Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

August Edward "Leo" Wennerström - Titanic Survivor  

August Edward "Leo" Wennerström
BIRTH 24 Apr 1884 Sankt Maria, Malmöhus (Skåne), Sverige (Sweden)
DEATH 21 Nov 1950 Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana
BURIAL Masonic Cemetery Culver, Marshall County, Indiana
PLOT Section 4, Row 20

1950 - Nov. 22 - Bulletin - August Wennerstrom age 66 former Superintendent of Building and Grounds at Culver Military Academy, died Yesterday evening at Fort Wayne, Ind. The body was brought to the Easterday Funeral home. FUneral Arangements were not known this morning.

married 26 Jun 1915 Chicago, Cook, Illinois
Naome R. Johnson
BIRTH 5 May 1894 Chicago, Cook county Illinois
DEATH Jul 1977 South Bend, St. Joseph County, Indiana
BURIAL Masonic Cemetery Culver, Marshall County, Indiana
PLOT Section 4, Row 20

They had seven children:

    1 Leo Edvard Wennerström BIRTH 3 Jun 1916 Culver, Marshall County, Indiana, DEATH 23 Apr 1988 Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas BURIAL Mount Olivet Cemetery Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas PLOT Sunset Terrace 7; Married 4 Jun 1949 Rockwall, Texas, Hazel (Poly) Elizabeth Kinnaird BIRTH 22 JUL 1906 Whitewright, Grayson, Texas, DEATH 16 JAN 1993 lanta, Fulton, Georgia, BURIAL Mount Olivet Cemetery Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas PLOT Sunset Terrace daughter of Amos Ezekiel Kinnaird & Malinda Green

    2 Clarence William Wennerström Birth: 15 Feb 1918 Culver (RHD) Union twp. Marshall county Indiana DEATH 20 Sep 2009 Carson City, Nevada BURIAL Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery Fernley, Lyon County, Nevada; married 28 Jan 1946 Marriage Place: Cleveland, Oklahoma Bernice Martin

    3 August Edward Wennerström, Jr BIRTH 28 Jul 1920 Culver, Marshall County, Indiana DEATH 26 Aug 2004 Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana BURIAL Cremated, Ashes scattered, near the Wennerström House Culver, Marshall County, Indiana MARRIED Ruth Louise Bradt Birth 2 Jun 1924 Niagara Fall, New York Death Date: 23 Oct 2002 dau of Langdon L Bradt & Pauline Lally Children: Pauline, Gerald, Raymond Edward

    4 Knight Leo Wennerström, Sr BIRTH 12 Feb 1922 Culver, Marshall County, Indiana DEATH 27 Nov 2000 Plymouth, Marshall County, Indiana BURIAL Oak Hill Cemetery Plymouth, Marshall County, Indiana, LOT Maplewood south, row 7, lot 1075c; MARRIED Ruth Elenore Glassman 28 Dec 1930 Mishawaka, St Joseph, Indiana BURIAL Oak Hill Cemetery Plymouth, Marshall County, Indiana, PLOT Maplewood south, row 8, lot 1075c dau of Marvin Glassman & Gertrude Granger Children: Jimmy A, Curtis L, Douglass D, Debra L, Terrance E.

    5 Billy Raymond Wennerström BIRTH 24 Dec 1923 Culver, Marshall County, Indiana, DEATH 6 Mar 2000 Plymouth, Marshall County, Indiana BURIAL Masonic Cemetery Culver, Marshall County, Indiana MARRIED 1968 Helen Louise Smith Birth: April 23, 1919 Plymouth Marshall county Indiana Death: December 02, 2006 Plymouth Marshall county Indiana Burial: Oakhill Cemetery Plymouth Marshall county Indiana Daughter of Ora Dale Smith and Iva Mae Smith (Crum)

    6 Leonora Eliseanna "Ann" Wennerström BIRTH 15 Mar 1926 Culver, Marshall County, Indiana, DEATH 20 Dec 2015 Elkhart, Elkhart County, Indiana, BURIAL Poplar Grove Cemetery Marshall County, Indiana, MARRIED Francis D. Gibbons BIRTH 1906 DEATH 1985 BURIAL Poplar Gr

    ove Cemetery Marshall County, Indiana, children: Gale May; Johnny, Frances and Dale Ray.

