Thirty-nine-year-old Hilma M. Johnson Berg (b.1864) took her
two children to the matinee where she purchased
balcony seats. The children were thirteen-year-old
Olga Victoria Berg (b.1890) and eleven-year-old
Victor Lawrence Berg (b.1892).
Hours later husband and father, Frank A. Berg (1859-1914), identified the bodies of his wife and
children at Jordan's and Shelden's mortuaries.
Olga's body had been found on the stairs in the
Iroquois lobby and carried out by police officer
Albert F. Simsrott.
Frank emigrated from Sweden as a boy in 1868 and
Hilma’s family arrived in 1882. In 1903 they had
been married for nineteen years. Olga and Victor
attended the Van Vlissingen elementary school
family lived at 159 W. 113 St. in Chicago. Frank is
thought to have been the son of Swedes Victor Berg
and Anna Anderson Berg.
1904 newspapers reported a third Berg child named
Rosalind among the victims. The coroner’s office did
not issue a burial permit for a Rosalind Berg,
however, and in the 1900 census Frank and Hilma
reported having had just two children, Victor and
Olga. Possibly an error occurred when
newspapers copied an early report in the Chicago
Tribune that stated the Berg family was from
Roseland, a neighborhood on Chicago’s south side.
years after the fire
Frank received a settlement from Fuller Construction
of $750 for each of the three victims in his family.
These three were among only thirty-five awarded.
He died in 1914 at the
Pullman Hospital in Chicago and was buried in the
Mt. Greenwood Cemetery alongside his wife and