The Lusitania Resource > People > Saloon (First Class) Passenger List > Mrs. Allen Donnellan Loney (Catharine Wolfe Brown)

Mrs. Allen Donnellan Loney (Catharine Wolfe Brown)

Catharine Loney Saloon Passenger Lost
[No Picture Provided]
Born Catharine Wolfe Brown 30 April 1877 New York City ?, New York, United States
Died 7 May 1915 (age 37) At sea
Age on Lusitania 37
Ticket number 46061
Cabin number B 85 and bath
Traveling with - Allen Loney (husband) - Virginia Loney (daughter) - Elise Bouteiller (maid)
Body number Not recovered or identified
Citizenship United States
Residence - New York City, New York, United States - New Rochelle, New York, United States - Skaneateles, New York, United States - Guilsborough, Northampton, England, United Kingdom
Other name(s) - Catherine Wolfe Brown - Catherine Loney (alternate spellings)
Spouse(s) Allen Loney (1895 ? - 1915), their deaths
Catharine Loney (1877 - 1915), 37, was traveling with her husband Allen Loney, daughter Virginia Loney, and maid Elise Bouteiller. During World War I, Catharine had wished to contribute to the war effort in England by working with wounded soldiers in convalescent homes. Allen Loney, then part of the British Ambulance Corps, returned to the United States to escort Catharine and Virginia to England aboard Lusitania. Catharine, Allen, and Elise were all lost when the Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk off the Irish coast on 7 May 1915. Virginia survived.
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Family and background

Catharine Wolfe Brown was born on 30 April 1877 to George Bruce-Brown and Virginia Greenway McKesson. Catharine was the great-granddaughter of George Bruce and Catherine Wolfe Bruce. George Bruce had made a fortune in printing, type manufacturing and real estate investments. The Wolfe family was wealthy as well, part of its fortune coming from the J.P. Lorillard tobacco fortune through Catherine Lorillard Wolfe. Virginia McKesson came from the family of John McKesson, the co-founder of the pharmaceutical company McKesson and Robbins, through which the McKessons, too, made a fortune. Catharine gained a younger brother, George McKesson Brown, who was born in 1878. Sadly, their mother Virginia died that same year. Catharine's father remarried sometime after 1880, this time to Ruth Arabella Loney, the second daughter of William Loney of Baltimore. George and Ruth had two sons, William Bruce-Brown (born 1886) and David Loney Bruce-Brown (born 1887). George Bruce-Brown died in 1892 at the age of 48, leaving Ruth, his 39-year-old widow, with four children. Catharine was then 15 years old. Through this marriage of her father and Ruth Loney, Catharine met Ruth's younger half-brother, Allen Loney. Catharine and Allen married by 1895, and were living on Park Avenue in New York City with Catharine’s brother George. They were listed in The Social Register. Catharine had inherited a large sum of money. The interest on the principle, by itself, came to $75,000 a year. In 1908, Catharine's great-aunt, Matilda Wolfe Bruce died. She was the last of George Bruce’s children and left all her assets to her grand-nieces and nephews: Catharine, George, William, and David. The real property in the estate was auctioned off in 1910 for $2,000,000. Catharine and Allen had a daughter, their only child, who they named Virginia after Catharine's mother. She was born on 19 May 1899. The Loney family had a house in New Rochelle, New York, with eight servants, one of whom was Elise Bouteiller. Elise had been with the Loney family for several years and became Virginia's nurse. Catharine's half-brother and Allen's half-nephew, David Loney Bruce-Brown, a race car driver, died in a car accident in October 1912. Allen and Catharine Loney received the news by telegram as they arrived at the Carlton Hotel in London.