    7 Culver L Wennerström Birth married June 20, 1959 Roseland, Indiana Deloris J Lane BIRTH 14 Mar 1930 Mishawaka, St. Joseph County, Indiana DEATH 3 Apr 2013 Mishawaka, St. Joseph County, Indiana, BURIAL Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens Osceola, St. Joseph County, Indian dau of Ora F. Lane & Irene Anderson Children: Edwin D., Christine Marie

Mr August Wennerström (August Edvard Andersson), 27, was Born 24 April 1884, Sankt Maria, Malmöhus (Skåne), Sverige (Sweden) the son of Knut Andersson and Elna Månsdotter and by the Sweden, Selected Indexed Household Clerical Surveys, 1880-1893 they resided at Ystads stadsförsamling, Malmöhus (Skåne), Sverige (Sweden)

He was a journalist, typographer and socialist activist living in Malmö, Sweden.

Born August Edvard Andersson, a son of Knut Andersson and Elna Månsdotter. He was a journalist, typographer and socialist activist living in Malmö, Sweden.

His socialist activities included the publication, in 1905, of "Gula Faran" (the yellow danger) and thereafter he was known under that nickname. The paper, which described the King Oscar II as "King of thieves" was not appreciated by the authorities. Confiscation and charges followed.

He was charged with crimes aginst the state but was acquitted but he decided to emigrate in 1912.

He purchased a ticket to Copenhagen, Denmark and to conceal his identity, changed his name to Wennerström (borrowed from a friend, Ivar Vennerström).

He travelled via train to Copenhagen then by boat and ferry train to England and traveled then to Southampton, where he boarded the Titanic for America, as a 3rd class passenger.

RMS itanic at the docks at Southampton, Hampshire, England
Of the estimated 1,300 passengers on board the Titanic, there were 123 Swedes, 112 in third class. There were 327 British and 306 American passengers on board.

The number of casualties of the sinking is unclear due to several factors, including confusion over the passenger list, which included some names of people who cancelled their trip at the last minute, and the fact that several passengers travelled under aliases for various reasons and were double-counted on the casualty lists. The death toll has been put at between 1,490 and 1,635 people

On board the Titanic he got in company with other Swedes traveling via Esbjerg, among them Carl Olof Jansson (his account) and Gunnar Isidor Tenglin with whom he shared a cabin (Tenglin's recollections ) .

The Titanic struck a North Atlantic iceberg at 11:40 p.m. in the evening of April 14, 1912 at a speed of 20.5 knots (23.6 MPH). The Tiranic slipped below the waves at 2:20 a.m. on April 15 the North Atlantic Ocean (400 miles (640 km) east of Newfoundland), four days into the ship's maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. The berg scraped along the starboard or right side of the hull below the waterline, slicing open the hull between five of the adjacent watertight compartments. If only one or two of the compartments had been, Titanic might have stayed afloat, but when so many were sliced open, the watertight integrity of the entire forward section of the hull was fatally breached. The ship carried 1,317 passengers, but only 705 survived.

On April 15 at 2:20 a.m., he wrote, "The ship's keel hits the icy water." Six hours later, August awoke. Numb, but alive. When he came to, he was floating on three bodies — dead bodies His feet were so cold, he couldn't even tell he had any.

Still, he refused to give up hope. After the collision Wennerström took some Swedish girls to the boats, he then returned to steerage: began helping others into nearby lifeboats. Sadly, many of his struggles were in vain.

