last thoughts of fifty-year-old Edward E. Clarke (b.1853) may have touched upon the irony of a fire
insurance underwriter dying in a fire.
It is not known if Edward
attended Mr. Bluebeard with a family member
or with friends. It appears that none of his family
died at the Iroquois. His family consisted of his
wife, Hannah “May” D. Clarke (b.1860, Wisconsin)
and three children, including one from
his first marriage. The children were twenty-five
year old Elizabeth Adele Clarke (b.1878, New Jersey
from Edward's marriage to Elizabeth Perot
Hallowell), fifteen year old Doris Clarke (b.1888,
Illinois) and thirteen year old Maynard Edward
Clarke (b.1890, Illinois).
A native of New York, Clarke was an attorney and
manager for Chicago Fire Underwriters and Reliable
Fire Underwriters insurance.
The Clarke family lived at 5432 Lexington Ave. He
and May married in 1887. It was a second marriage
for Edward. His first wife, Elizabeth “Elizah” Perot
Hallowell (b.1853), died in 1883 at age twenty-nine; she was the sister of one of Edward’s partners
in the insurance business, Marshall Tyson Hallowell.
With her, Clark had two daughters: Elizabeth Clarke
and Adele Clarke.
In the 1900 census daughter
Elizabeth’s date of birth was inaccurately stated as
1883; according to her birth certificate she was
born in 1878, her sister in 1879.
Edward’s body was taken to Perrigo’s mortuary and
interment was reportedly at Oakwoods Cemetery but I
have not been able to verify that. His first wife
was buried in New Jersey but Edward was not.
Coincidentally, Clarke's business partner, Charles
C. Reed, died a month before the Iroquois fire after
being thrown from a horse. Reed had retired from the
Illinois Trust & Savings Bank prior to joining
Clarke in an underwriting firm.
Edward’s wife and one of his children ended up in
Spokane, WA in the decades after the fire. By age
daughter Doris had married, born a son, divorced,
worked as a private secretary and shared her home
with her widowed mother, May. Maynard Clarke and his
family settled in Hawaii.