addition to the 83 1/2 shares he already held. These stocks represented an original investment in 1872 of $26,000. By 1907 their value had increased to $203,000. Besides the stocks, he inherited a sizeable personal acreage held by his father plus $102,400 from his mother. By 1907 he had earned a gross personal estate of $325,600. His net estate, inherited and earned, was valued at $568,400 at that time. Under his leadership the stock of the company continued to increase in value so that by 1910 his inherited estate had increased to $430,000. His leadership and investments in the Chaffee-Miller Land Company, in the Miller-Chaffee-Reed Company, in the John Miller Company, and in private farms made his earned personal estate grow even more rapidly to a net of $388,920 making his combined fortune $818,920. A $100 share of stock in the Amenia and Sharon Land Company was worth $1,400 in 1910.

In 1904 Herbert took his family in tow and the train to St. Paul, where they boarded one of the old Mississippi River paddlewheel steamers and cruised down the river to St. Louis and the World’s Fair. Herbert, being the generous person that he was, would at Christmas time, give all the children of all the tenants a present. An example of this is the 1905 record of the gifts to 133 children, under the age of 15, spread among 53 families.

Rivet Animation

Chaffeee Family Photograph taken in 1910. Herbert, Herbert Laurance, and Carrie are in the front left. (Photo Courtesy of Carter G. Chaffee)

In 1912 Herbert and Carrie took the train East, dropping off their son Herbert Laurance at Oberlin College, between Toledo and Cleveland, and then they took a first class trip to Europe booked through the Cook Company, a well known travel agency at that time. They then spent several weeks seeing sights in such places as; London, Edinburgh, Paris, Rome, Naples, and Geneva. In early April of 1912, a post card was received in Amenia, N. D. from Genoa, Italy stating that they, Mr. and Mrs. H. F. Chaffee, had changed their return reservations so that they could take the maiden voyage of the R. M. S. Titanic. A letter was then sent from Amenia to H. F. Chaffee at their hotel in Liverpool, stating among other thing that "given the state of mail service these days, this letter probably won't get to you anyway." It was returned to Amenia with a Liverpool stamp of April 15 stating "Addressee not Found".

When the ship struck an iceberg and was sinking on April 15th, Herbert placed his wife into lifeboat #4, the second-to-last boat to leave the stricken ship, and was never seen again.

Walter R. Reed and Herbert Laurance, son-in-law and son, were at the docks in New York City to meet Carrie Toogood when she disembarked from the rescue ship Carpathia. Herbert Laurance left the train in Ohio to continue his schooling at Oberlin College, and Walter Reed returned to Amenia with Carrie. During that summer, Billy Sunday, the most famous and foremost of the eras "born again" evangelists, along with his wife Helen, their business Manager Fred Rapp, secretary and pianist Robert Matthews, their bible teacher Miss Florence Kinney, and others in his entourage, spent several weeks at the Chaffee home in Amenia, North Dakota.

After his untimely death in the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 at the age of 46, appraisers valued his estate at $1,228,118.15. To keep that large block of property together so as not to upset the financial status of the Amenia and Sharon Land Company, his estate was formed into a holding company, the H. F. Chaffee Company, on July 28, 1913. It possessed 313 shares of the 627 shares of the Amenia and Sharon Land Company. Its officers were his wife Carrie, his son Herbert Laurance, his daughter Dorothy Stroud, and her husband Peter. In 1912 Walter R. Reed was elected president and general manager of the parent company replacing the deceased, and Carrie Toogood Chaffee was made vice-president at a special meeting held August 31, 1912.

The White Star Line, owners of the Titanic, paid 27% of the $50,000 claim that the family of H. F. Chaffee had filed against it. In addition, Chaffee carried a considerable sum of personal life insurance with his family as benefactors. The Land Company carried a policy on his life also, for which they collected $50,020.84. Before his estate was settled, over $200,000 in claims against it had to be withdrawn because he had signed endorsements or guarantees for individuals or companies.