One of our friends, a man by the name of Johan Lundahl who had been home to the old country on a visit and was going back to the United States said to us, "Good-bye friends; I'm too old to fight the Atlantic." he went to the smoking room and there on a chair was awaiting his last call. So did an English lady; She sat down by the piano and, with her child on her knee, she played the piano until the Atlantic grave called them both. He and Tenglin also found Edvard and Elin Lindell of Helsingborg, Sweden, who were part of the surge of steerage passengers who appeared on the Boat deck in the ship's final moments. On board the Titanic Alma Pålsson [Mrs. Nils Leonard Paulson (Pålsson)] got to know August Wennerström earlier.
    Alma came too late for the lifeboats. She met Wennerström on the Boat Deck near collapsible A; Carl Jansson and August Wennerström, fellow swedes, rushed to their aid. Wennerström grabbed the smaller children and franticaly looked around for an escape. Wennerström tried to hold on to two of the children as she had asked him to but a torrent of water hurtled up from the bow at that momonet Wennerström lost his grip and all were swept screaming into the seaand all of them died that night.

As the ship sank the group struggled up the sloping deck until it was too steep recounted that even though he was quite close to the ship, he detected no suction as it descended.

August Wennerström, a swede, spied a collapsible boat behind one of the smokestacks as the vessel was sinking. With three other men he managed to tear it from its lashings and the four jumped overboard with it.
    Titanic collapsible lifeboat A. This collapsible boat was never launched as such from the Titanic.

    After boat C had been lowered from the starboard side, the crew tried to fasten boat A to the davits, but there simply was no more time.

    The boat was washed over the side of the ship and the canvas sides had not been put up, so it was soon awash with icy sea water. People started climbing into it from the water (and there may have been some in it when it was washed away as well) and some people said that it was full of people within a rather short period of time. According to some survivors, it turned turtle and the people in it were thrown out of it, but many scrambled back. Finally, it drifted away from the wreckage area and fewer people came near it. When the last swimmer arrived, there may have been about 30 people standing in the frail craft with water up to their knees. In the extremely cold water, people started dying and Richard Williams, who had seen his father disappear when they were swimming in the water and the funnel fell near them, estimated there were eleven who finally were rescued. Olaus Abelseth believed ten or twelve were saved including two Swedes. William Mellor also thought there were ten or twelve saved (out of 30 or 40 original survivors on the boat). Third class passenger August Wennerström (listed Andersson) estimated twelve survivors. He noticed a Swedish man holding on to his wife, who was in the sea and did not have the strength to get into the boat. The wife grew numb and drifted away and the husband died in the craft (according to Wennerström, he died on the Carpathia). Their wedding ring was left in the boat, however. After hours of suffering, the ten or twelve survivors were rescued by boat 14 who spied them and took them in.

About two dozen people managed to make it to Collasible A; two of the last to reach it were August Wennerström and his friend Edvard Linell.
    Once the ship went under Wennerström and Lindell climbed into the boat.

    Wennerström climbed in, he looked back for Linell's wife Elin, whom he saw still struggling in the water. He managed to grab her hand but he did not have the strength to haul her aboard. He hung on for a time, but eventually was forced to let go. He was unsure if Elin was alive or dead when she slid into the water. Weakened by the cold he was unable to assist her further and after a while she drifted away.

    Fearfully, He turned to Edvard to tell hem about his wife, but he realized that he to was dead.
      The story of Gerda Lindell, 30, was also emigrating to America with her husband Edvard, 36, on the Titanic; will live on through her wedding ring.

      The couple, from Helsingborg, Skåne, managed to stay together as the Titanic went down and reached collapsible lifeboat A together.

      Gerda Lindell's ring ended up drifting around in a lifeboat for a month before it was found August Wennerström, one of only 34 surviving Swedes, later described the events to many newspapers:
        He said he and Edvard managed to get into the lifeboat but Gerda had no strength left to climb in and clung on to the side. Eventually she could hold on no longer and drowned. Wennerström described how Edvard's hair "turned all grey in lesser time than 30 minutes" before he died, still holding his wife's ring in his hand.

        The survivors were later transferred to another lifeboat and taken to Carpathia while the collapsible was left to drift away.

        Gerda's body was never found, nor was her husband's.

        But a month later a crew from another ship, Oceanic, found the drifting lifeboat about 300 miles from where the Titanic sank

        It was just so cold that her hand slipped out of his and as they did, her ring come off and landed in the boat. That ring is now in Germany on display.

