Sixty-five year old Elizabeth
Phelps Carrington died seventy-two days after the fire.
Her party of several friends (including a Mrs. Lasky;
identities of others not yet
known) was seated in the middle of the first floor.
She was separated from her companions, knocked to
the floor and her clothing was torn, but she made it
out of the theater. Immediately after the fire
newspapers reported she was injured but not
It was reported that she
difficulties from smoke inhalation and
overexcitement, she was taken to her home at 6536
Woodlawn in the Hyde Park area west of Jackson Park. For
several weeks it was thought she would survive, but
she grew suddenly worse and died on March 10, 1904,
making Elizabeth one of the few first-floor fatalities.
Newspaper reports of
Elizabeth's age varied from fifty-five to
sixty-five. She was
in some lists identified as a Mrs. and in others as
According to the 1900 census, there were no
Carrington females named Elizabeth in that age range
living in Chicago. According to city
directories there were none living on Woodlawn.
Thinking that maybe
newspapers had reported the wrong house address on
Woodlawn, I went through a dozen or so pages of
census information on and surrounding Woodlawn, Ward
34, examining every entry. I found no
occupants named Carrington or Carington, Kerrington
or Kerington, Charington, Carrigan or Phelps.
The closest I came was a Barrington at the corner of
Woodlawn and 66th Place, between 6556 and 6559
Woodlawn. There lived husband and wife,
Charles Valentine Barrington and Sarah Virginia
Whiting Barrington. Charles was of an age to
have been a nephew of a woman Elizabeth's age, but
his uncles seem to have remained in England. I
failed to learn if one married an Elizabeth.
She did not live with Charles and Sarah in 1900 but
may have moved in by 1903. I also went through
1910 census information and there wasn't a 6536
Woodlawn then, either.
death was picked up on the AP wire and mentioned in
newspapers across the country but none of the one-
to two-sentence stories offered additional information
about her marital status, family members, birth
origins or burial. Elizabeth may have been a
middle name. Phelps may have been a middle,
maiden name or married name, and may have been a
miss spelling of Phillip or Phillips.
- Accurate name, year of
- Elizabeth's marital
status at death
- State born in
- Funeral information and
- Theater party