The burns her daughter suffered, delayed Elna Stroms departure for America, and placed them on the Titanic   3 comments

Name: Elna Matilda Ström (Persson)

Born: Thursday, August 3, 1882

Age: 29 years

3rd Class passenger

First Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday, April 10, 1912

Ticket No. 347054, £10 9s 3d ($15.88)

Died in the sinking/Body Not Recovered

Wilhelm Strom (Elna Matilda Persson), 29, was born August 3, 1882. Her parents were Per Ulrik and Kristina Persson from Södermanland, Sweden. Elna Strom was Swedish-American, she married Wilhelm Strom and the couple lived at 3905 Grapevine Street, in Indiana Harbour, Indiana.

Elna Strom boarded the Titanic at Southampton with her daughter, Selma Matilda Strom (Thelma) and her brother Ernst Ulrik Persson. (Her father spelled her name Thelma (or Telma) but newspapers and the White Star line spelled it Selma.) Elna & Selma had been visiting her parents in Sweden. A few days before the trip Selma burned her hand with hot water, so they had to postpone the trip home in order for her burns to heal. That delay put them on the Titanic. Onboard Selma had to visit the nurse daily to have her bandages changed.

While the ship was sinking, the Stroms made their way up to the boat deck, but they came too late to get on any of the lifeboats. At 02.15 a.m. they were all seen on the deck when there was a violent lunge and Ernst lost his grip and never saw them again.

Sadly, both Elna and Telma died in the sinking, and Elna Strom’s body was never found. Her brother, Ernst was rescued.

The Mansion House Fund paid 874.08 Kr (£48) to Elna’s parents on January 23, 1913. They also received financial relief from the American Red Cross.

Case number 437.(Swedish). A wife, 29 years of age and daughter of 3 were returning from a visit to relatives, were drowned. They were accompanied by her brother, who was saved. The husband, employed in a steel mill in Indiana, was terribly shocked and distressed by his loss. He spent his savings in coming to New York to search for his wife, and in assisting his brother-in-law who did not immediately secure work. Later he suffered a severe injury and required hospital treatment for several weeks. ($500).

Elna’s husband travelled to New York to try to identify his daughter among the children who survived the sinking. When he was unable to find her, he was joined by his brother-in-law, Ernst Persson and they travelled back to Indiana together. Wilhelm found Ernst a job at Standard Forgings, where Wilhelm worked as an ironworker.

Wilhelm Strom wrote on June 20, 1912 to the consulate in New York asking for help.

“Because I would like to have the case up to court as soon as possible so that I could in my despair got some compensation for the fact that I have lost everything I owned” The consulate asked him to contact the Red Cross.

The size of damage claims paid to Wilhelm Strom is unknown.

Elna Strom and unidentified family member

Elna Strom and unidentified family member


3 responses to “The burns her daughter suffered, delayed Elna Stroms departure for America, and placed them on the Titanic

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  1. My Great Uncle was Wilhelm Strom. I have searched out every bit of info I can and the picture on this one I did not have. Thanks

    • Your welcome! Thank you for the reply.

      I think I found the photo using Google Images – using the search terms “strom family titanic” and/or “elna strom titanic”. If you wanted to try the search, there may be more images.

    • I love that it was a new picture for your family! God bless.

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