        As they began recovering three dead bodies from the raft, they saw something glistening at the bottom. They had found Gerda Lindell's ring - .engraved with the words 'Edward to Gerda'

        The ring was reunited with her father in Sweden after her brother saw a note about it in a local newspaper.

        For many years the ring, which was a combined wedding and engagement ring, remained in the family and Gerda's niece wore it.

        Mr Wetterholm had heard the story about the ring but until he managed to trace it in 1991 he thought it was a myth.

        The ring is now stored in a safety deposit box in Sweden, but is taken out for exhibitions around the world.

The boat overturned four times, but each tim they managed to right it and Finally all of them were saved by the Carpathia. While drifting about, Wennerström said he saw at least 200 men in the water who were drowned.

All the feeling had left us. If we wanted to know if we still had legs (or any other part) left, we had to feel down in the water with our hand. The only exercise we got was when someone gave up hope and died, whom we immediately threw overboard to give the live ones a little more space and at the same time lighten the weight of the boat.

He was one of the survivors of that tragic voyage and was taken to New York, aboard the RMS Carpathia. When Carpathia arrived at Pier 54 in New York on the evening of 18 April after a difficult voyage through pack ice, fog, thunderstorms and rough seas, some 40,000 people were standing on the wharves, alerted to the disaster by a stream of radio messages from Carpathia and other ships. It was only after Carpathia docked – three days after Titanic's sinking – that the full scope of the disaster became public knowledge

In New York he was quartered at Salvation Army's cadet school and he created a minor scandal when he accused the Lutheran immigrant home of embezzlement.

He received $25 and a train ticket from the Salvation Army committee and $100 from the Red Cross.

Later Jansson "Wennerstrom and Iowa survivor Tenglin all had their picture taken with a pair of Salvation Army workers John Charles Asplund, sitting at the bottom left. The man between the salvation soldiers is said to be August Wennerström and in front of him Carl Olof Jansson. The man on the right can be Einar Gervasius Karlsson or Gunnar Tenglin.
back row from left, John Charles Asplund, Gunnar Tenglin, Einar Karlsson. In the front row from the left, August Wennerström and Carl Olof Jansson. On Monday evening, the 22nd, their roads parted. In the meantime, until then, they had the opportunity to visit Bailey Studios, 8 East, 14th Street, New York, to take a memorial photo before they were dispersed. On the back of the photo that Carl-Olof Jansson sent home to Sweden is written “To mother and father. The photograph shows five good friends who j ointly fought for life on the big world ocean atlantic. "
Others tell of the train August boarded at Grand Central Station headed for Chicago with one stop along the way that would change his life forever.
    "He went to Culver to tell some people that their family had drowned. When he went to get off the train, the academy people were there waiting on a man named Leo. Well, this guy that was supposed to come never showed up, and they thought my dad was Leo," Ann said. Of course, he wasn't. But he soon would be. Ten years later, "Leo" Wennerström had become the superintendent of all buildings and grounds at Culver Military Academy — a post he held proudly for nearly 30 years.

At the Salvation Army in Chicago he where he met his future wife, Naome Johnson of Swedish origin The couple moved to Culver where August he bacame a gardner and secured employment at Culver Military Academy as superintendent of buildings and grounds.

Ironically, August Wennerström was declared dead in the original newspaper article his son nowsafeguards in Mishawaka.

Despite that one mistake, he remains one of the most documented survivors of the Titanic disaster, and has been featured in dozens of books and TV shows around the world.

Each year, he spoke to vast crowds of eager students, recounting the voices of those he helped save — and those who rest forever — in a watery grave. He filled his little notebook with his remembrances in the year before he died.

Ninety-five years after (2007) those voices were quieted, there's now nothing but peace and quiet at the Culver Masonic Cemetery where August and his wife now rest.No more stories, no more talks. But there is still a piece of Titanic history alive in Culver.

