Fifteen-year-old Irma Weiskopf lived in a six-room
flat at 4939 Champlain in Chicago with her mother,
siblings and maternal grandfather. She was the
daughter of the Rosa Schwarz Weiskopf (1859-1951)
and the late Adolph Weiskopf (1854-1897). She had
three siblings, two older and one younger.
It is not known who else was in Irma's theater
party. Fellow students from the South Division High
Dora Reynolds and
Rose Elkan were at the theater that day but if
Irma was with either, it wasn't mentioned in
newspaper reports. Rose Elkan is the most likely
because an after-theater dinner party at the
Shabab's was planned for that group.
Irma's body was located at Rolston's funeral home,
identified by her brother David W. Weiskopf
(1885-1970). She was almost certainly buried in the
Waldheim Jewish Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois
where her parents and two siblings are also
Irma was one of eight hundred students at the South
Division High School at 26th and Wabash, and
probably a good student. She'd received an
academic medal upon graduation from the Frances
Willard school in June, 1903. A replacement
for the South Division High School was under
construction at Prairie and Thirty-third.
Dubbed the Wendell Phillips
High School, completion was delayed for three
months by striking galvanized iron roofers.
Students were due to make the switch to the
new school in January, 1904 after the Christmas
holiday. Irma would not have the opportunity
to join her friends at the new school.
In 1880 Irma's father, a young immigrant from
Czechoslovakia, had owned a hat store on the first floor of the Honan's Block building at 108 Main Street in
Woonsocket, Rhode Island. He employed his landlord and future father-in-law,
Joseph Schwarz, as manager of the shop.
Adolph and Rosa's two oldest children were born in Rhode
Island; Irma and the youngest son were born after
the family moved to Chicago, around 1886. A fifth
child was deceased prior to 1900. Adolph worked as a
traveling salesman initially after relocating to
Chicago, for Louis Stein Hatters, and with Rosa in a
confectionary store. He later opened a grocery at
378 39th St. and 3510 Vincennes with a relative
named Harry Weiskopf. Their company was named H &
Co. Adolph was active in the Congregation B'nai
Abraham in Chicago. Adolph was only forty-three at
the time of his death, leaving Rosa with four
children aged six to fifteen.
In the years after the fire
After the death of
Joseph Schwarz around 1911, the Weiskopf family left
Chicago. Rosa and her oldest
daughter, Amy Mae Weiskopf (1882-1963) relocated to
Kansas City, MO around 1919, returned to Chicago by
1930 and in 1940 lived in Queens, NY. At
that time they lived with Ezra and Margaret Moscrip
and Rosa was identified as Ezra's mother. Not sure
what that was about, maybe a census recording error. Both Weiskopf sons,
David and Edwin, married and
moved to California. David named one of his
daughters after his sister Irma. After
teaching for a time she married and had children.