Edith Laura Mahler was a third grader at the Sumner
elementary school, enjoying Christmas vacation.
Going to see Mr. Bluebeard at the beautiful
new Iroquois Theater would be a fun adventure to
tell her schoolmates about when school started back
up after the New Years holiday.
Adele, Edith's little sister, was not yet two years
old and stayed home with their mother while
Edith went to the Iroquois Theater with Annie. Annie
Anderson usually helped out with Adele and housework
but, for this special outing, Edith was pleased to
have her full attention, like having a big
Eight-year-old Edith Laura Mahler (b. 1895) and her
twenty-nine-year-old babysitter, Annie Anderson, (b.
1874) never returned to the Mahler family home at
2141 Jackson Blvd. Nothing was reported about
the locations of their seats at the Iroquois, or how
they died, but both perished.
Robert identified Edith’s body and a Nils A. Larson
identified Annie's. Nothing is known about their
funerals or burial locations.
Robert Martin Mahler (1866-1938) was the treasurer
at the Henry Wichert Company, a producer of catsup,
salad dressings, mustard, horseradish, pickles and
vinegar. The parents of Anna Laura Coates Mahler
(1871-1952) were from England; Robert’s parents from
Life went on
In the years after the Iroquois Theater fire, Robert
and Anna had two more daughters and Robert served as
an officer in the Iroquois Memorial Association. The
family eventually moved to Loxley, Alabama where
Robert became a community leader.
addition to real estate, his business activities
included operation of an azalea nursery, Azalea
Glen. Anna became active in the Eastern Star and the
church. At the end of her life, living in
California, Anna had six grandchildren and great
grandchildren and two of her daughters were still
Annie will remain a mystery for the time being. The
1900 census reports several hundred women named
Annie Anderson living in Chicago, most from
Scandinavia and many working as household servants.
She did not work for the Mahler family then, and did
not live with any of the three Chicagoans named Nils
Larson, who identified her body after the fire.