Twenty-one year old Pauline Ann Geary (b.1882)
lived at 4627 Indiana Avenue in Chicago with her
widowed mother and two older sisters. She taught at
the Felsenthal elementary school on Chicago’s south
side. Pauline's sister, Kathleen "Kitty" E. Geary
(1875-), the only one in the theater party to
survive, was also a teacher, at the Melville W.
Fuller school, and the oldest Geary daughter, Mary
Ester Geary (1871-) was admitted to the Normal
school along with Pauline in 1898 for training as a
teacher (but as of 1900 worked instead as a
Pauline and Kathleen were two of six children born to Irish
native, James Geary (1840-), a machinist, and
Canadian Elizabeth "Lizzie" C. Teahon Geary
(1846-1908). Grief was not new to Lizzie Geary.
She had been a widow for two
decades, burying her brother William eighteenth months
before the Iroquois fire and two children before
Pauline. Her husband had immigrated to the
United States in 1862 and fought in the American
Civil War, a soldier in the 90th Illinois
Infantry. When the war ended he became a pawn
Pauline Geary's body was identified by W. V. Geary,
possibly an uncle, though this hasn't been verified.
Her funeral was held Saturday, Jan 2 at 9:30
am at the Corpus Christi church, and she was buried
at the Calvary Cemetery in Evanston, IL.
The Corpus Christi parish was established in June,
1901 and its first priest, Father Henneberry, may
have led the funeral services for Pauline Geary in
January, 1904, perhaps assisted by second pastor,
Rev. John M. Bowen. Father Henneberry himself died a
Ground was broken for the Corpus Christi parish's first
church on August 22, 1901 at the corner of 49th and
Grand Blvd (Martin Luther King Dr.) near the
entrance to Washington Park. It was a combination
church, parochial school and rectory. A fifty-foot
expansion to the south end of the building was done
in 1903. The church pictured is the new structure
begun in 1914 and still in use today. It is not
known if the original church was razed in 1914 or if
it is still standing somewhere in the complex.
The Felsenthal school, built in 1901 on Calumet
Avenue between 41st and 42nd streets, was designed
with twenty-two classrooms to accommodate 1,056 students. It
was named to honor Herman Felsenthal, an early
Chicago pioneer, influential banker and devoted
school board member.