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Johnny Benson

Johnny Benson

...immediately left work and ran down to the dock...

Johnny Benson was working at the Dunham Towing and Wrecking Company the morning of the Eastland Disaster.  The Dunham plant was located on the north side of the Chicago River just a few blocks west of where the Eastland was moored.  When word of the Eastland Disaster reached the plant, Johnny and two others immediately left their work and ran down to the dock near their plant.  Here they commanded a tug, the Rita McDonald, and on their way to the tragedy they picked up two construction rafts.  They successfully manuevered the Rita McDonald to an area of the river where the mass of people struggling to stay alive was the thickest.  They pulled 50 to 100 people from the river.  Full story.

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