Alden Caldwell

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Alden Caldwell
Born Alden Gates Caldwell[1]
(1911-06-10)June 10, 1911[1]
Bangkok, Siam[1]
Died December 18, 1992(1992-12-18) (aged 81)[1]
Largo, Florida[1]
Parent(s) Albert Francis Caldwell
Sylvia Mae Caldwell

Alden Gates Caldwell (June 10, 1911 – December 18, 1992) was a survivor of the RMS Titanic, at only ten months.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

He was born on June 10, 1911, in Bangkok, Siam (now known as Thailand), to Albert and Sylvia Mae Harbaugh Caldwell, who were Presbyterian missionaries[2] who taught at the Bangkok Christian College for Boys.[4] The couple decided to return to America, and on the journey home, they passed through Naples, Italy and learned that a steamship called the Titanic would soon go on its inaugural voyage from Southampton to New York City[2]

Aboard the Titanic[edit]

The family boarded the ship as second-class passengers.[2] On April 14, 1912, aboard the ship, Alden was fussy, and his parents handed him the keys to their trunk as a makeshift toy. They didn't realize that Alden lost the keys until the ship crashed into an iceberg that night and they were awakened by the crew. The Caldwells tried to get into their locked trunk to get Alden's coat out, but the keys were gone. The search for the keys proved fruitless, and the Caldwells had to wrap Alden in a blanket. They also had to leave their savings, $100 in American gold pieces, in the trunk. Because Sylvia was ill and couldn't hold Alden, Albert was encouraged by the crew to get aboard a lifeboat in order to hold the baby. Thus, Alden was credited with saving his father's life.[5]

The young "babby" Alden [6] and his parents escaped the Titanic on Lifeboat 13, and were rescued by the RMS Carpathia.[1] The family was one of the few families to survive the Titanic intact.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Master Alden Gates Caldwell
  2. ^ a b c d Kemp, Bill. "Bloomington family recalls surviving Titanic sinking". The Pantagraph. Retrieved 2008-04-13. 
  3. ^ Children of the Titanic - Surviving Children
  4. ^ "Wife of State Farm Founder Dies at 80". Unidentified newspaper published 15 January 1965. Encyclopedia Titanica. 17 November 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012. Mrs. Sylvia Mecherle, 80, ... was married to Albert Caldwell in 1909. The couple later taught at the Bangkok Christian College for Boys... En route home from assignment there, they boarded the liner Titanic on the voyage of 1912 ending in disaster. Mr. and Mrs. Caldwell and their 10-month-old son were among the survivors after the line rammed an iceberg and went down at sea. She came to Bloomington in the early 1920's and on January 8, 1944, was married to George J. Mecherle [founder of State Farm Insurance Companies]. 
  5. ^ Julie Hedgepeth Williams, A Rare Titanic Family: The Caldwells' Story of Survival (Montgomery, Ala.: NewSouth Books, 2012), pp. 71, 74, 84-86.
  6. ^ Allen Butler, Daniel. Unsinkable: The Full Story of the RMS Titanic. ISBN 978-0-306-81110-4. 
  7. ^ Williams, A Rare Titanic Family.

See also[edit]