Monday, April 16, 2012

Hibbing's Titanic Survivor

Did you know that one of the Titanic survivors was on her way to Hibbing?  Hedvig Turkula, mother of John and Felix Turkala who were farming south of Hibbing at the time was one of the survivors of the Titanic disaster.

According to the April 26, 1912 Hibbing Daily Tribune, "there was a touching scene the Great Northern depot when Mrs. Hedvig Turkala, one of the few steerage passengers of the White Star Liner Titanic, ... and her two sons, John and Felix ... were reunited after 13 years of separation."

She told of being helped by a countryman, Eino Lundquist, from the third class steerage section to the second deck where she was lifted onto a lifeboat by a minor officer of the ship. 

The Tribune also reported, "Mrs. Turkala arrived in Hibbing in excellent health and spirits, but this morning when she related to Al Newman of the Security State Bank, who officiated as interpreter in an interview for The Tribune, the dramatic story of her rescue from the sinking ship, the scenes on the lower decks of the panic stricken vessel, where strong men fought side by side for a place in the boats until they were made to stand back at the point of drawn revolvers in the hands of the ship's officers, her eyes filled with tears and her bent form shook with suppressed emotion."

Read all of the Tribune's articles about this event and a brief summary of Hedvig's life compiled by family members.  Ask at the front desk for the history folder on the "Titanic Survivor".

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