Morris S. Gault


…his swimming skills helped save people from drowning…

Morris S. Gault was an immigrant from Odessa, Russia, where his family owned a fish market. He was raised on the shores of the Black Sea and learned to become a very strong swimmer like the rest of his family. He was known to have been excellent at the breaststroke.

On the morning of July 24, 1915, Morris was working nearby as a tailor at the Hart, Shaffner, & Marx factory. When the Eastland capsized into the Chicago River, Morris saved people from drowning because he was such a strong swimmer.

After assisting in the rescue efforts, Morris returned home, changed out of his wet clothes, and later met his wife Hattie at the train station. Hattie shared her husband's story years later, explaining: "Papa was as white as a sheet. He had helped bring people in during the rescue. He had returned home wet to the skin."

July 24th represented a day of multiple milestones for Morris Gault: Morris helped with the rescue of the Eastland Disaster in 1915; his son Howard was born July 24, 1917; and Morris died on July 24, 1928.

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