Sixty-year-old divorcee, Frances Emugene Owens (b. 1843), and her thirty-two-year-old daughter, Amy Owens (b. 1871), died together at the Iroquois Theater. Frances had previously taught school but by 1900 devoted herself to publishing. Amy taught at the George W. Curtis school. Also in their party at the Iroquois, and another victim, was a teacher who boarded with them, Susie Welton. This is an exception to my usual practice of keeping all in an Iroquois party on a single webpage.
Frances came to Chicago from New York with her parents at age 15 and became a teacher in 1860. Other than a few years spent with her husband in the Dakotas publishing a newspaper, she spent her life in Chicago. She married a Kentucky-born newspaperman, William L.H. Owens, in 1864 and lived with him until 1885 when he moved to Utah. The year before she'd authored a cookbook,
Owens Cook Book and Useful Household Hints,* that enjoyed early success. She and William formed a corporation through which to sell the book. After moving to Utah, however, he neglected fulfilling book orders and tried to sell his portion of the corporation. In 1887 she appealed to the superior court in Chicago, requesting the appointment of a receiver to protect the corporation, and a divorce.
By 1890 she had control of the corporation and added a monthly magazine, The Journal of Industrial Education.
a woman ahead of her time and then some. In addition to raising her five children near single handedly, she wrote a book and wrested control of its sale and marketing from her husband. She served as an officer in numerous women's philanthropic and publishing organizations, traveled, and expanded her company. She had returned from
Avenue in the Woodlawn area of Chicago.
other Owen's children,
boarders (including Susie Welton)
children. At that time,
sister. The bodies were cremated by Graceland Cemetery and returned to the family.