The Titanic, an Auction and a Letter with a Connection to Alexandria, Minnesota
Holverson was born in Rushford, Minnesota and his family later moved to Alexandria
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — A letter written by a Minnesota man, who perished when the Titanic sank in the icy waters of the Atlantic, could be auctioned off for an estimated $100,000.
The three page letter, written by Alexander Oskar Holverson, is believed to be the last known document to be written by a passenger before the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912.
Holverson was born in Rushford, Minnesota and his family later moved to Alexandria.
Holverson later became a businessman in New York where he married his wife, Mary Alice Towner.
The Holversons were vacationing in Buenos Aires when they returned to England to board the Titanic as First Class passengers back to America.
Holverson, who was 42-years-old at the time, wrote the letter, dated April 13th, 1912, on Titanic’s embossed White Star Line stationary.
He addressed it “My Dear Mother”, telling her, “If all goes well, we will arrive in New York Wednesday A.M.”
He also writes “This boat is giant in size and fitted up like a palatial hotel.”
He continues to describe the music, food and talks of catching a glimpse of one of the world’s richest businessmen at the time, John Jacob Astor, who happened to be with his wife Madeleine on the ship’s deck.
Holverson writes about Astor, saying in part, “He looks like any other human being even tho he has millions.”
The ship would hit the iceberg on April 14th, 1912 at 11:40 p.m. and sink to the bottom of the Atlantic nearly three hours later, taking 1,514 passengers and crew with her.
Holverson died in the icy waters of the Atlantic that night, as did Astor.
After Holverson’s body was recovered, the letter was found inside his pocketbook inside his jacket.
The letter, along with his effects, were sent back to his mother in Alexandria and the letter resurfaced earlier this month, 105 years later.
The condition of the letter is what auctioneers are hoping will catch potential buyers’ eyes.
“It’s the only letter written on Titanic stationary actually to have gone into the water, so it’s bearing those scars from that immersion in the cold North Atlantic,” said auctioneer, Andrew Aldridge, of Henry Aldridge and Son Auctioneers.
The auction will take place Saturday, October 22 in the U.K.
Included with the letter are other letters between members of the Holverson family, personal effects and a picture taken of Holverson and Mary Alice, leaving for South America before boarding Titanic.
Holverson’s wife survived, making it onto a lifeboat.
She never remarried and died six years later in 1918 at the age of 41.
She was later buried with her husband in New York’s Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.