Dr. Daniel N. Eisendrath
Chicago surgeon Daniel Nathan Eisendrath (1867-1939) was one of the physicians who
treated Iroquois Theater victims taken to
John Thompsons's diner on Randolph St. next to the theater. Eisendrath was involved with so many hospitals and
medical schools in Chicago that it is impossible to guess where
he was when he heard about the disaster.
Requests for assistance that afternoon went out from
several sources, including the police department and
via a telephone canvas in an office building where
many doctors had offices. An estimated one
hundred medical people responded. There
wouldn't have been space for all of them in the
diner and some probably went to help out at hospitals in the
The chaos at tiny Thompson's
diner is hard to imagine.
Swarms of doctors, nurses, police, firemen,
reporters and the
public hurried about while bodies
piled up, some living, some dead, supplies ran out
and new donations from drugstores and supply houses
were brought in. Streams of people hurried
through narrow aisles between work stations and
piles of the dead and injured. The call for
help had gone out to doctors and nurses, not to
military medical corpsman who might have been better
able to size up the situation and take command.
it was a politician who recognized that a leader was
newspaper story after the fire described Daniel
Eisendrath as having started to examine the body of
a dead child and being surprised to discover it was the son of a former
patient on whom he'd operated the prior spring, a
woman from Lafayette, Indiana. Reportedly Eisendath immediately stepped to a telephone to call
The boy was
Jacob "Jack" Pottlitzer whose mother,
Emily M. Felsenthal Pottlitzer (1873-1903), had died
from complications involving that surgery in March,
Daniel could instead have
looked upon the faces of relatives,
Henrietta and Natalie Eisendrath, who died at the
Iroquois Theater fire. Natalie was his first
cousin once removed. Her father, Siegmond
Eisendrath, was Daniel's first cousin.
Daniel's father, Nathan Eisendrath, was brothers of
Siegmond's father, Moses Samson Eisendrath.
Natalie and Henrietta died in the auditorium and
were taken to morgues.
The son of German
immigrants, wholesale fruit dealer, Nathan S.
Eisendrath (1823-1902), and Helena Fellheimer
Eisendrath (1824-1906) Daniel graduated from
Northwestern in 1891, did his internship at Cook
County hospital then studied abroad where he served
as staff surgeon in a hospital in Hamburg, Germany.
He returned to Chicago in 1898 and married married
Maud L. Rosenbaum (1978-1953). He and Maude's
only child, Richard Eisendrath.*
In the years after the fire
Eisendrath become professor
of surgery at the college of medicine, University of
Illinois, attending surgeon at Cook County hospital,
assistant professor of genito-urinary surgery at
Rush Medical College and attending urologist at the
Michael Reese and Chicago Memorial Hospitals.
The family left Chicago in 1929 so Daniel could
become a consulting urologist at the American
hospital in Paris. He authored several books and
Discrepancies and addendum
* Son Richard
later changed his last name to Eaton. After
graduating from Harvard
in 1920 he spent many years
in Europe where he worked a journalist, author
and publisher. Back in the U.S. during
WWII he joined Mutual Broadcasting Company as a
founding United Broadcasting. He is
credited with having pioneered black-oriented radio.