The Ludwig family of four
the Iroquois Theater fire in Chicago in 1903.
- Forty-four-year-old Herman "Harry" (b. 1859)
- Forty-one-year-old Sarah A. "Sadie"
Burns Ludwig (b. 1862)
Eugenia M. "Gina" Ludwig (b. 1885)
- Fourteen-year-old Carolina A. "Lina" Ludwig (b. 1889)
Mr. Ludwig managed the Hallwood Cash Register company at 41 Dearborn St.
The family lived at 113 Circle Ave. in Norwood Park.
He and Sarah had married in 1881.
Relatives found Harry, Sadie’s and Eugenie’s bodies
a few days after the fire but Caroline’s body was
still missing two weeks later. Relatives
described her as having been large for her age,
wearing woolen underclothing, a child’s corset
cover, black stockings with two-tone blue and grey
shoes, a flannel petticoat with two tucks and lace,
a pink and white striped skirt with five tucks, a
white top skirt, a brown accordion plated dress, a
long red coat, a brown hat. Curiously, there
were no follow up news stories to report
if/when/how Caroline's body was recovered.
Presumably had it not been found, family would
have spoken out and newspapers would have
covered it and there is a gravestone for Lina in
the Ludwig family plot, leading to my
supposition that the body was found but the
circumstances of the mixup would have been
embarrassing and/or painful for family members.
Cash Register company was based in Columbus, Ohio.
It's Chicago office opened its doors the evening of
December 30, 1903 to
fifty Iroquois Theater victims. Employees L.A. Weismann,
salesman Harry Snow, Harry Dewitt and Clyde J. Burnett
did what they could to make people comfortable, all
the while wondering if their bossand
his family had survived, growing more fearful by the
Two survivors assisted at the Hallwood store were
sisters from Aurora, IL, Helena and Ottlie Berrien.
They were taken to a train station and returned to
Aurora, probably arriving home before their parents
knew about the fire. Soon thereafter someone
ran in the door at Hallwood looking for the girls.
The third member of their theater party, Marie
Johnson, had found shelter at Hallwood's competitor,
the National Cash Register company, at 50 State St.
National and Hallwood headquarters had been in a
In the years after the fire
Mrs. John A. Rose, Sadie
Ludwig's sister, treasured a few pieces of Sadie’s
jewelry as keepsakes. In January, 1910, seven years after the fire, a burglar
named William Pennington broke
into the Rose home and took the jewelry. Mrs. Rose
surprised him in the act and police officer Waldo
Phelps chased the burglar down to retrieve the