Vice President of the Pennslyvania Railroad!
--Alice Beane, Titanic

Current Thayer: Michael Mulheren
Current Mrs. Thayer: Robin Irwin
Original Jack Thayer: Charles McAteer

Substitute Jack Thayer (two weeks in July, 1998): Jase Blankfort
Substitute Jack Thayer (two weeks in September, 1997): Pierce Cravens

Mrs. Marion Thayer and Mr. John Thayer

John B. Thayer, III (father of young Jack Thayer) was born on April 21, 1862--there were plans to celebrate his 50th birthday after the Thayer's arrival in New York. John B. Thayer III didn't make it, but his son and wife both survived.

The following article is from the Philadelphia Press, Sunday, April 21, 1912:


Had he lived, John B. Thayer, one of the heroes of the Titanic disaster, would have celebrated to-day the fiftieth anniversary of his birth.

He, his family and his social and business associates had looked forward with pleasurable anticipation to his attainment of the half-century mark. An athlete, devoted to home and family, moderate in his tastes, of exceptional ability and remarkable initiative, he was generally regarded as one who had already become on of the greatest powers for the industrial development of this city.

Grateful passengers have told how Mr. Thayer awakened them in their berths and insisted upon their preparing to leave the ship. His cheery, stalwart presence was everywhere in those last moments. Death found him steady, ready and manfully doing his best for others. These things will be remembered today by those who he saved and by thousands of others to whom his memory will be an inspiration.


Mr. Thayer was born in this city. After leaving the University of Pennsylvania in 1881, he entered the service of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company as clerk in the Empire Line office, in which position he served about eighteen months, when he was transferred to the general freight department, serving two years in the bureau of claims and eighteen months in the rate department.

Upon the reorganization of the freight department, with J.S. Wilson as general freight traffic agent, Mr. Thayer was appointed chief clerk, which position he held three years, when he was appointed freight solicitor, United Railroads of New Jersey division.

In February, 1889, Mr. Thayer left the service of the company to engage in private business. He returned to the company on May 1, 1892, as division freight agent of the Northern Central Railway, with headquarters at Baltimore. On December 1, 1894, he was promoted to the position of assistant general freight agent, with headquarters at Philadelphia; on March 10, 1897, general freight agent in charge of through traffic, and on May 1, 1899, general freight agent of the company, and also of the Northern Central Railway, Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad, and West Jersey and Seashore Railroad Companies.


On June 1, 1903, Mr. Thayer was made fifth vice-president in charge of traffic. On October 10, 1905, upon a change in the organization of the company, he became fourth vice-president; on March 24, 1909, he was advanced to third vice-president, and on March 3, 1911, he was made second vice-president.

Mr. Thayer was a director of the Long Island Railroad Company and various subsidiary companies.

Marian Thayer

Philadelphia Inquirer, Saturday, April 15, 1944


Mrs. John B. Thayer, widow of John B. Thayer, prominent Philadelphian and Pennsylvania Railroad official, died yesterday on the 32nd anniversary of her husband's death in the Titanic disaster. She was 72.

When the Titanic sunk on April 14, 1912, off Newfoundland after striking an iceberg, her husband, 2nd vice president and director of the Pennsylvania Railroad, was carried to his death, but Mrs. Thayer and her son, John B. Thayer, Jr., were rescued in a lifeboat.

Mrs. Thayer was the daughter of the late Frederick Wister Morris, and lived in Cheswold Lane, Haverford. She had been ill a year. Surviving, besides John, are another son, Frederick M., of Newtown Square, and two daughters, Mrs. H. Hoffman Dolan, of Haverford, and Mrs. H. E. Talbott, Jr., of New York. Funeral services will be held at 5 P.M. Monday at the Church of the Redeemer, Bryn Mawr.

Jack Thayer

Jack would later serve as a captain in the artillary in World War I and marry Lois Cassatt. In 1945, at the age of 50, he committed suicide by cutting his wrists and throat in a car. Jack was then buried in the family plot at the Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr, PA.

Snippets from his Obit, September 23, 1945, Philadelphia Inquirer

John B. Thayer, 3d, financial vice president of the University of Pennsylvania and a member of an old Philadelphia family, who had been reported missing since Wednesday, was found dead, his wrists and throat cut, in a parked automobile near the P.T.C. loop at 48th St. and Parkside Ave. yesterday morning.

Mr. Bell said that Mr. Thayer had been suffering from a nervous breakdown during the last two weeks. "The breakdown," Mr. Bell explained, "was due, I believe, to worrying about the death of his son, Edward C. Thayer, who was killed in the service."

The P.T.C. employees who found the body on the front seat of the car with the feet under the steering wheel are George E. Wharton, of 2036 N. 54th ST., a supervisor, and Daniel Petetti, a mechanic, of 1247 N. 54th St.

They said they first saw the automobile, a sedan, registered in the name of his wife, Mrs. Lois C. Thayer, parked adjacent to the trolley loop on the south side of Parkside Ave. at noon Thursday. When they saw the same car parked there yesterday, they investigated.

Mr. Thayer's mother, Mrs. Marian Longstreth Morris Thayer, died at her Haverford home April 14, 1944, which was the 32nd anniversary of her husband's death on the liner Titanic, which sank after striking an iceberg in the Atlantic.

For more information on Jack Thayer, visit Jack Thayer's The Sinking Of The SS Titanic.

Fates of the Thayers

John B. Thayer, III died in real life and in the musical. Marion and Jack both survived and survive in the musical.

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