Twenty-three-year-old Florence Hutchins (b. 1880) lived at
313 Sheridan Road in Waukegan, IL. She was the
youngest daughter of five children born to Edwin
Wesley Hutchins (c1849-1915) and Ida Lyon Hutchins
(1850-1916). Her brother, Edwin Lyon Hutchins Jr. (1884-1916),
identified his sister's body.
Edwin Hutchins was a realtor and her uncle, G. R. Lyon, an Illinois
state representative. Her grandfather, Edwin Pierce
Hutchins a California pioneer and mining engineer. Her older sister,
Mary Hutchins, was a school teacher. Both girls,
like their mother, attended Mount Holyoke College in
South Hadley, Massachusetts, Ida graduating in 1872
and Mary in 1896. Had she survived, Florence would have been in the 1904 Mount Holyoke graduating
It is not known who attended the theater with
Florence but another Iroquois victim,
Belle Adams Pinney, of a similar age, was active
in the same church and since the other members of
Belle's theater party are also unknown, she and
Florence may have gone together.
Another possibility lies
in the Samuel Wilson family, all of whom survived
the fire. Samuel's wife was the former Nellie
Hutchins, daughter of Carleton and Sarah Hutchins.
I failed to find a family connection between the
families but the key may lie in the unknown siblings
of Edwin Pierce Hutchens.
Funeral services were conducted by Rev. Samuel
Willis Chidester (1853-1939), pastor of the First Presbyterian church
where Florence taught Sunday school. Pallbearers
were Roy Cogswell, George Saenger,
James B. Mitchell, Ralph Parks, Charles and Will
In the years after the fire
Edwin Hutchins married a
Kentucky girl and named the first born of his three
daughters after Florence.
Discrepancies and addendum
1904 newspapers reported the death of a school teacher
named Jeanette Hutchins at the Iroquois, but the
coroner's office did not issue a burial permit for a
woman by that name.
There was, however, a victim
named Jeanette Higginson and the names Higginson and
Hutchins may have been confused by newspaper