FRED A. MORSE

On 27 June 1892, in rain and fog, the FRED A. MORSE (wooden schooner, 182 foot, 592 gross tons, built in 1871, at Vermilion, Ohio) was being towed downbound by the HORACE A. TUTTLE (wooden propeller freighter, 250 foot, 1,585 gross tons, built in 1887, at Cleveland, Ohio) about 12 miles southeast of Thunder Bay on Lake Huron, both carrying loads of iron ore. At the same time, JOHN C. PRINGLE (wooden propeller freighter, 173 foot, 474 gross tons, built in 1880, at Detroit, Michigan) was sailing upbound in that vicinity with a load of coal and Italian marble with the schooners HARRISON, SWEETHEART and SUNSHINE in tow. At 1:30 a.m., the PRINGLE collided with the schooner MORSE, which sank in less than 15 minutes. The crew made it to the TUTTLE in the lifeboat, although one woman was badly injured. The PRINGLE’s bow was stove in, her deck planks forward were split and spread, her bulwarks torn away, and her anchors and foremast were lost. She cast off her tow and made for Alpena, Michigan, where she arrived later in the day.

SCHOONER “FRED MORSE” SUNK.
Alpena, June 28. – The propeller PRINGLE of Buffalo collided with the schooner FRED A. MORSE of Cleveland, 12 miles southeast of Thunder Bay Island at 1:30 o’clock yesterday morning. The MORSE was cut below water and sank in 200 feet in less than 25 minutes. The crew saved themselves by taking to the boat, and were afterwards picked up by the TUTTLE. One woman aboard the MORSE was badly injured. The MORSE was bound down, laden with iron ore, and was in tow of the propeller HORACE B. TUTTLE, which also had two other schooners. The TUTTLE proceeded on her way. The PRINGLE’s bow is badly damaged, her deck planks forward are split and spread, her bulwarks torn away for considerable distance, and she lost both anchors and her foremast. She is damaged several thousand dollars. She cast her tow adrift. It is not known what became of them, but they can probably take care of themselves. The PRINGLE started for Sand Beach, but the seas washed in through the hole in her bow, and she set about and made this port at 3:30 o’clock this afternoon.
At the time of the collision the mate was in charge and Capt. Bonnah was in his bunk, running out on deck, he was knocked overboard by the falling spar and his left hand was injured, but he managed to keep afloat for an hour, when he was picked up by a boat from the TUTTLE. He remained on board of her until daylight, when he was transferred on board his own boat. He was almost dead when picked up, and wishes to thank the officers of the TUTTLE for their kindness. It was raining at the time of the collision. There was some fog, but further than this the mate will make no statement of the cause of the collision.
Buffalo Inquirer
Wednesday, June 28, 1892
THE SCHOONER MORSE SUNK
Alpena, June 27. – The propeller Pringle, of Buffalo, collided with the schooner Fred A. Morse, of Cleveland, twelve miles southeast of Thunder Bay Island, at 1:30 this morning. The Morse was cut down below water and sank in 200 feet in less than 15 minutes. The crew saved themselves by taking to the boat and were afterward picked up by the Tuttle. One woman on board the Morse was badly injured. The Morse was bound down, laden with iron ore, and was in tow of the propeller Horace H. Tuttle, which also had two other schooners. The Tuttle proceeded on her way. The Pringle was bound from Buffalo to Chicago with a cargo of coal and Italian marble. She had in tow the schooners Harrison, Sweetheart and Sunshine. The Pringle’s bow is badly damaged, her deck planks forward are split and spread, her bulwarks torn away for a considerable distance, and she lost both anchors and her foremast. She is damaged several thousand dollars. She cast her tow adrift, and it is not known what became of them, but they probably can take care of themselves. The Pringle started to go to Sand Beach, but the seas washed in through the hole in her bow, and she set about and made this port about 5:30 this afternoon. At the time of the collision the mate was in charge. Capt. Bonnah, who was in his bunk, running out on deck, was knocked overboard by a falling spar. His left hand was injured, but he managed to keep afloat for an hour, when he was picked up by a boat from the Tuttle. He remained on board of her until daylight when he was transferred on board his own boat. He was almost dead when picked up and wishes to thank the officers of the Tuttle for their kindness. It was raining at the time of the collision and there was some fog, the further than this the parties will make no statement of the cause of the collision.
Detroit Free Press
June 28, 1892

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The propeller PRINGLE of Buffalo collided with the schooner FRED A. MORSE of Cleveland 12 miles southeas of Thunder Bay Island at 1:30 o’clock Monday morning. The MORSE was cut down below the water line and sunk in 200 feet of water in less than 15 minutes. The crew were picked up by the TUTTLE. The MORSE was bound down with ore, in tow of the propeller HORACE M. TUTTLE. The PRINGLE was bound from Buffalo to Chicago with coal and Italian marble. She made Alpena in a severely damaged condition.
Port Huron Daily Times
Thursday, June 28, 1892

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Cleveland, June 29. – The steamer H.A. TUTTLE arrived here last night with Capt. Fisher and the crew of the lost barge FRED MORSE on board. The crews of both the TUTTLE and MORSE were reticent regarding the cause of the collision. They said, however, that the MORSE sank in less than 5 minutes after she was struck. Most of the crew were in their bunks, including the cook and her daughter ?8 years old, and they had barely time to rush from their beds to the schooner’s yawl boat, before the vessel went down. One sailor failed to reach the boat and went down with the wreck. He was rescued by his mates the second time he rose to the surface.
The escape of the captain of the PRINGLE was the most remarkable. He is a large man, and after being knocked overboard found his feet so tangled in a line that he could not swim. He turned over on his back, and floated about for over an hour before assistance reached him.
Buffalo Enquirer
Thursday, June 29, 1892

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Insurance on the sunken schooner FRED A. MORSE was placed in companies rerpresented by Crosby, McDonald & Co., to the extent of $9,500, while C. W. Elphicke & Co., had $2,833 and George McCurdy $2,000. These are all Chicago agencies. Proceedings are to be instituted against the steamer PRINGLE to recover this insurance, which aggregates $14,333
Buffalo Enquirer
July 1, 1892

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Schooner FRED A. MORSE. U.S. No. 9980. Of 592.36 tons gross; 562.75 tons net. Built at Vermillion, Ohio in 1871. Home port, Cleveland, Ohio. 182.3 x 31.3 x 12.8
Merchant Vessel List, U.S., 1891