his father's footsteps, Andy Sheridan became a
railroad engineer, signing on with the Wabash in
1880. Though he briefly took a job with the
Great Northern, he soon returned to the Wabash and
in 1903 was a couple years away from his
twenty-fifth anniversary. Most of those years
were spent riding trains in and out of Chicago,
including the Wabash #197, Wabash Hero #187 and
finally, the Wabash #824.
30, 1903 Andy decided to take in a matinee theater
performance at Chicago's newest luxury playhouse,
the Iroquois Theater. For some reason his wife
of eleven years, Elizabeth, did not join him,
perhaps because she had better sense. The
play, Klaw and Erlanger's Mr. Bluebeard, had
little to recommend it, complained some theater
reviewers, consisting of a nonsensical storyline and
hundreds of women in exotic costumes.
forty-five-year-old Andrew J. Sheridan (b. 1858) of
4155 Wentworth Ave. in Chicago. Born and
raised in Quincy, Illinois, a city midway between
Kansas City and Chicago, he was the oldest of three
sons and three daughters born to Irish immigrants,
John and Mary Sheridan. By 1903 John and Mary
were living in Chicago with several of their
daughters and grandchildren, while John worked as a
grocier. Four of their children survived after
When he did
not come home for dinner, his wife, the former
Elizabeth Smith Glock (1854-1909) telegraphed the
Decatur Wabash railroad offices in hopes that he
might be on the rails. He was not. She
realized he must be among the victims of the
Iroquois Theater fire.
Hours later his body was found at Postlewait's
funeral home and identified by his stepson, Frank
Glock, and F. J. Herlihy.
Among railroad personnel, it was the telegraph
operators in Wabash Railroad's Decatur, IL hub who
first to suspected the Andrew Sheridan in Iroquois
Theater victim lists was their coworker. As
Decatur's largest employer, Wabash RR workers were
part of a large but close family. Andrew was a
member of the Brothers of Locomotive Engineers.
Andy and Elizabeth had married in 1992. It has not
yet been determined if she and Andy had children
together but probably not. One newspaper reported
that a son survived Andy but was likely his stepson,
Frank Glock. Frank was Elizabeth's son by a
prior marriage. He lived with Andy and
Elizabeth up until 1900 and in 1902 married Clara /
Elizabeth owned their home on Wentworth; in fact he
boarded at the house next door when he first came to
Chicago in the mid 1880s.
funeral was held at noon on Sunday, January 3, 1904.
He was reportedly buried in the Oak Woods Cemetery.
Elizabeth joined him in 1909.
The Wabash Railroad existed independently until
the 1950s when it became part of the Pennsylvania
Railroad and in the 1960s merged with Norfolk
In the years after the fire
that Andy carried $5,000 in life insurance from
Continental Casualty, the Foresters and the
Glock and Carrie had three daughters. At his
mother's death in 1909 he inherited her estate.
Frank remained in the Chicago area, working as a
*The 1900 U.S. Census
reported that Elizabeth gave birth to 10 children,
of which 0 were still living, then contradicted that
report by listing a son named Frank Glock, the name
of her first husband. She and Frank Glock, married
in 1870, may have had two sons, William and Frank
Glock Jr., then divorced and each remarried. I
found no evidence that she and Andy had children.