Saturday, September 10, 2016

USS Maine's Bathtub-- Part 3: Urbana Gets Its Big Ten Inch, Findlay Stiffs Urbana

With the 1911 raising of the famous ship from the bottom of Havana Harbor, every Congressman wanted a piece of it.  Frank Willis, of Ohio, got Captain Sigsbee's enameled steel bathtub and planned to give it to his hometown of Urbana, but they refused it.  They said they would use it as a horse trough before they would ever display it.  Instead, they wanted one of the USS Maine's 10-inch shells from its main armament.

The neighboring town of Findlay said they wanted it.  So did Boston, Massachusetts which was Sigsbee's home town.  The Cincinnati Enquirer suggested that Findlay could sink the tub in the Ohio River.  Findlay persisted in its efforts to get the tub, which in the meantime was sitting in Urbana's mayor's chicken house, essentially held ransom until someone gave him that 10-inch shell the town wanted.

Findlay finally was able to get Frank Willis to get the Navy Department to give him that 10-inch shell.  When it arrived, Findlay got its tub, but stiffed Urbana on the freight charge.

Wonder If urbana Still Has Its 10-Inch Shell?  --CootTub

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