It was clear that after Herbert’s death in 1912, the Land Company could not hold together indefinitely because it lacked his leadership and control over the extensive operations. As his son, Herbert Laurance, so clearly stated it: “After the death of Dad the company lacked a dominating figure and simply had too much family politics involved.” Asked if his father could have pulled the company through the trying times of the 1920’s and 30’s, he answered, “There would have been no doubt that the company could have survived those trying times...as he proved himself as extremely foresighted, an excellent business manager, and I am sure that he would have had the business in such a state of organization that it would have been able to exist even through those extreme conditions.” ******As it was, when the youngest family member, Lester, turned 21, the company started to dissolve. The Land Company divided up its assets among the stockholders in 1922 and from that time on each one was on their own. The World War I grain boom had already busted and tough times for the farmers were on the way. The last meeting of the Amenia and Sharon Land Company’s stockholders took place on February 25, 1925. The last effort for a family get together was at the Plaza in Minneapolis on Thanksgiving of 1930.

After her husband’s death Carrie had taken an active role in managing the Land Company's assets, and was also a leader in charitable work in North Dakota and in Minneapolis MN. She was a charter member of and active in the American-Chinese Education Committee, Canton, China. She also had a leading role in the National P. T. A. Carrie died the following summer on the 4th of July, 1931 in Amenia following a long illness. As she normally spent the winters in Minneapolis, and the summers in Amenia, her being in the home of her son, Herbert Laurance and family was not unexpected. Funeral services were held on the 8th, and she was buried in the family plot on the banks of the Rush River one mile from Amenia.

*. "Herbert Fuller Chaffee was a member of Williston Seminary Senior Class (Scientific) of 1885. He graduated from Williston Seminary on Friday, June 19th, 1885. He was a member of Adelphi Dickinson-Whitney and Gamma Sigma Society and competed for Dickinson-Whitney prizes of $50 each with an oratorical rendition on General Grant (author Geo. W. Curtis); but did not receive an award." Williston Seminary Records

**. Amenia and Sharon Land Company Minutes, Directors meeting

***. Diary of John Horace Reed

****. “Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota“, published in Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. 1900.

*****. "The Day of the Bonanza" by Hiram M. Drache published for the North Dakota Institute for Regional Studies by Lund Press, Inc. Minn., Minn. 1964

Children, all born in Amenia, North Dakota:

i Eben Whitney, b. Sept. 26, 1889; d. Aug. 14, 1961 in Port Lavaca, Texas. He is buried in Amenia, N.D. m. (1) July 15, 1911, Jesse Lillian Maud Beesley; (2) May 2,1931, Laura Annoinette Miller; (3) July 29, 1943, Ellen Jane Schenck.

ii Dorothy Adelia b. June 15, 1890; d. in Minneapolis, Minn. m. (1) Dec. 21, 1910, Peter Elbridge Stroud; (2) Aug. 22, 1939, George Irish Langworthy.

iii Herbert Laurance b. June 24, 1892; d. July 2, 1971 in Fargo, N.D. He is buried in Amenia, N.D. m. (1) June 18, 1915, Gertrude Auld Bacon; (2) Dec. 26, 1968 Francis Asleson.

iv Ester b. abt. 1889; d. abt. 1890. Buried in Amenia, N.D.

v Florence Adele b. June 2, 1900; d. in Calif. m. June 2, 1920, Sydney Marshall Higgins.

vi Lester Fuller b. Oct. 30, 1902; d. 1981 in Fargo, N.D. He is buried in Amenia, N.D. m. (1) Feb. 6, 1930, Dorothy Stephens; (2) 1946, Frances Brown; (3) Dec. 15, 1955, Faye Osterndorff.

“H. F. C. came to Oberlin in 1887 from Ellsworth, Connecticut, and was enrolled in the Conservatory of Music for two years, 1887-1888 and 1888-1889. Apparently your father moved from Conn. to N.Dak. some time after he enter Oberlin in 1887, since his address in 1888-1889 is listed as Amenia, Dak.”*

*. Letter from Secretary of Oberlin College Records to H. L. Chaffee 1962


“H. F. Chaffee was a resident of Amenia, N.Dak. from the time of his graduation at Williston up to the date of his death. He was Treasurer of the Amenia and Sharon Land Company, a large farming and grain corporation, for a number of years and in 1892 was elected its President, and held that office during the balance of his years. He was instrumental in the organization and was one of the principal officers in several corporations - among them; The John Miller Company, Grain Commission, Duluth and Minneapolis; Chaffee-Miller Milling Company, a flour mill at Casselton, N.D.; The Miller-Chaffee-Reed Company, Farm Lands and Investments.”*

