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How A Bible From The Titanic Made It To Baxter

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
How A Bible From The Titanic Made It To Baxter

Thursday marks the 110th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. So how did a bible that was on the ship make its way to Baxter?

Putnam County Archivist Glenn Jones said that was the result of Harry Upperman’s friendship with Reverend Robert Bateman. Jones said that Bateman was a passenger on the ship who made it to a lifeboat.

“Well then he looked up at the rail and he saw his sister clinging to the rail and he asked that she be saved and they told him he would have to give up his seat,” Jones said. “So he gave up his seat and he handed her the bible and she took his place and he went down with the Titanic.”

Jones said that Bateman was actually reading from the bible when the ship struck the iceberg. He said that Bateman’s sister brought the bible home with her to Maryland.

Jones said that Bateman’s wife gifted the bible to the Uppermans when she grew old. He said that an inscription on the bible details the events:

“To Harry L. Upperman, a gift from Mrs. Bateman as a remembrance of her husband, who got up out of a rowboat as the Titanic was sinking, and gave that seat to his sister, who he thought was in another boat, but who had really been left on the Titanic.  Mr. Bateman got back on the Titanic and lost his life as the boat sank.”

Jones said that after the Baxter Seminary was sold to the Putnam Board of Education, it was donated to Methodist Publish House in Nashville where it remains today.

Jones said that had the Baxter Depot been in existence then, he thinks Upperman would have donated the bible to the depot so it would remain in Baxter.

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