Oklahoma Town Has Titanic Connection
OKLAHOMA CITY - The 100th anniversary of the Titanic's voyage is drumming up not only great interest, but Oklahoma connections to the infamous ship.
Kay Owens lives in Texas now, but grew up in Eufaula, Oklahoma. Her grandfather C.E. Foley was one of the town's founders, and had business interests all over. His family lived in England for a short time beginning in the spring of 1911, and Foley traveled back and forth several times on business.
One of his trips back to the states was scheduled for April 10, 1912. He was to sail home on the Titanic.
"But my uncle, Arthur Foley came down with an appendicitis attack," Owens said. "He did not sail because of the illness."
C.E. Foley remained in England for his young son's operation, but his luggage had already been loaded onto the ship.
According to Owens, everyone in the family knew about C.E.'s near-miss, but he never talked about it himself.
"We wondered did he give his ticket away, did he know someone that he gave the ticket to," said Owens. "Did he sell the ticket and he had a face with that person, and maybe they didn't make it?"
Guilty or not, Foley died without ever telling his family what became of his Titanic ticket. However, history revealed a small clue that Foley was connected to the ill-fated ship.
When crews began salvaging items from the ship years ago, they recovered a $5 bank note issued from the First National Bank of Eufaula, Oklahoma. Foley established the bank himself in 1898, and the family is confident the bank note belonged to him.
The note is dated November 16, 1907, Oklahoma's statehood day, and it's said Foley was an early proponent of statehood for Indian Territory, and most likely carried the note around as a keepsake.