Photos show Walter and Jack several years prior to 1903
Twenty-year-old Tessie Bissinger tried valiantly but failed
to save her fifteen-year-old brother, Walter Bissinger
(top), and ten-year-old cousin, Lafayette, Indiana
resident Jacob "Jack" Pottlitzer (center).
Walter Bissinger was the son of realtor Benjamin Bissinger
(1848-1930) and Leah Felsenthal Bissinger
(1859-1911) of Chicago. He had three other
sisters in addition to Tessie. The Bissingers
lived at 4934 Forrestville in Chicago.
One newspaper reported that Walter was an usher who
died at his post but that seems unlikely.
He had attended the Morgan Park Academy in the 9th grade
then gone on to Howe Military
academy in Indiana and in 1903 was home for the Christmas break.
Walter had begun
writing poetry at age seven.
His poems were
published after his death.
Jack, also nicknamed "Jackie," was the only child of
Max Pottlitzer (1867-1907) and the late Emily M.
Felsenthal Pottlitzer (1873-1903). Emily had
died from surgery complications in March, 1903.
Max Pottlitzer was secretary-treasurer of the
Lafayette Cracker Co., owned by his brothers.
He also registered patents for several tools and
engine components. Jack's body was recognized
by a surgeon in the emergency treatment center set
up next to the Iroquois Theater at John Thompson's
Dr. Daniel Eisendrath. He remembered the
boy as the son of his former patient, Emily