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William Watson

William Watson

...jump, jump, you can make it...

William Watson often walked or ran to work at Western Electric where he was a tool and dye maker.  After his fellow workers saw him running to work, they persuaded William to run in a track meet for his department.  He did very well as a runner and won many races and received many awards.  He was very well known at the Western for his running ability.

The morning of the picnic, William did not want to wake up and his mother had a hard time getting him out of bed to go to the picnic.  She kept telling him that he was going to be late.  When William did get up he would not hurry, he kept taking his time.  On his way downtown he even stopped for a cup of coffee.  By the time that he arrived to board, the gangplank was already being pulled in.  His friends on the ship were yelling for him to jump.  "Jump, jump, you can make it!" they shouted.  But William did not jump.  Instead he watched as the ship rolled over right at the river's edge where he was standing.  William stayed the entire day and helped pull people out of the water.

The next day the newspaper listed him as dead.  They did not know that he had missed boarding the ship.  His mother spent the day explaining to many people that her son was really alive and well.

William later became a Chicago Police officer and retired as Sergeant after many years of service.  He died in 1974 leaving his wife, Margaret, and two daughters, Dolores and Eileen.

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