Blog Post 6 of the LADD-WILLIAMS family
The disaster of the Steamboat or Steamship Empire of Troy [New York] happened in New York when the Schooner Noah Brown, which was carrying lumber collided with the Empire making a gash causing the water to rush in quite quickly. This accident happened at 10 or 10:30 PM when the passengers were sleeping. There were about 260 passengers and 23 of them died.
Captain Tupper of the Empire was cleared of any responsibility as it was felt that the Noah Brown was at fault for being overloaded with lumber. It was dark and ships were not well lit.
The four boys in the Ladd family all died and the mother, Harriet Z. Williams Ladd was hurt when they rescued her from the sinking ship and never fully recovered from this awful experience. One account said they were compensated about $1,000 which may have been used to bury the boys and erect the monument.
One article, titled, "Another Body Found", stated, ..."The body of a boy about 11 years old named Elias W. Ladd, the youngest of the four brothers lost by this terrible disaster has been recovered." He was stuck under a sofa in the cabin.
The 1850 census of Christian County shows the family as they settled there with Noyes Ladd, Jr. and his wife Phebe Williams and their children, the mother Harriet and her unmarried sister Elizabeth and Noyes Ladd sister Ann living there.
With life beginning over again in Illinois, this family from Connecticut, bought land and set to farming. Life does go on but it is never easy.