The family spent summers in the small town of Skaneateles, living on the Loney family estate of Roseleigh that was designed by McKim, Mead, and White. The house was built in pieces in New York City, shipped to Skaneateles, and assembled there in 1880 and 1881. Roseleigh today is the Stella Maris Retreat & Renewal Center on 130 East Genesee Street in Skaneateles. The family lived at the Gotham Hotel when in New York City, on the corner of 5th Avenue and 55th Street. Most of the year, the family lived in their mansion, Guilsborough House, in Northampton, in the English East Midlands. There in Guilsborough, the Loneys organized dinners, horse shows, and fox hunts. Guilsborough House had a stable with 25 horses, all hunters. Allen Loney was described as an “excellent whip” and was considered one of the best riders in the area. Catharine and Virginia were proficient riders in their own right. The Loneys crossed the Atlantic every year on liners such as CedricAmerikaGeorge WashingtonCampaniaMauretania, and Olympic, alternating residences in New York City, Skaneateles, and Northampton depending on the time of year. The Loneys arrived in New York from the Olympic on 10 April 1912, the same day thatOlympic‘s sister Titanic departed on her maiden and only voyage. In 1914, the Loneys summered in England and returned to New York aboard the White Star Liner Celtic that September, after World War I broke out. They lived at the Gotham Hotel in New York City and shortly thereafter Allen Loney returned to England. Allen joined the British Ambulance Corps. He supplied his own automobile, which was equipped as an ambulance. Allen and his chauffeur helped out in France and Belgium that winter. Catharine Loney decided to sail back to England in 1915 care for wounded soldiers in a convalescent home. She also donated two of her cars for use as ambulances. Allen husband did not want Catharine and Virginia to travel alone, so he sailed back to the United States on the White Star Liner Adriatic to escort them.


The Loneys booked passage aboard Lusitania on 21 April 1915. The family paid $1020.00 for ticket 46061 and cabins B-85, B-87, which had a private bath. Elise Bouteiller would also be traveling with them on the same ticket but in her own cabin, B-81. Shortly before sailing, Catharine revised her will, bequeathing an estate worth over $1,000,000 to her daughter and only child. The Loneys were acquainted with Joseph Charles and his daughter Doris. The Loney and Charles families frequently sat in the lounge together. On the day of the disaster, 7 May 1915, Virginia was resting in her cabin after lunch with Elise. When they were torpedoed, Virginia and Elise rushed up to the boat deck where they found Allen and Catharine. Allen went down to get some lifebelts. Catharine, Virginia, and Elise waited. He returned with some, which he distributed around, but did not keep one himself. They stood at the perimeter of the crowd on the port side boat deck when Allen noticed a space in lifeboat 14 that was about to lower. Allen ordered Virginia to get in. She protested at first but finally obeyed. The boat began to lower as soon as she got in, and Allen, Catharine, and Elise did not join Virginia. Virginia looked up from her seat in the lifeboat and saw her parents standing at the rail. Years later, she told Adolph and Mary Hoehling, authors of the 1956 book The Last Voyage of the Lusitania, that Alfred Vanderbilt was near them. The lifeboat had a difficult time getting away. It soon cast off, but the plug was not in. Water entered the lifeboat immediately and made the small craft unstable. Lifeboat 14, only a number of yards away from the ship, capsized as the Lusitania sank. Virginia looked up at the big ship one last time and saw her parents still on the deck, waving. The suction dragged Virginia down for a while, and when she resurfaced the ship, her parents, and Elise were gone. Virginia never saw them again. Their bodies, if recovered, were never identified.

Related pages

Virginia Loney at the Mixed Claims Commission

Links of interest

The Loney Family at St. James Memorials and Gifts Encyclopedia Titanica - Lest We Forget: Part 1 McKesson Healthcare - History
Contributors Jim Kalafus, USA Michael Poirier, USA Judith Tavares Kihm Winship, USA References Kalafus, Jim and Michael Poirier (2005) Lest We Forget : Part 1 ET Research. <> Poirier, Michael. "The Tale of Boat Fourteen." Winship, Kihm. "The Loney Family." St. James’ Memorials and Gifts: Art, Architecture & Memory in Skaneateles, New York. Web. 14 July 2011. <>. "Virginia Loney." Wikipedia: Die freie Enzyklopädie. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 22 July 2004. Web. 28 April 2011. < >

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