Twenty-nine-year-old Gertrude Falkenstein
took her ten-year-old niece, Lillian Rothe
to the much-promoted Christmas play at
Chicago’s new theater, the Iroquois. Neither
Falkenstein (b.1874) Miss Falkenstein graduated from South Division High
School in Chicago then headed on to the University
of Chicago for training to become a teacher. In 1898
she was assigned to the Harrison elementary school.
Carter H. Harrison School The 175 x 125 lot on
Chicago's south side on 23rd Place at the corner of
Wentworth avenue was purchased for $10,900. In
district #4, Harrison was completed in 1889 at a cost of
$52,000, replacing the old Wentworth Avenue school.
One year later a $71,000 eighteen-room addition was under
discussion. The principal of Harrison's 1,400
students was Orris J. Milliken.
Reportedly Gertrude's body was identified by Hugo O.
Deuss (1856-), a forty-seven-year-old watchmaker who
emigrated from Germany to America in 1879. The
relationship between Deuss and Falkenstein is not
Lillian Rothe Ten-year-old Lillian Rothe (b.1893) was the only
child of Otto and Margaret Rothe. She attended the
Yale Practice school at 70th street and Yale avenue,
one of four schools where Chicago's teachers were
trained. Lillian was not the only Iroquois victim in
her class at Yale; Norman Corbin was in the same
class and his older brother, Vernon, also attended
Yale. Lillian’s body was found at Rolston's mortuary
and identified by either Edmund Druse or her father.
Reports were conflicting.
Otto Rothe (1858-1928) and Margaret Falkenstein
Rothe (1869-) married in Chicago in 1891. Otto, a
German immigrant, was a bookkeeper working at
Heissler & Junge Wholesale Baking Company, where
over 150,000 loaves of bread were baked daily.
Margaret was born in Illinois, as was Lillian. In
1906, three years after the fire, Margaret gave
birth to a son, Karl O. Rothe.
Gertrude lived with her sister Margaret’s family off
and on 1898-1903, at 6948 Princeton and 7218
Lafayette. Might be that the Dan Ryan now runs
through where their living room used to be. Gertrude
and Margaret were the daughters of Henry Falkenstein
who immigrated to America in 1867.
* Today’s Yale elementary school
is at 7025 S Princeton Ave with its parking lot at
the corner of 70th and Yale. Not known if the
structure one that was there in 1903, guessing
not. If you know the answer, please
History of 4 University
of Chicago Iroquois Theater suvivors
Mr Bluebeard at NYC
Iroquois Theater victim
Mary Cohen and Yetta
Margaret Idall Dotts
husband worked at CBOT
Brother and sister Emil
and Rosie Espen
If you have additional
info about an Iroquois victim, or find an error, I would like to
hear from you. Chaos and communication limitations of 1903
produced many errors I'm striving to correct and welcome all the help I can get. Space is provided at the
bottom of stories for comments, or