Eighteen-year-old Mary E.
Donahue (b.1885) may have attended the theater with
Edna Torney. Mary was a member
choir at St. Charles Barromeo church and Edna had previously been the
She was in Chicago for the Christmas holiday and
after New Years planned to return to Dubuque, Iowa
where she taught school.
Mary was the wife of a police sergeant
but she was actually
the daughter of one.
Donahue identified his daughter's body at Perrigo's funeral
home. It is thought that five years before the
Iroquois fire he was a patrol sergeant at the
Twenty-Seventh precinct on Desplaines and Waldo.
The Donahue family worked, lived, attended church
and school in a twenty-block area that is known
today as Little Italy. Mary probably
took a street car to the Iroquois.
On Monday morning, January 4, 1904 a
mass was sung at the
St. Charles Borromeo church on
12th and Cypress
for Mary and
Edna by alumni members of the choir, accompanied by
a organ purchased two years before.
Bishop Muldoon was the pastor at St. Charles but it
is not known if he said Mary's funeral mass.
According to a
Silver Jubilee book published about the church,
its choir was exceptionally active and sponsored
various social events.
was the oldest of four children born to
Thomas L. and Margaret Heelan Donahue. Like her parents
and siblings, she was born in Illinois. Both sets of
grandparents were born in Ireland. The Donahue's
owned their home at 1042 W. Taylor in Chicago
– a structure that today is across the street from
Little Joe's Italian restaurant.
Mary was probably buried in
the Huntley Cemetery in Huntley, Illinois, northwest
of Chicago, but she may instead be buried across
Dean street in the St. Mary's Cemetery with her
parents and some of her siblings. On
Find-a-Grave she is listed in both cemeteries.
Margaret Heelan's widowed mother, Bridget, lived in
Mary's mother died four years after the Iroquois
fire and her father then married his late wife's
younger sister, Raleigh Heelan.