Dr. Daniel N. Eisendrath
Chicago surgeon Daniel Nathan Eisendrath (1867-1939)
was one of the physicians who treated Iroquois
Theater victims taken to John
Thompson's Diner on
Randolph St. next to the theater. As a teacher and
practicing physician, Eisendrath worked near the
Iroquois and was among the first to offer
assistance. Requests for medical volunteers 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,
pitching in at the diner, nearby drugstores, taverns
Initially, there was chaos in the cramped quarters
at Thompson's diner. Reporters looked for quotes;
distraught families searched for relatives. Chorus
girls looked for unguent and shelter.
First-responders sought medical help for new
victims, and places to lay their bodies. Gawkers
looked for noteworthy sights and thieves looked for
valuables. While hundreds streamed between piles of
the deceased and improvised operation stations,
doctors and nurses struggled to reach victims. The
call for volunteer medical workers had produced a
bountiful supply but their services were not used
well until senator
Clark spoke up and began organizing the effort.
A newspaper described Daniel Eisendrath as having
started to examine a dead child when he was
surprised to recognize the victim. It was
the son of a former patient. He'd lost the boy's
mother, Emily M. Felsenthal Pottlitzer (1873-1903)
of Lafayette, IN, to surgical complications in
March. Eisendrath stepped away briefly to call the
Daniel could as easily have
happened upon the faces of his own relatives
amidst the Iroquois victims.
Henrietta and Natalie Eisendrath were his aunt
and cousin. Daniel's father was the brother of
Henrietta's husband and Natalie's father. Natalie and Henrietta
had died in the auditorium and
their bodies were taken directly to morgues.
The son of German
immigrants, wholesale fruit dealer, Nathan S.
Eisendrath (1823-1902), and Helena Fellheimer
Eisendrath (1824-1906), Daniel had graduated from
Northwestern in 1891 and done his internship at Cook
County hospital then studied abroad, where he served
as a 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, became a pioneer in
In the years after the fire
Eisendrath became a professor
of surgery at the college of medicine, University of
Illinois and attending surgeon at Cook County
hospital, as well as an 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 monographs.
Discrepancies and addendum
* Son Richard
Eisendrath later changed his last name to Richard 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.
Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke at a testimonial dinner a
year before his death.