Edward Frazier married in 1889. Their first child,
Helen, came along in 1890 and Philip was born two
years later. They lived at 150 Highland Avenue in
Aurora, Illinois, west of Chicago.
On December 30, 1903 Mary and Helen probably rode a
train two hours into the city from Aurora. Edward
was in Ohio on business and went to bed on December
30th not knowing about the fire. He came down for
breakfast in the morning, picked up a newspaper and
exclaimed, “My God, my wife is burned to death.”
When he telephoned his home, Mary's death was
verified and he learned that his daughter Helen was
still missing. (Helen did survive but may have been
hospitalized and not yet located by the family. )
Iroquois fatality: thirty-one year old Mary Dunbar
Holbrook Frazier (b. 1868). Mary was the daughter of
Reverend Charles A. Holbrook (1843-1922) and Mary
Starr Carrington Holbrook (b. 1845). She was born in
Connecticut and grew up in New Hampshire with two
siblings. She was fourteen when her father resigned
from St. Johns Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, NH
and joined Aurora’s Trinity Episcopal Church in
Thirteen year old Helen “Lillie” Frazier
(1890-1940), Mary’s daughter, also attended the
matinee but escaped.
Mary's body identified by
three different families
Edward Frazier was joined in
his search of Chicago morgues by Albert W. Clayton
(1864-1946), manager at a paint company. Mary's body
was finally located at Rolston's funeral home,
identified by her jewelry but to her husband's
dismay her jewelry and body had already been
identified by two other families –
Mary Forbes and
Fraizer had to somehow prove
to police that the body and jewelry was Mary's.
Jewelry purchase receipts, perhaps, or a the jeweler
who sold the items to them. Clayton described
the dilemma while in Racine, Wisconsin on business.
Edward S. Frazier (1863-1920)
was an Illinois native
and son of one of Aurora’s most prominent citizens,
Walter S. Frazier. In the late 1800s Walter, a
breeder of trotting horses, founded a company to
manufacture buggies, racing sulkies and bicycles.
Frazier’s products were purchased by individuals and
for use by carriers making rural U.S. Mail
deliveries. W. S. Frazier Company carts were
distinguished by incorporation of ball bearings that
produced smoother rides with reduced oiling
requirements and improved durability. In addition to
his business interests, Walter Frazier published the
Aurora newspaper, served as mayor and was a director
in various banks and hospitals. Edward and his twin
brother, Walter, joined their father in the company
around 1885. Walter Frazier Sr. died two months
after the Iroquois fire.
In the years after the fire
Mary’s eleven year old son, Philip Andrew Frazier
(b. 1892), did not go to the Iroquois. In 1913 he
married a woman named Elizabeth Mcwethy Frazier and
they had three children, the youngest named after
his mother. Philip and Elizabeth lived in Oak
Park, Illinois near Chicago where he worked for a
book bindery. In the 1930s he filed for a half dozen
printing and bookbinding patents. His wife died in
1933 and Philip died sometime before 1940.
Helen grew up, married Donald
G. Heinly and raised two or three children at their
home in Western Springs, Illinois.
Edward Frazier was one of the first members of the
Iroquois Theater Memorial Society.