Fifty-three-year-old Ellen M. Fair (b. 1850) was a
school teacher at the Gallistel School and her
sister, fifty-five-year-old Maria A. Fair (b.
1848*), was a retired teacher. They attended the Mr.
with another Gallistel teacher, Susie
Clay, and Susie's landlord, Henrietta Collier.
Henrietta was the only one of the foursome who
The sisters owned their home on the southeast side
of Chicago in the Windsor Park area, at 7564 Bond
family was among the early residents of Windsor Park
and in 1874 Maria was the first teacher hired for
the South Shore School in nearby Hyde Park.
Ellen and Maria immigrated to America in 1869 with
their parents, Margaret and Alexander Fair. Ellen
had been born in England, where their father was an
officer in the British army. Maria was born in
India, their mother's native country.
Maria had three living siblings at the time of their
deaths: Minnie, George A. and
Alexander Jr. Coincidentally, George A. Fair
was a member of Chicago's theater community.
Like Iroquois Theater manager
Will J. Davis., George began his career as an
advance agent when a young man.
Unlike Davis, George also worked on the creative
side, as a performer and director. Eight years
before the Iroquois fire, he was a cast member and
manager of the
Haymarket Theater and
Columbia Theaters employed by Davis and his
Their January 4, 1904, funeral was held at St.
Margaret's Episcopal Church at 73rd and Coles
Avenue. Reverend Lewis C. Rogers conducted the
service. Their bodies were held in a
crypt at Oakwoods Cemetery for burial when the
ground thawed. Today their graves are unmarked by
In December 1904 a $10,000 wrongful death suit was filed on
Ella's behalf against the theater and construction
Fair was one of the first two teachers at the
Bradwell School. The other teacher,
Carrie Sayre, and the school principal,
Irene Fort, were also Iroquois Theater victims.