Ernest Portage Tomlin was born in Manitoba, Canada and enrolled in the Bible College of Drake University in 1907.
(One "mystery" is that he is known to be in the picture on the left, but no one is sure which student he is!)
An "A" student, Tomlin learned in 1910 that his father was ill and traveled to London to care for him. In the spring of 1912, Tomlin booked passage on the "RMS Titanic" in order to return to his studies at Drake.
When news of the Titanic disaster reached Des Moines, Tomlin's college friends feared the worst. Confirmation of his death, at the age of 22, came on April 20th, when the cable ship "Mackay Bennett" recovered his body at sea.
Memorial services were held respectively by the Drake University British-American Club on April 24th and at the University Place Church of Christ on May 1st.
Tomlin was the only Des Moines resident lost on the Titanic and remains a unique part of Drake University history.