Since the death of her
husband nearly two years earlier, thirty-year-old Mamie Schreiner had been raising their two young
daughters alone. At the time of Ed's death
Arlene had just turned five and Irma May was not yet
three. Too young to have many lasting
memories. Maimie probably hoped in the years
ahead to help
them know their father through photographs and
winter of 1903
Arlene was in school and Irma would start next fall. Mamie was likely thankful for help from Ed's family.
She and the girls had been able to continue living in their flat on
West Monroe street. Built the year Mamie and
Ed married, by Ed's father, John W. Schreiner, the
three-unit apartment house provided shelter, an
income and continuity for the children. As a
young bank clerk, Ed's wages wouldn't have afforded
paying off the mortgage in so few years and it is
likely that John Schreiner was the landlord or
mortgage holder on the property. Ed's brother and
his wife, Harry and Caroline Schreiner, and sister,
Emma Schreiner, were part of Mamie's, Arlene's and
2, 1904 the bodies of Maimie, Arlene and Irma
Schreiner were laid to rest along side Ed at the
Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago. They were among
the 600+ victims of the worst theater fire in
America's history on December 30, 1903 at the
Mamie and her daughters'
identified by her in-laws, Harry (Henry) B.
Schreiner (1873-) and Erma Schreiner. Twenty-eight years old,
Harry worked as a bank clerk, as had Edward. Emma
Schreiner was a school teacher at the Marquette
school. She had lived with Edward, Mamie
and their girls in 1900 but by 1903 was living
with her parents. Irma's body was found at St. Lukes
Hospital, Arlene's at the Cook County Morgue
and Mamie's at Sheldons Funeral Home.
Newspapers reported that the
two horse-drawn carriages conveyed the caskets to
Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago where a funeral was
held in the chapel at 2:00 on Saturday after the
fire. Since Rosehill was also cited as the
resting place of Edward Schreiner in 1902, it is
almost certainly where Mamie and the girls were interred,
though not yet verified with pictures of the
1873), Arlene (b. 1897) and Irma (b. 1899) were the wife and daughters
of the late Edward A. Schreiner, a clerk at the
Metropolitan Bank, who had died in
February, 1902. The family lived in a flat on W. Monroe in Chicago
(see address information below under Discrepancies).
One newspaper reported that
Mamie's surname was Ludlow. I found a Maime
Ludlow of the right age – the oldest daughter of eight
to Edgar and Sarah Kelly Ludlow of Chicago – but
failed to find marital records with which to
substantiate that Edgar and Sarah's daughter was
Mrs. Maimie Schreiner. Curiously, records of
Arlene's and Irma's births were also elusive.
Edgar was a printing press foreman and his children
were mostly trade workers in plumbing, coal,
clerking and dressmaking. Maimie seems to have
been the only
one of the five Ludlow girls who married.
The flats on West
Monroe remained in the Schreiner family for a few years.
Harry and his wife, Caroline, at one time a Medill
school teacher, lived
there 1905-1920, joined by Emma.
In the 1900
U.S. Census Mamie's name was reported as Mamie and in
some 1903/4 Iroquois fire reports as Minnie.
Her maiden name was probably
Ludlow but in the 1880 U.S. Census the family's
surname was spelled Ludlaw
newspapers reported the girls as five and six years
old, at variance with birth information reported in
the 1900 U.S. Census. Arlene's name
was spelled as Arline on her death certificate.
Information about the ages of Irma and Arlene
Schreiner come from 1900 U.S. Census report and
death records. According to Chicago
city directories the family lived on W.
Monroe from 1896-1903 so both girls were
probably born in Chicago.
The house number for the
Schreiner's home was
changed in 1908 from 2183 to 4302 West Monroe.
Today it is an empty lot.
In 1894 a John W.
Schreiner, together with William A.
Schreiner, Emma Schreiner and Lillian E.
Schreiner, invested $60,000 to incorporate
the Original Okawville Springs Company.
The incorporation documents were filed in
Illinois for a hotel
located in Okawville, Illinois.
Okawville was the site of a popular mineral
spring health spa for St. Louis resort
There could have been
two different men named John W. Schreiner – one a grocer in Chicago with children named
William and Emma, and the other in St. Paul
with siblings named William and Emma, as has
been reported elsewhere online, but my
gut tells me it's the same fellow and he
lived in Chicago on Campbell street.
If you have additional
info about an Iroquois victim, or find an error, I would like to
hear from you. Chaos and communication limitations of 1903
produced many errors I'm striving to correct and welcome all the help I can get. Space is provided at the
bottom of stories for comments, or