The Columbia Disaster and the search for a scapegoat
When a disaster occurs, there seems to be an irresistible urge to lay blame at someone’s door, and so it was with the July 5, 1918, sinking of the steamboat Columbia that claimed 87 lives.
Gov. Frank Lowden demanded answers. Not to be outdone, federal investigators and Tazewell County Coroner Lawrence Clary scrambled for answers, as well.