Viola T. Delee (b. 1883)
Twenty-year-old Viola was the
daughter of Irish immigrants, Katharine “Kate”
McCormick Delee (b. 1855) and the late Chicago
police lieutenant William J. Delee (1854-1901).
William immigrated to America in 1872 and Katherine
in 1870. William had died at age forty-nine of
liver disease about three years before the Iroquois
Viola was the youngest of Kate and William's three
daughters. Her sisters were school
teacher Katharine /
Kathryn A. Delee (1880-) and Louise Gertrude Delee
(1881-). Katherine married building
contractor Henry W. Schlueter, had a son and moved
to California. Louisa married Andrew Gullberg
and named their daughter after Viola. They too
relocated to California.
Viola's body was said to have been badly burned and
mutilated. Her uncle, Michael John Delee
(1859-1906), identified her remains.
Viola's funeral was held on January 2, 1904, at the
family’s home at 7822 Union Avenue in Chicago, with
high mass said at St. Leo’s Church. Though one
newspaper reported burial would be at Forest Home
Cemetery, it was at Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery.†
Eventually, the ashes of Kate, William and Viola
were moved to California and the trio is interred at
the Psalms Sanctuary of Hope at the Hollywood
Genevive Florence "Flossie" Corcoran (b. 1882)
lived at 218 Dearborn avenue. Newspapers
inaccurately reported her last name as Corrigan in
some early coverage. She was the daughter of Alabama
native, the late Theresa R. McIntire Corcoran, and
Michael Joe Corcoran.
was one of Chicago's scallywags. He was
co-owner of two Clark Street saloons with well-known
boxing promoter Charles E. "Parson" Davies and of
the Hatch House Hotel at Wells and Kinzie with his
brother, John T. Corcoran. An ever-helpful
accomplice to Democrat politicians in Chicago's 20th
ward, if there was a fight or an election that
needed fixing, Michael J. Corcoran was the man to
The Gambler King of Clark Street: Michael C.
McDonald and the Rise of Chicago's Democratic
Machine, author Richard Lindberg describes the
Corcoran brothers and their Hatch House:
"John T. Corcoran and his brother Michael, both
zealous, two-fisted, Twentieth Ward Democratic
organizers, bought the place in 1859 and spruced it
up to the tune of $25,000. They rented rooms in this
'handsome and commodious; hotel, 134 of them, many
with running water, for $2.00 a day, while at the
same time, they carried out acts of voter
intimidation that became legendary."
much more in Lindberg's book about Chicago's
Though some newspapers
reported that her body was identified by a brother,
Florence was the Corcoran's only surviving child.
After a card was found in Viola's pocket that
confirmed the girls attended the matinee together,
Michael began searching the morgues. He found
Flossie's badly injured body at Rolston's
Undertaking. Her funeral service at the Church of
the Holy Name took place Saturday, January 2, 1904.
Burial was at Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park,
Discrepancies and addendum
* Sometimes spelled Deely or
† An entry in Find-A-Grave
was entered based on newspaper reports and is not
backed up by a photograph of her gravestone but Mt.
Olivet is nonetheless the most likely place of
interment prior to transfer to Hollywood. Viola's
father was also buried at Mt. Olivet. An April, 1904
newspaper notice reported that William's body was to
be transferred then from a crypt to a grave. His
body had not been kept in a crypt for three years.
It was a likely transcription error when Viola,
daughter of William DeLee, was to be interred. The
bodies of many Iroquois victims had to be stored in
crypts until the soil thawed enough to permit
digging. Since ashes are interred in Hollywood for
the DeLee trio, Viola's and William's bodies were
cremated after exhumation in Chicago and transfer to