Brothers Charles and Freddie Barnheisel attended
Mr. Bluebeard together. Freddie survived
Charles did not.
Charles H. Barnheisel (b. 1861)
lived at the Barnheisel home in Chicago at 4400
Grand Blvd. His parents were Pennsylvania natives,
Henrietta "Mamie" Barnheisel (1830-1918*) and the
late Harry H. Barnheisel (1830-1883). He had three siblings:
Frederick "Freddie" R. Barnheisel (1858-1959), Mary L. Barnheisel
(1865-1951) and Katie Barnheisel (1856-1918).
Frederick was a $10/week clerk in a cigar store who
became Herman Kohlsaat's right hand man. Owner
of a large bakery and chain of lunch rooms, Kohlsaat
was a friend and advisor of President McKinley and
became co-publisher of the Inter-Ocean newspaper.
When Kohlsaat became busy with politics and
publishing, Freddie Barnheisel assumed management of
Kohlsaat's business interests and advanced his
brother Charles within the company. Charles
served in the sales department and was a corporate
Reportedly, Charles's mother and sisters did not
know he had attended the matinee and their first
knowledge of his death was when they saw his name
listed in the newspaper.
Since Freddie would presumably have
contacted his mother with news of Charles's death,
perhaps Freddie was injured and hospitalized.
Supporting that theory is that Charles's body was
located and identified by Ernest I. Dresher rather
than by Freddie. Dresher was a bookkeeper,
possibly employed at Kohlsaat.
Charles's body was transported to Logansport, IN
where the Barnheisel boys grew up. Their
father had been a prominent entrepreneur and dry
goods merchant in Logansport, in partnership with
Samuel Tanguy operating a store at 405-7 E.
Broadway. The funeral was led by Reverend Hill
on January 1, 1904 at the Presbyterian church in
Logansport and burial was at the Mount Hope
In the years after the fire
another bad year for the Barnheisel's. It brought the deaths of
Freddie's mother and sister, Henrietta and Katie, and
for him a scandalous divorce from wife, Margaret
Doyle Barnheisel (1868-1935).