How One Woman Survived the Titanic and Ended Up in Council Bluffs
Everyone knows the story of the Titanic...Leonardo DiCaprio hops on a boat, paints Kate Winslet, and dies in the Atlantic after falling off of that door.
We all can agree that there was room for both of them on that thing, right?
In reality, there was no Jack or Rose on that ship when the infamous Titanic sank.
April 2021 marks the 109 year anniversary of this deadly incident at sea. More than 1,500 passengers died when the ship went down that cold April morning in the North Atlantic. On April 14th, 1912 right before midnight, the ship struck the iceberg, and less than three hours later, the ship completely submerged.
It turns out that multiple passengers were making their way to Iowa on that voyage; one child ended up calling Iowa home after the tragedy.
Four-year-old Helen Delaney had no idea when she set foot on the Titanic, that her days with her parents were numbered. Delaney was one of the 705 survivors, and one of the many children orphaned that April morning. She was thrown overboard, and caught by someone in the water. Her birth parents names are unknown, and so was Helen's exact birthday.
On April 18th, she was placed in a New York orphanage. She actually came to Council Bluffs, Iowa on an orphan train. This was a national movement to find families for children in North America. Helen was adopted by James Delaney and his wife when she came through the city on the train.
Delaney's father was a Council Bluffs locomotive engineer. She went to the local Catholic school, and remained in the area for the rest of her life. Helen lived a quiet life with a few close confidants, and never married or had children. Close friends of the Council Bluffs resident said she never spoke about the incident.
According to reports, she lived at the Regal Towers apartments on South Sixth Street, and was a sales clerk at a local convenience store on West Broadway. Helen died in 1982 in a Council Bluffs hospital at the age of 74. She was one of the last sixteen survivors of the infamous sinking.