Margaret P. Linehan, 110, Sailed On The Mauretania

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Bill Schenley

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Feb 21, 2003, 5:05:36 PM2/21/03
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FROM: The Boston Globe -

http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/052/obituaries/Margaret_P_Sheehan_Li
nehan_110P.shtml

Margaret P. (Sheehan) Linehan, an Irishwoman whose dream of
immigrating to the United States almost ended in the icy North
Atlantic when she tried to book passage on the Titanic, died
Tuesday in Portland, Maine, 89 years after the ship went down.
She was 110.

In 1912, Mrs. Linehan traveled by train from the family farm in
County Cork to Queenstown ( now Cobh) to book passage on
the Titanic's first voyage, only to be told that the ship was
already filled. Undaunted, she booked passage on its sister ship,
the Mauretania.

Family history does not record where Mrs. Linehan was when she
found out the Titanic had struck an iceberg, but according to her
daughter, Frances, of Portland, Maine, ''she never looked back.''

Mrs. Linehan, who may have been the oldest living woman in
Maine, was born in County Cork in 1892, the year horseless
carriages first appeared on dusty streets in America and the
Dalton Boys were shot and killed while robbing a bank in
Coffeyville, Kan.

Her father raised dairy cows, chickens, geese, and vegetables
and Mrs. Linehan and her nine siblings helped out.

''She went out there and worked in the fields with her brothers
and sisters until they could hardly stand,'' said her daughter.

But Mrs. Linehan dreamed of a better life, of moving to
America and becoming a nurse. She didn't just dream, she made
it happen.

''She was a very feisty lady,'' said her daughter, ''nothing was
going to keep her down on the farm.''

Mrs. Linehan was 19 when she set sail on the Mauretania, at the
time the world's fastest ocean liner. She was accompanied by a
girlfriend who was ''in service'' to a wealthy family in the United
States, who had paid for their servant's vacation in her homeland.
They slept in adjoining bunks in steerage.

Mrs. Linehan lived briefly in Hartford with her brother, Dan, who
had entered the country earlier. She then went to work as nanny
to the four children of a wealthy Hartford family.

She saved her money and attended Union Hospital School of
Nursing in Lynn. She had to withdraw from the school when she
contracted a severe case of the flu during the Spanish Flu
epidemic of 1918. She returned to school and graduated in 1919.

She then took a memorable transcontinental trip by rail to San
Francisco, where her brother Dan was laid up after becoming ill
while working overseas for a tea company.

As she nursed her brother on the return trip across the country,
they made frequent stops. She often spoke of the Native
Americans she encountered selling crafts and trinkets at stations
along the way.

While still in nursing school, Mrs. Linhean was introduced by her
brother to James H. Linehan, an accountant for Armour Meat Co.
in Boston. The couple was strolling arm and arm through a park in
Hartford when the city's bells sounded in celebration of the end of
World War I. They were married in 1923.

Mrs. Linehan was later a private duty nurse in Boston, while she
and her husband lived on the Fenway.

In 1929, Mr. Linehan went to work for Mobil Oil Co. He was
transferred to Portland two years later and Mrs. Linehan became
a homemaker.

''She had a big heart and was very much the nurse of the
neighborhood,'' said her daughter. ''She was always tending to the
others, putting in eyedrops, taking temperatures, checking for
fevers. Even when she was in her 80s, there was an elderly neighbor
she looked in on twice a day.''

But cooking was where she excelled. She had taken Fanny Farmer
cooking lessons in Boston. ''Cooking was her life, her hobby, her
everything,'' said her daughter. Her homemade bread, biscuits, and
pies were the prize of the neighborhood.

Mrs. Linehan was an avid reader. She also watched some television.
She enjoyed the ''Merv Griffin Show'' and almost anything on PBS.
''If she saw something on Channel 10 [the local PBS station] she
thought it was gospel, '' said her daughter.

When Mrs Linehan was 100, her daughter sent a photograph of
her to Willard Scott, the ''Today Show'' weatherman who often
congratulates centenarians on air on their birthdays. No luck. She
tried again, when Mrs. Linehan turned 101 and 102. Still no luck.
But when she was 103, Mrs. Linehan finally had her picture flashed
across the nation's television screens. ''I wrote and told Willard
about her attempt to book passage on the Titanic,'' said her
daughter. ''That got his attention.''

Mrs. Linehan's husband died in 1962. Besides her daughter, she
leaves a son, James, of Portland; four grandchildren and five
great-grandchildren.

A funeral Mass will be said at 11 a.m. today in St. Joseph's
Church in Portland. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, South
Portland.


