1913 black ribbon

John Groundwater

Son of William and Jane (Irwin) Groundwater, was born November 11, 1872, Orkney Islands, Scotland. An older brother had come over first, but died of typhoid fever after living on the Great Lakes. His sister, Mary, and a younger brother had also come from Scotland. The younger brother, also a mariner, was a victim of a Lake Superior shipwreck.

  Settling in Mosa Twp, Middlesex Co., Ontario, John worked for a time as a railroad engineer. It was there that he met Miss Flora Livingston, daughter of John and Sarah (Campbell) Livingston. The young couple were married on January 27, 1904. Before their marriage Flora had worked at National Biscuit Co., (now Nabisco) packing product in boxes. Shortly after their marriage the couple moved to Detroit, MI., where their first child, Jean I., was born. They removed to Cleveland, OH., while Jean was still a baby, and became the proud parents of three more children, Ethel C., John L., and Flora M., who was born September 25, 1911.

In 1909 John was appointed Chief Engineer of the steamer Powell Stackhouse, and later, Chief Engineer of the Charles S. Price, which foundered with all hands on November 9, 1913, in Lake Huron.

John's body washed ashore below Grand Bend, Ont., and was identified by former shipmate, Milton Smith, who had left the Price at Cleveland after having a premonition of approaching danger. When found, John was wearing a Regina lifebelt which began the speculation that the Price and steamer, Regina, had collided. Funeral services were held in Detroit and John was buried at Evergreen Cemetery there.

His widow, Flora, never married again. She must have been a strong woman to raise three children alone during those times. Flora died in Cleveland on November 25, 1946, and is buried next to John in Evergreen Cemetery, Detroit, MI.





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