Julie Elisa Feucht Schauring, always known as “Elise”, was born in Audincourt, Doubs, in eastern France, around 1858, and whereas nothing is known of her early life, it is believed that she was married to Paul Bouteiller, and had two children – Louise Lucie, and Paul. It seems likely that her husband died not long after the birth of her second child, leaving Elise to raise her young family.
In 1887, Elise immigrated to the United States of America, and presumably left her children to be raised in her absence by family or friends in Audincourt. She settled in New York City
Eventually she was employed, first as a maid servant to Mrs. Catherine Loney of Manhattan, New York, and Guilsborough House, Northamptonshire, England, and later as nurse, governess, and ladies maid to Mrs. Loney’s daughter, Virginia, who was born in 1899.
In 1915, Catherine Loney’s husband, Allen, had been in Europe driving ambulances for the Red Cross on the Western Front, and had returned to New York to take his wife and their only child Virginia to their home in Britain. Naturally, Elise Bouteiller was required to accompany them, which she probably did with eagerness, as it took her nearer to her homeland.
As a result, the three members of the Loney family, along with Elise Bouteiller, joined the
Lusitania as saloon passengers, at Pier 54 in New York harbour on the morning of 1st May 1915, in time for her sailing in the early afternoon. Mr. and Mrs. Loney were allocated saloon room B85, Virginia Loney was allocated room B87 and Elise Bouteiller was not far away in room B81.
The liner’s scheduled 10.00 a.m. departure was postponed until the afternoon as she had to embark passengers, crew and cargo from the Anchor Liner
Cameronia, which had been requisitioned by the British Admiralty for war service as a troop ship, at the end of April. The
Lusitania finally left port just after mid-day and just six days later, on the afternoon of 7th May; she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine
U-20. At that point, she was off The Old Head of Kinsale in southern Ireland and only 250 miles hours away from her Liverpool home port destination.
Elise Bouteiller perished as a result of this action and as her body was never recovered and identified afterwards, she has no known grave. She was aged 56 years.
Mr. and Mrs. Loney were also killed during the course of the disaster, their daughter Virginia being the only one from the family party to survive.
1910 U.S. Federal Census, 1911 Census of England & Wales, New York Passenger Lists 1820 – 1957, Cunard Records, PRO 22/71, Deaths at Sea 1871 – 1968, PRO BT 100/345, Graham Maddocks, Mike de Beauvernet, Geoff Whitfield, Michael Poirier, Jim Kalafus, Cliff Barry, Paul Latimer, Norman Gray.
Copyright © Peter Kelly