According to a story in the Corning, NY newspaper
(near Clara's hometown, Bath, NY), Daniel
Martin left his sons in
their seats in the balcony at the Iroquois,
intending to come back for them after helping Clara
escape. When he went back, it was too late. He found
his sons sitting in their seats, suffocated.
Story sounds like newspaper humbuggery. Even
allowing for women being more submissive in 1903, I
don't see Clara Martin being shuffled out while her
husband tells her sons, "Sit tight, I'll be back."
Nor do I see even the most obedient of teenage boys
remaining in their seats with smoke thickening, the
house blanketed in darkness and people screaming. Yes, there
were burned corpses found in their seats (though the
quantity may have been as few as six, depending upon
the testimony, with the estimate of twenty by
fireman Roche the most credible). If the
Martin boys were in that handful, it is unlikely
Daniel Martin regained access to the auditorium
and found their bodies, or that firemen recognized
the bodies of the Martin boys and told him of their
location and position in the theater.
were unable to pass through the doors into the
balconies in the auditorium because of the body
piles. They gained entrance by going up the
fire escapes and throwing bodies to the alley below
to clear a path. They removed bodies from the
piles at the main auditorium doors so that firemen
could use those doors for body removal and to bring
in hoses to fight the small amount of remaining
city prosecutors would have leaped for joy to have
as their symbolic victim the identified remains in a
specific known location, in no way involved in
crowd-inflicted injury. They had to look long
and hard to find
Viva Jackson. For trial purposes, a pair of young brothers
who played no role in their own deaths would have made even better victims.
to other Chicago newspaper references, Daniel Martin found
and identified the bodies of both his sons at Rolston's
Martin boys funeral was held Jan 2, 1904 at
the St. Joseph's chapel at 121st and Eggleston in
February 13, 1904, Daniel and Clara testified about
their Iroquois Theater experience before the special
1904 Clara Martin was one of a group working with
Viva Jackson's mother to assemble statistics
demonstrating that a Memorial Iroquois hospital in
the Loop would have important benefits in saving
lives and ______.
rented at 11 Market Circle / 112th
Chicago in 1903. Daniel R. Martin, a Vermont native,
graduated from the Williston Seminary in
Massachusetts and attended Amherst and Cornell. He
located in Chicago in 1876 and became the Pullman
school principal in 1881. The Pullman school
was located at the northeast corner of 113th and
married Clara Bell Campbell in Boston in 1888.
Clara was born in Illinois but grew up in Grove Springs, New York.
graduated from the Haverling Academy in Bath, New
Daniel lost a daughter in infancy in 1895.
According to 1910 census reports, almost a year to
the day after the Iroquois Theater fire a daughter
named Katherine was born.
Katherine graduated from college, became a public
school teacher and married reverend Alexander Wood.
In 1940 Clara lived with Katherine and Alexander in
Duluth, Minnesota. The household later
relocated to Charlevoix,
Michigan where Clara spent her final days.
the Martins had purchased their home at 12207
Eggleston. They were prosperous enough to
employ a live-in servant until at least 1920.