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Ashtabula Beacon (Ohio), XX April 1912, p. 1


Miss Anna Sophia Turja, a Survivor, Arrives Here


Women Have Hard Time to Persuade Her to Leave Doomed Vessel--Life Boat Occupants Burn Hats and Coats for Light--Forbidden to Talk.

Miss Anna Sophia Turja, one of the survivors of the ocean steamship Titanic, reached this city on the 5:23 p. m. Nickel Plate train from the east Tuesday. As she stepped from the train, she was clasped in the out-stretched arms of her brother, Matti Turja, of Conneaut, and it was only a minute that she was whisked away to 81 Oak street to meet her sister, Mrs. John Lundi.

Hardly realizing the full extent of the tragic perils through which a kind Providence had permitted her to pass, her first thoughts were happy expressions at the sight of her brother and sister. Tears of joy and sadness mingled as she affectionately embraced her relations. It seemed almost too good to be true that she escaped the disaster which claimed so many other fellow passengers.

Neighbors and friends crowded into the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Lundi to see her, and to inquire if they perhaps, had had friends on the boat who were not fortunate enough to be saved. They marveled at the wisp of the girl they met, and united in the prayers of thanksgiving that she too had not been carried down in the vortex as the Titanic took her last plunge to the floor of the ocean two miles below.

Friendless, except for those whom she struck up an acquaintance among the other third class passengers, and absolutely alone, it seems wonderful, indeed, that this fair haired, slender, and exceedingly bashful young Finnish girl was placed in a life boat and transferred to the steamship Carpathia. Of the six ladies who occupied the same room, she was one of three who were saved.

With the aid of Jacob H. and John Lundi, the story of this little traveler's experience was obtained Tuesday evening. She left her home at Oulon, Laani, Finland, the latter part of March, and sailed for England from Hango, Finland, March 31, arriving in time to take the Titanic. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Turja, gave her their blessing as she left them to embark on her long journey, and prayers for her safety.

"There were six of us in the one room," she said, "when the big boat struck the iceberg. I did not know what was the matter. I thought some thing must be wrong with the engines. I got up and slowly dressed myself and went on deck. The other ladies did the same thing. There was one real old lady, and another who had only been married a short time. Her husband was making the trip over with her.

"I was not a bit scared, but most of the others seemed to be, and there were many who fainted. It was very cold. None of us hurried. We were not told what had happened, and had to do our own thinking. When we got dressed, we went out on deck. I did not want to get in the life boat. I wanted to wait for the big boat which would come to get us.

"It was the husband of the young woman in our room and an old Finnish lady who insisted on my getting in the life boat. I can't remember their names, but if it had not been for them, I would not be here, for I did want to stay right on the Titanic. I did not know the ship was sinking, but when we dropped over the side of the steamer, I could see that she was going down. Our boat was next to last to be put in the water.

"I heard the band playing before I stepped into the boat, but don't remember after that. There was so much confusion and yelling, it was hard to distinguish other sounds. Our little boat was not very far away when the big one went to the bottom of the ocean. The ocean was as smooth as glass at the time, and it was not until early morning that a wind came up, and the ocean started to get rough. By that time, the other big boat had come up and was picking up the people in the life boats. I did not notice the ice around us at all.

"After we left our ship, it was so dark that the men and women had to burn their hats, coats, or anything else they could spare so that the other boats could see and keep together. As it was, when the other big boat came, she had to wait for some of the life boats, which were a great distance away from her.

"I did not seem to be a bit afraid, through it all, but the worst part of the thing was the moaning and calling for help as we floated around the water in our boat. This continued for two or three hours from the place where the Titanic sank. It was terrible to hear, but I was told we could not help because we had about forty in our own boat.

"One Finnish man who had been in the water for six hours was picked up by one of the life boats. He told us when we got aboard the Carpathia that there had been some shooting, and that he had just escaped being shot for trying to get in a life boat when there was plenty of room for him and others.

"We were well taken care of on the steamer Carpathia, and also in the hospital in New York, but they would not let us talk there, and we were kept in our different rooms. I wanted to go around the hospital and see if I knew the others who were there, and just who had been saved and who had not been saved. But they would not let me do this. I lost all I had in the ship except the clothes I wore, but the company paid for my way here, and also paid for my care in the hospital. There must be others in the hospital who have not left yet.

"I am glad to get here to be with my brother and sister. It never seemed as though I would reach here, but I can see now that I, too, might have been taken as so many brave men and women were."

Matti Turja and Mrs. Lundi, the brother and sister of this heroic little girl, who escaped the jaws of death without really knowing she was in such close proximity, are wonderfully happy. The brother, Tuesday evening, never let his eyes get away from his little sister. Both he and Mrs. Lundi spent so many anxious moments waiting for word from her they will probably be loath to let her leave them.

Ashtabula Beacon (Ohio), 22 April 1912, p. 1


Man Who Arrived Here From Finland Intended to Cross Ocean on Titanic

Hiski Hakillnen arrived in the city late Tuesday afternoon from Finland to visit friends and relatives at the Harbor. He, with thirteen others, narrowly escaped going down on the Titanic. If it had not been for the fact that they could get passage over much cheaper on another line, they might never have reached this side.

Mr. Hakulinen came from New York over the Nickel Plate on the same train which brought Miss Anna Sophia Turja, one of the few survivors of the steamship Titanic. It was quite a contrast to see the two get off the train. One survived the Titanic disaster through the fact that she was a young girl and the other just through a stroke of fate.

(Thanks to Homer Thiel for obtaining these articles.)

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