Bruce B. Reynolds

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Feb 21, 2003, 5:10:42 PM2/21/03
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>In 1912, Mrs. Linehan traveled by train from the family farm in
>County Cork to Queenstown ( now Cobh) to book passage on
>the Titanic's first voyage, only to be told that the ship was
>already filled. Undaunted, she booked passage on its sister ship,
>the Mauretania.
>

The Titanic was a White Star Line liner,
the Mauretania was a Cunard liner; they
were not sister ships.

--
Bruce B. Reynolds, Trailing Edge Technologies, Glenside PA

Louis Epstein

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Feb 21, 2003, 6:24:57 PM2/21/03
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Bill Schenley <stra...@erie.net> wrote:
: FROM: The Boston Globe -

: http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/052/obituaries/Margaret_P_Sheehan_Li
: nehan_110P.shtml

: Margaret P. (Sheehan) Linehan, an Irishwoman whose dream of
: immigrating to the United States almost ended in the icy North
: Atlantic when she tried to book passage on the Titanic, died
: Tuesday in Portland, Maine, 89 years after the ship went down.
: She was 110.

Documentation would be interesting,she's not on my lists
as of yet.(She may have become the oldest person in Maine
when Fred H. Hale Sr.,born December 1890,moved to New York
state to be near his son a couple of years ago).

: In 1912, Mrs. Linehan traveled by train from the family farm in


: County Cork to Queenstown ( now Cobh) to book passage on
: the Titanic's first voyage, only to be told that the ship was
: already filled. Undaunted, she booked passage on its sister ship,
: the Mauretania.

The Titanic (White Star Line flagship) was not a "sister ship"
of the Mauretania (Cunard Line,I think then still the flagship).
Those lines did not merge until 1934.

: Family history does not record where Mrs. Linehan was when she


: found out the Titanic had struck an iceberg, but according to her
: daughter, Frances, of Portland, Maine, ''she never looked back.''

: Mrs. Linehan, who may have been the oldest living woman in
: Maine, was born in County Cork in 1892, the year horseless
: carriages first appeared on dusty streets in America and the
: Dalton Boys were shot and killed while robbing a bank in
: Coffeyville, Kan.

I kind of doubt Maine has any older living men,either.

: Her father raised dairy cows, chickens, geese, and vegetables

Not then called Mobil Oil Co.,I am pretty sure!
Standard Oil Company of New York was the name then,
not sure when it started using the "Mobil" brand or
when subsidiaries might have had it.

: ''She had a big heart and was very much the nurse of the


: neighborhood,'' said her daughter. ''She was always tending to the
: others, putting in eyedrops, taking temperatures, checking for
: fevers. Even when she was in her 80s, there was an elderly neighbor
: she looked in on twice a day.''

: But cooking was where she excelled. She had taken Fanny Farmer
: cooking lessons in Boston. ''Cooking was her life, her hobby, her
: everything,'' said her daughter. Her homemade bread, biscuits, and
: pies were the prize of the neighborhood.

: Mrs. Linehan was an avid reader. She also watched some television.
: She enjoyed the ''Merv Griffin Show'' and almost anything on PBS.
: ''If she saw something on Channel 10 [the local PBS station] she
: thought it was gospel, '' said her daughter.

: When Mrs Linehan was 100, her daughter sent a photograph of
: her to Willard Scott, the ''Today Show'' weatherman who often
: congratulates centenarians on air on their birthdays. No luck. She
: tried again, when Mrs. Linehan turned 101 and 102. Still no luck.
: But when she was 103, Mrs. Linehan finally had her picture flashed
: across the nation's television screens. ''I wrote and told Willard
: about her attempt to book passage on the Titanic,'' said her
: daughter. ''That got his attention.''

As I understand it, he generally doesn't salute women who are down
around 100-102 because there are so many of them.

: Mrs. Linehan's husband died in 1962. Besides her daughter, she


: leaves a son, James, of Portland; four grandchildren and five
: great-grandchildren.

: A funeral Mass will be said at 11 a.m. today in St. Joseph's
: Church in Portland. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, South
: Portland.

-=-=-
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.

Brigid Nelson

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Feb 22, 2003, 2:04:37 PM2/22/03
to
Louis Epstein wrote:

> : In 1912, Mrs. Linehan traveled by train from the family farm in
> : County Cork to Queenstown ( now Cobh) to book passage on
> : the Titanic's first voyage, only to be told that the ship was
> : already filled. Undaunted, she booked passage on its sister ship,
> : the Mauretania.
>
> The Titanic (White Star Line flagship) was not a "sister ship"
> of the Mauretania (Cunard Line,I think then still the flagship).
> Those lines did not merge until 1934.
>

The Boston Globe should have known better. The sister ships were:
Titanic, Britannic, and Olympic.

The Mauretania was famous when it was built for being the biggest, most
luxurious passenger liner - in 1906. For more information than you
probably want go here:

http://uncommonjourneys.com/pages/mauretania/mauretania.htm

brigid

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