*. paper of Walter R. Reed, A & S Land Co. and Administrator of Estate of H. F. Chaffee Dec. 19, 1912


biography of Herbert Fuller Chaffee supplied by:

Herbert Laurance Chaffee

Florance Reed Owens

Diary of John Horace Reed

Carter Gware Chaffee

"The History of the Amenia & Sharon Land Co." unpublished work by Dr. William C. Hunter at the North Dakota State University Agricultural College Library

"The Day of the Bonanza" by Hiram M. Drache published for the North Dakota Institute for Regional Studies by Lund Press, Inc. Minn., Minn. 1964

Amenia and Sharon Land Company Minutes, Records and Minutes of Directors meetings

Walter R. Reed papers

Estate of Herbert Fuller Chaffee papers

Williston Seminary Records

Oberlin College Records

"Chaffee Genealogy" by William H. Chaffee published by Grafton Press, N.Y. in 1909

"Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota“, published in Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co. 1900

“North Dakota History and People” (1917) by Clement A. Lonsberry, S. J. Clarke Publisher, Chicago, Vol. II, p.877-878

compiled and edited by: Carter G. Chaffee.


When Mrs. H. F. Chaffee, Amenia, N.D., survivor of the Titanic wreck, arrives in the Twin Cities today, she will find herself a grandmother, a son having been born yesterday to Mr. and Mrs. E. W. Chaffee 122 Aurora Avenue, St. Paul. E. W. Chaffee is the widowed wreck survivors son. But the grandfather who was to have been present to greet the expected heir was not there. For H. F. Chaffee, one of the heroes of the Titanic wreck, stood back and made way for the woman and children when the great liner was in her death throes.



That she did not dream of never seeing her husband again when she left the ship to step into a lifeboat on the Titanic was the statement of Mrs. H. F. Chaffee of Amenia in New York. She gave one of the most thrilling accounts of the wreck yet heard.

Mrs. Chaffee said that the last moment with her husband was when he pushed her through the narrow space between the rail and the boat, telling that it was alright, that she would be rowed back to him in a few minutes.

No one had once thought of danger she said. "I thought it a formality for the woman to have to go, and remember laughing with my husband at the jumpy way everything was done. We had retired, but had not fallen asleep, when the jar came at 11:45. It was not great, not more than a jerky stop. Mr. Chaffee put on the lights and then had begun dressing when the woman opposite us, who had gone up to inquire, knocked on our door, said that all the woman and children were ordered into boats but the officers said that there was no danger. We took pains to put on warm things and got on deck in half an hour. All was confusion there and showed the lack of drilling."


"On Sunday there had been a drill scheduled for the crew but it was called off. The captain was at a dinner party. For some time there was talk on deck and much running about. Then the boats,began to drop. No system was used to fill them. The boat I was in was overmanned. Two men were discovered smoking cigarettes under the seats, and the sailors and the stewards were not able to row.

"As we pulled steadily away, for the first time I understood the low purring sound. It was the water rushing into the Titanic's side and my heart seemed to stop. The great vessel was perceptibly lowering in the water."


"I began then to have a horrible fear and tried to make out Mr. Chaffee among the dark shadows against the rails.

"Lights were hissing behind them and boats dropping in front with a whirr and tackle. I never saw him again."

Chaffee Photos on this page are courtesy of Carter G. Chaffee

Since this story was originally written, the seller of the pin took ill and prior to his passing away in the fall of 2009, at his home in Fargo, he contacted the Director of the White Star Line Memorial Foundation and stated that the pin was obtained by shady means. Although the pin was not technically stolen from the family, it was traded as a payment from family members, by marriage, of the Chaffee family.

I had the privilage of collaborating with Mark Chaffee, grandson of Herbert Fuller Chaffee, in 2012 for a story about the Chaffee's on the Titanic, and printed in a Fargo, N.D. newspaper. Mark supported the statements made by Carter, who has sadly passed. There remains no doubt that this pin was indeed purchased aboard the Titanic.

Michael L. Dudley