fifty-one-year-old Simon Waldman (b.1852) and his
family rented a flat at 181 Augusta in Chicago.
Simon was working as a steamship agent then, for an
unknown company, at 608 Milwaukee Avenue.
On Wednesday afternoon,
December 30, 1903, Simon attended a matinee
performance of Klaw & Erlanger's Mr. Bluebeard
fairytale at Chicago's newest playhouse, the
Iroquois Theater on Randolph St. It is
not known who, if anyone, attended the theater with
Simon, nor where he was seated in the theater.*
Simon was the husband of Minna Lowenberg Waldman
(1857-1937) and father of two daughters (below),
brother to Henry E. Waldman of Philadelphia and Lena
Waldman Berger of Cleveland, OH ( married to Leopold
Berger and mother of a half dozen children).
Simon immigrated to America in 1856 from Hungary and
Minna came from Germany in 1871. They married in
1876 in Philadelphia and their daughters, Essie, Lillie and Rose,
were born in 1877, 1886 and 1889. Essie died in 1883
at age six.
The Waldman girls were born in
Philadelphia where the family lived until relocating
to Chicago in the 1890s. At the time of Simon's
death, daughter Lily worked as a stenographer, as
would Rose as an adult. Simon may have been active
in Hebrew clubs and the republican party in Chicago.
His body was identified by
John H. Mackay and Edward I. Williams, both thought to
have been Simon's former coworker clerks at the county building.
Simon Waldman was buried at the Waldheim Jewish
Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois, joined by Minna
In the years after the fire
Simon left behind an
estate valued at $18,000 (just under a half million
today) including a life insurance policy from
Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland, enough for
Minna and her two daughters to live comfortably.
Lily married leather wholesaler Albert Julius Bows
(Americanized from its European spelling, Boaz), in 1909 and had three
children, one of whom she named Symon after her
Interestingly, Symon (pictured above) was involved
in the theater as a student at New Trier high
school. He would go on to graduate from
Northwestern in Evanston, become an avid amateur
golfer and make a career in sales and marketing.
His children carried Simon's bloodline to a current
generation and likely to future ones.
Rose married Dr. Louis Harris four years after
her father's death, with
whom she had one son.
During her senior years, Simon's widow, Minna Waldman, lived with
Lily's family in Wilmette, Illinois.
* Simon may have attended the
theater with a relative named Sam Waldman or may
have also gone by the names Samuel and Sam. In many
1903/4 newspaper lists, only a forty-four-year-old Sam
Waldman was listed, or an "S. Waldman". In other
lists a fifty-one-year-old Simon Austin Walman was
also listed, at the same address. A death
certificate for 12/30/1903 was issued for only one Iroquois victim
named Waldman, none for a Walman, and the first name was Sam.
All reports that cited a receiving location relative
to one of the name variations cited Rolston's funeral
Minna's name was reported as Minnie in Simon's
Some newspapers reported Simon's address on August
St. as 191 rather than 181.