The Titanic set sail on April 10, 1912, with 2,227 passengers and crew onboard; on April 15, 1912, the tragic collision with an iceberg claimed over 1,500 lives, mostly among the second and third class passengers.
Among the first class passengers were two Canadian businessmen; Charles Melville Hays and Harry Markland Molson.
Charles Melville Hays was born in 1856 and educated in the United States. He worked on several railways in the U.S.A. before coming to Canada in 1896. He was the General Manager of the Grand Trunk Railway, from 1896 to 1909 with the exception of a period in 1901 when he was president of the Southern Pacific Railway. In 1905 he became president of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, which was largely his own creation. In 1909, he was appointed president of the Grand Trunk Railway and retained this office until his death on the Titanic. Charles was the husband of Clara J. Gregg and father of four daughters. Learn more about Hays in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.
Harry Markland Molson, also born in 1856, was the great grandson of John Molson, founder of the famous Canadian brewery. He lived in Montreal and was former Mayor of Dorval and a member of the board of directors for the Molson Bank. You can learn more about the Molson family by reading the Dictionary of Canadian Biography online.
Library and Archives Canada has some records relating to both these gentlemen:
- Portrait, Charles Melville Hays – President Grand Trunk Railway System, 1910 to 1912. (MIKAN3350321)
- Charles Melville Hays fonds, MG30-A18, Volume 1. (MIKAN 97908)
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