Canadian born Margaret Jane
"Mattie" De Vine Evans (b.1860), who sometimes went
by Mary, was forty-two years old. She had married
John "Jack" Norton Evans, an Ohio native, in 1879.
In their early married years they lived in Ohio,
where their only child was born, and in Keokuk,
Iowa. By 1903 they had moved to Quincy,
Illinois, where John worked as a railroad conductor
for the St. Louis, Keokuk & Northwestern Railroad
that in 1901 became part of the Chicago, Burlington
& Quincy railway. He spent his work days
riding between Quincy and St. Louis.
Railroading was a lifelong association for John.
He spent his last years in a retirement home for
railroad workers. It was reported that he
planned to bring suit against Iroquois Theater
management for Margaret's death.
In Quincy, the Evans family
lived at 1417 N. 8th St near today's Washington
Margaret's sister, thirty-year-old Clara Adelaide De
Vine (b. 1867), was born after their parents moved
the family to the United States. She worked as a
dressmaker in Chicago, in 1903 living at 259 LaSalle
Avenue. In 1903 Chicago papers spelled the
name as "De Vine" but Iowa newspapers and the
cemetery spelled it without the space, as "Devine."
They were the daughters of John H. DeVine
(1818-1870), a New Yorker, and Catherine J. Campbell
De Vine (1827-1890) of Canada. Though both parents
were deceased, Margaret and Clara had at least three
The bodies of both De Vine sisters were identified
by A. J. Reese, relationship unknown. Clara's body
was found at Boydston's mortuary and Mattie's at
Funeral services were held
in Quincy, Illinois, then the bodies were shipped to
Keokuck, Iowa for burial in the Oakland Cemetery.
Picture of Margaret's gravestone.
According to a Keokuck historical group,
Clara is also buried at Oakland but I was unable to
find a listing for her online in Oakland.
Perhaps she and Margaret were buried in a common
Also in their theater party, injured but
surviving, was Margaret's twenty-three-year-old
daughter, Mabel M. Evans (1880-1957). Mable
married later in life, in 1923. She and her
husband, Kentuckian Thomas Cardwell, lived in
Sedalia, MO and did not have children. She was
his third wife.
In an odd coincidence, there was an Iroquois victim
Margaret Devine, who worked at the Iroquois
Theater. She was not related to Clara and Margaret
Devine Evans. Sometimes Clara is said to have
worked at the Iroquois Theater but 1903 and 1904
sources cite Margaret Devine as that person.
Another resident of Quincy,
Nettie Mae Dickhut Lawless was widely reported
as having died at the Iroquois Theater but did not.
Mabel's story is curious.
It makes no mention of the death of her aunt Clara
Devine. Seems sad. I found no 1903 or
1904 newspaper reports of Mabel's death; however, I
did not find the Quincy Herald online and perhaps
that was the only newspaper in which the inaccuracy