On December 30, 1903,
Anna Dixon's holiday treat for her daughters was an afternoon
matinee at Chicago's newest playhouse, the Iroquois Theater.
Playing was a spectacular production by Klaw and Erlanger of the
Mr. Bluebeard fairy tale, imported from Drury Lane
Theater in London. There was a cast of hundreds with
elaborate lighting, aerial ballet dancers, exotic costumes and
comedians. It should have been an afternoon little Edna
could tell her friends about at Irving Elementary when school
resumed next week. Instead, all three lost their lives
when a fire broke out on stage and spread to the auditorium,
killing over six hundred.
Dixon (1859 - 1937), a native of Yorkville,
Illinois, found the bodies of his
daughters easily but had to bring in a dentist, Dr. Elwell,
after three days of searching for his wife.
Elwell had worked on Annie's teeth
five years before. When the dentist
identified the body, Arthur realized he had looked at
her remains on prior trips to the morgue but it was so badly
injured that he did not recognize Annie.
The Dixon family lived at 100 Flournoy St. in
Chicago. Arthur and Anna, (nicknamed Annie)
Halverson Dixon (b.1860, Wisconsin) married in 1887.
Their daughters, Leah (sometimes spelled Leigh) F. Dixon (b.1888) and
Edna A. Dixon (b.1894) were age fifteen and nine. Seven-year-old
Ralph Eugene Dixon died six years before.
Arthur buried his family at the Elmwood Cemetery in Yorkville, Illinois.
In 1903 Arthur Dixon worked
with his two older brothers, William and Zohrab, at
Dixon Bros grocery at 325 S. Western in Chicago. They were the children of
Zachariah and Deborah Carter Dixon.
In the years after the fire
Six years after the
Iroquois fire, Arthur married Harriet E. Mock.*
They spent their last years in Rockford, Illinois
where Arthur worked as a telegrapher for Western
Discrepancies and addendum
Arthur Dixon went by "A. Z.,"
possibly to avoid confusion with another Arthur
Dixon in Chicago who was a prominent industrialist
and also had a daughter named Edna, and wife named
genealogy researcher reports Harriet's last name as
Welsh but the marriage license cites Harriet Mock.
Perhaps Harriet Welsh married a man named Mock
before her marriage to Arthur Dixon. Anna's
family was from Norway, Arthur’s from England.