Linda W. Bolte (b. March, 1890) was from Winnetka,
Illinois, in New Trier township.
Her body was identified by her uncle, John H.
Willard, her mother's brother.* One source reported
that Linda attended the theater with her family but
did not specify which family members were in the
party. The one person known to have been with
Eleanor "Elna" Frandsen, a domestic servant who
worked for the Bolte family. No other Bolte family members
Linda was the daughter of
Charles Guy Bolte (1856-1919)
and Jessie Jane Willard Bolte (1856-1938).
She had two brothers, John Bolte and Guy Bolte.
A fourth child, Alonzo, died at age five in 1898.
(In the 1910 census it was reported that Jessie gave
birth to five children but she was too old to have
given birth to another child between 1900 and 1910.
errors in the information suggest the census worker
G. Bolte was
a native of Canada who immigrated to the United
and became a naturalized citizen in 1880. He worked as a sales agent for a silk factory
Her mother, Jessie Bolte, was the daughter of Alonzo J. Willard
(1817-1903), co-founder of the
Washington Ice Company.
In the years after the fire
Seven years after
the fire, Charles and Jessie lived with Jessie's
nephew, John W. Willard, and his family, at 217 Pine
St. Charles then co-owned a lighting company, Bolte & Weyer
purchased for $500, from
John J. Weyer.
story with Weyer's description of his lamp, its
introduction to the circus industry, and accusations
showing Bolte in an unfavorable light.
I've not yet learned what
school Linda Bolte attended in Winnetka. She would
have been one of 512 K-12 students in a new Trier
population of around 5,000.
mother, Jessie Bolte, was on the Board of Education
in Chicago. Her fifteen minutes of
fame came in March, 1900 at a meeting
of the Department of Superintendence of
the National Educational Association.
She drew gasps and anger when she questioned
information presented by Temperance Union proponents,
labeling the presentation
as more political than factual, from
Jessie asserted that for every
1,000 people killed by the whiskey bottle,
by the frying pan (presumably by food
poisoning rather than clobbering).
Jessie Willard Bolte must have
been an interesting woman. Widowed in 1919, she
lived in New York City with her son, Guy, for a
time. In 1922 she visited Shanghai, China and
in 1925 Puerto Rico, both trips
seemingly taken by herself. She ended her life
in Fairhope, Alabama.
In Winnetka the Boltes lived at
211 Jackson. Their home was razed and a new
structure built in 1935.
Discrepancies and addendum
* John Willard (1857-1928) lived in Chicago with his wife, Ada Eldredge
Willard(1858-1936), and daughters, Margaret and
** In 1921, his son, Guy Bolte
(1887-1947), worked as the advertising manager for
the Cheney Brothers Silk Manufacturers company in
New York City.