Five Wennstrom brothers now in service - Mar 3, 1943

Private - Army Air Crops, Niagra Falls, N.Y.
Has been inducted into Army & left Monday for fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis
Sargent - Army Air Corps, Edgewood Arsenal, Md.
Pvt. - Fort Benning Ge.
PFC - Camp Livingston, Al

1952 - in the telephone directory he is listed as residing on Jones Road

1962 - in the telephon edirectory he is listed as 1922 Lake Shore Dr.

Sweden, Indexed Birth Records, 1859-1947
Name: August Edvard [August Edvard Andersson] [August Edvard Knutsson]
Birth Date: 27 apr 1884
Birth Place: Sankt Maria, Malmöhus (Skåne), Sverige (Sweden)
Father: Knut Andersson
Mother: Elna Månsdotter
Page Number: 0/0
Volume: 803

Sweden, Selected Indexed Household Clerical Surveys, 1880-1893 Name: August Edvard [August Edvard Andersson] [August Edvard Knutsson]
Gender: Man (Male)
Relationship or Occupation: Son
Birth Date: 24 apr 1884
Birth Place: Ystad Sankta Maria
Year Range: 1887 - 1893
Residence : Ystads stadsförsamling, Malmöhus (Skåne), Sverige (Sweden)
GID Number: 2140.2.9100
Household Members:
Name Relationship
Knut Andersson Head
Elna Månsdotter Hustru (Wife)
August Edvard Andersson Son

Sweden, Selected Indexed Household Clerical Surveys, 1880-1893
Name: August Edvard [August Edvard Andersson] [August Edvard Knutsson]
Gender: Man (Male)
Relationship or Occupation: Son
Birth Date: 1884
Birth Place: Ystads stadsförsamling
Year Range: 1890
Residence : Ystads stadsförsamling, Malmöhus (Skåne), Sverige (Sweden)
Village, Farm, or Croft: Ystads stadsförsamling
GID Number: 100012.149.37900
Household Members:
Name Relationship
Knut Andersson Head
Elna Månsdotter Hustru (Wife)
August Edvard Andersson Son
Bertha Andersson Dotter (Daughter)

RMS Titanic, Outward Passenger List, 1912 Name: August Wennerström
Estimated birth year: abt 1884
Age: 28
Class: 3rd
Departure Port: Southampton

New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 Name: August Edw Wennerstrom
Arrival Date: 18 Jun 1912
Birth Date: abt 1884
Birth Location: Sweden
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Ethnicity/ Nationality: Scandinavian
Port of Arrival: New York, New York
Ship Name: Carpathia

Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index, 1871-1920 Name: August E. Wennerstrom
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Birth Year: abt 1884
Marriage Type: Marriage
Marriage Date: 26 Jun 1915
Marriage Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois
Spouse Name: Naome Johnson
Spouse Age: 21
Spouse Gender: Female
FHL Film Number: 1030599

World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 Name: August Edward Wennerstrom [August Edward Wenncestrom]
Race: White
Birth Date: 24 Apr 1884
Street address: No 1
Residence Place: Marshall, Indiana, USA
Relative: Nama Wennerstrom

Year: 1920; Census Place: Union, Marshall, Indiana;
Roll: T625_456; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 182
Name: August E Wennerstrom
Age: 36
Birth Year: abt 1884
Birthplace: Sweden
Home in 1920: Union, Marshall, Indiana
House Number: Farm
Residence Date: 1920
Race: White
Gender: Male
Immigration Year: 1912
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital status: Married
Spouse's name: Naomi Wennerstrom
Father's Birthplace: Sweden
Mother's Birthplace: Sweden
Native Tongue: Swedish
Able to Speak English: Yes
Occupation: Foreman
Industry: Military School
Employment Field: Wage or Salary
Home Owned or Rented: Rented
Naturalization Status: Papers Submitted
Able to Read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
August E Wennerstrom 36
Naomi Wennerstrom 26
Leo E Wennerstrom 3
Clarence W Wennerstrom 1

Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992
Name: August Edward Wennerstrom
Birth Date: 24 Apr 1884
Birth Place: Sweden
Age at event: 38
Court District: Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa
Date of Action: 3 Mar 1923

