and Ella were Hyde Park girls from affluent
families. Rosamond was a college student and
Ella a student at the Art Institute. A matinee
at Chicago's newest playhouse, the Iroquois Theater,
was a perfect way to spend one of their last days
before studies resumed.
Rosamond P. Parrish
was a student and Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority member at Wisconsin University in Madison,
home for the Christmas holidays.* She
was the daughter of Charles and Martha
Luey Parrish and sister of four
siblings aged thirteen to twenty. The family
lived at the corner of Kimbark
and 47th St. in Chicago.
After a two-day search
Charles found Rosamond's body at Rolston's Funeral
Home. Her funeral was held late in the afternoon
Monday, January 4, 1904.
Rosamond was named after
her paternal grandmother.
was a successful merchant and manufacturer.
After founding a hardware/upholstery
company, Gibson, Parish & Co., he turned to
sheet metal fabrication.† His businesses were
prosperous enough for the family to own their home
4717 Kimbark and employ two domestic workers.
Rosamond had other
relatives in the audience. On the first floor was
aunt Flora Parrish Tobin (1843-1916) and two of
Flora's grandsons, eleven-year-old
Frank Lloyd Wright Jr. (1890-1978)
who would become one of America's
best known architects.
was known in the family as "Blue Gramma," given the
name by color-blind Frank Lloyd Wright Jr. who saw
her red hair as blue.
The story went that
Blue Gramma led the boys from
the Iroquois auditorium by
sticking a hatpin into anyone who got in their way.
Nevertheless, she and the boys
were separated and John
found himself standing outside the
theater feeling overwhelmed until his father
arrived and they spotted one another.
While his father went inside to
look for Lloyd and Blue Gramma,
Blue Gramma escaped and met up with John. She
found a telephone, called home and found Lloyd
already there. He had borrowed cab
fare from a stranger and was safe and sound.
Twenty-one-year-old Ohio native Eleanor "Ella"
B. Linden (b.
was the daughter of attorney James and
Eleanor B. Thomas.
The Linden family lived at 4625 Lake Avenue in
Ella's body was found at
Jordan's Funeral Home and identified by her brother,
Frank W. Linden (1878-). Frank was one of two
brothers. A fourth
as a toddler in 1882.
Ella's funeral was held
late in the afternoon Saturday, January 2, 1904. The
body was cremated and the ashes sent for burial at
Woodland Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio.
"Under the burden of this
we can but look into thy face, O God, as children,
humbly whispering: 'We cannot understand. Help thou
our unbelief. Thy will be done."
Rev. Austen K. de Blois speaking at Ella's
years after the fire
and former classmates of Ella Linden
raised money to
start a scholarship in her name for a years tuition
at the Academy of Fine Arts
(Art Institute of
father, James Linden, became a judge. In
retirement the family moved to a farm.
He died when a train hit his automobile.