Born: July 29, 1853

Died: June 27, 1927

Married: William Bucknell

Children: Dr. Howard Bucknell, Margaret Bucknell Pecorini, Mrs. Jay Day, Edith Wetherill (Mrs. S. P. Wetherill)

Emma Ward Bucknell was born in India to parents who were missionaries of the Baptist Church.  In 1871, at eighteen she became the third wife of William Bucknell, who was 42 years her senior.  

Toward the end of his life, William and Emma became estranged, and Bucknell had planned for the bulk of his estate to go to Bucknell University. He planned to sign the codicil changing his will on his birthday, April 1, but he died March 5, 1890, in Philadelphia. Emma declined to follow his wishes. The Fort Covington Sun reported on June 4, 1891, that “across the lake from Waubeek [sic] Lodge, Mrs. Bucknell, of Philadelphia, is building a $20,000 camp.” Pine Point Lodge became the centerpiece of a mile of Bucknell-owned lakefront on Upper Saranac Lake.

 In 1901 a section of the shoreline was deeded to their son, Dr. Howard Bucknell, the year he first married. Howard likely built on his own parcel immediately after receiving it.

In 1912, Emma was returning aboard the Titanic from a visit to her daughter Margaret, the Countess Pecorini, when the ship sank.  She survived in lifeboat No. eight, the same boat that Ida and Nathan Straus famously refused to board.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 8, 1900

...Mrs. E. W. Bucknell of Philadelphia has reopened her Pine Point Lodge...

Adirondack Record-Elizabethtown Post, July 7, 1927


Mrs. Ward Bucknell, 73, widow of William Bucknell founder of Bucknell university, and a survivor of the Titanic disaster of April, 1912, died last week at her camp on Gilpin bay, [sic] Upper Saranac Lake, following a long illness. Her home was in Philadelphia, altho she preferred to claim it in the Adirondacks.

New York Times, Wednesday 29th June 1927

Widow of University Founder Dies at Saranac Lake Camp
Special to The New York Times
SARANAC INN, N. Y., June 28.---Mrs. Emma Ward Bucknell, 75 years old, widow of William Bucknell, founder of Bucknell University, died last night at her camp on Upper Saranac Lake, having recently arrived from Clearwater, Fla., where she spent each Winter.

With her at the time of her death were her son, Dr. Howard Bucknell of Atlanta, Ga., and her daughter, Countess Pecorini, formerly Margaret Bucknell. Mrs. Bucknell is survived by two other daughters, Mrs. Jay Day of Summerville, S. C., and Mrs. S. P. Wetherill of Philadelphia.


External links:

  • Judith B. Geller, Titanic: Women and Children First, pp, 38-41 (full text)