Year: 1930; Census Place: Culver, Marshall, Indiana;
Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 0016; FHL microfilm: 2340352
Name: August E Wernerstour [August E Wennerstrom]
Birth Year: abt 1884
Gender: Male
Race: White
Birthplace: Sweden
Marital status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Head
Home in 1930: Culver, Marshall, Indiana, USA
Map of Home: View Map
Street address: Culver Military Academy Apartment Building
Institution: Culver Military AcademyAll Lines
House Number: 805
Dwelling Number: 1
Family Number: 1
Home Owned or Rented: Rented
Radio Set: Yes
Lives on Farm: No
Age at first Marriage: 31
Attended School: No
Able to Read and Write: Yes
Father's Birthplace: Sweden
Mother's Birthplace: Sweden
Language Spoken: Swedish
Immigration Year: 1912
Naturalization: Naturalized
Able to Speak English: Yes
Occupation: Supervisor
Industry: Private School
Class of Worker: Wage or salary worker
Employment: Yes
Household Members:
Name Age
August E Wernerstour 46
Norma Wennerstrom 36
Leo E Wennerstrom 14
Clarence W Wennerstrom 12
August E Wennerstrom 10
Knight L Wennerstrom 8
Billy R Wennerstrom 7
E A Lenora Wennerstrom 4

Year: 1940; Census Place: Union, Marshall, Indiana;
Roll: m-t0627-01077; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 50-18
Name: August Wennerstrom
Age: 56
Estimated birth year: abt 1884
Gender: Male
Race: White
Birthplace: Sweden
Marital status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Head
Home in 1940: Union, Marshall, Indiana
Map of Home in 1940: View Map
Farm: No
Inferred Residence in 1935: Union, Marshall, Indiana
Residence in 1935: Same House
Resident on farm in 1935: No
Citizenship: 4
Sheet Number: 16A
Number of Household in Order of Visitation: 320
Father's Birthplace: Sweden
Mother's Birthplace: Sweden
Occupation: Superintendent
House Owned or Rented: Rented
Value of Home or Monthly Rental if Rented: 24.00
Attended School or College: No
Highest Grade Completed: Elementary school, 8th grade
Hours Worked Week Prior to Census: 70
Class of Worker: Wage or salary worker in private work
Weeks Worked in 1939: 52
Income: 3500
Income Other Sources: No
Native Language: Swedish
Social Security Number: No
Usual Occupation: Ground Superintend
Usual Industry: Public School
Usual Class of Worker: Wage or salary worker in private work
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
August Wennerstrom 56
Naome Wennerstrom 46
Leo Wennerstrom 24
Clarence Wennerstrom 22
August Wennerstrom 20
Knight Wennerstrom 18
Billie Wennerstrom 16
Lenora Wennerstrom 14
Leonard Wennerstrom 8

World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 e Name: August Edward Wennerstrom
Gender: Male
Race: White
Residence Age: 58
Birth Date: 24 Apr 1884
Birth Place: Sweden
Residence Date: 1942
Residence Place: Marshall, Indiana, USA
Relationship to Draftee: Head
Military Draft Date: 1942



encyclopedia-titanica .org Titanic Survivors


Titanicmannen, del 45 – Fotouppgifter

Titanic centenary: Swedish dreams of a new life lost at sea By Eleanor Williams BBC

Titanic: A Night Remembered By Stephanie L. Barczewski

Titanic: Women and Children First By Judith B. Geller

Sinking of the Titanic: World's Greatest Sea Disaster edited by Thomas Herbert Russell & Marshall Everett

Culver's Titanic Connection : The Story of August Wennerström, Culver's Titanic Survivor. Kehoe, Troy.
    "The strange and unlikely story of one survivor of the Titanic tragedy and his journey to Culver and Culver Academies, the man whose family's death he came to share, and the impact of his legacy on his children and the Culver community." "Originally aired as part of a newscast on WSBT-TV Channel 22, South Bend, Indiana. Written and produced by Troy Kehoe and broadcast originally on May 29, 2007."