Second General Slocum token


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The Zipse family has been very kind to us and donated another token from General Slocum, this time from Bill (William) Zipse, another grandson of the survivor William F. Zipse.


Like the other donated token, this piece was in William Zipse’s pocket when General Slocum caught fire and sank on June 15, 1904 and he carried it with him for the rest of his life in memorial of those that lost their lives, including his five siblings.  We have been unable to find another token like this, so as far as we can tell, it is the only one in existence.

Stern view of burned hulk of General Slocum at pier
Stern view of burned hulk of General Slocum at pier

We also had a discovery regarding a photo of Sophia Zipse, William’s mother who also survived.  It turns out that it is not Sophie Zipse, but rather Sophia Zipse, Williams older sister who perished with the ship at the age of 17.  This makes the photo (show below) all the more amazing and precious.

13-10-01 Sophie Zipse


Jan and Adella


The above picture shows William F. Zipse’s granddaughter, Jan Zipse-Wright in 2003 with the last living survivor of the General Slocum disaster, Adella Liebenow Wotherspoon (she passed away in 2004).  A year after the tragedy, Adella was the one who pulled the cord to reveal the General Slocum monument in Lutheran Cemetery.  Like William, Adella attended the memorial service every year.

2 thoughts on “Second General Slocum token”

  1. My name is Jan Ellen Zipse and I am the granddaughter of William F Zipse and the person in the picture with Adella Whotherspoon. Thank You SO Much for corrections. My great grandmother and her daughter ( my great aunt Sophie) were both on the Slocum. The younger Sophie perished with all her other siblings. My grandfather ,William Fredrick,(who was shoved through a railing onto a tug boat and broke his leg,) and my great-grandmother, (Sophie,)who I was told was found the next day clinging to a log, were the only to survive in my family. My father, Robert J Zipse, told me she was very quiet and somber person after the loss of all but 1 of her children. My brother William once asked my grandfather about the Slokum. My grandfather’s only response was, ” don’t ever mention or bring that up again!”

    1. Hi Jan,

      Thanks for sharing! I imagine that it would have been very difficult for your grandfather to talk about the loss of his family and all he experienced that day. It was such a traumatic event for so many. We’re very thankful for your family and their donations, which help us to tell the story of this tragic event.