Thirty-two-year-old Mary Neumann
worked as a housekeeper at the rectory for Father Joseph C. Ocenasek
(1867-1905) of Our Lady of Lourdes Bohemian
Church at the corner of 15th and 42nd St. (today's
S. Keeler), the rectory at 1355 40th St. Our
Lady of Lourdes Bohemian Church was founded in 1892;
Father Ocenasek, a Czech Republic immigrant, joined
four years later and remained until his death.
Ocenasek was described as a self-made man who put
himself through his seminary education after
arriving alone in America from Bohemia as a
Mary's family had
emigrated from the Czech Republic as well.
They came from the village of
She was a toddler then, one of five Neumann
daughters. Joseph and Barbara Neuman settled
their family in Baltimore. Mary grew up to
work in the Ault & Co. bookbindery on South Calvert
Street. She was actively involved in the
Catholic church and, in 1896, at age twenty-four,
accepted an opportunity to travel west to Chicago to
help Father Ocenasek in Chicago. (One
newspaper reported that Ocenasek and Mary relocated
from Baltimore to Chicago together, an almost
certain inaccuracy. On his 1901 passport
application, Joseph reported he had lived in Chicago
since his arrival in America in 1882.) Mary's
last visit back to her parent's home in Baltimore
was fifteen months before her death.
Father Ocenasek located
Mary's body at Horan's Undertaking after a two-day
search. A Baltimore newspaper reported that the only evidence
of violent death was a reddened face. No
bruises or singed hair. If so,
it is puzzling that it took two days to find the
body, but the priest's health was poor, perhaps
slowing his search. 'Might be too that he took
time to offer comfort to the hundreds of Iroquois
victim family members he would have encountered
during the search.
The following Monday,
Oceanasek set out to escort Mary's body to her
parents in Baltimore. At the
Baltimore-Ohio train station in Pittsburgh, he
fainted and was taken to
Mercy hospital. He remained there for a
few days while Mary's body went on to Baltimore.
Reportedly, he suffered from a heart
problem and was weakened by exhaustion. After
the lengthy search for Mary, before boarding a train
for Baltimore, the clergyman had delivered multiple
masses over the weekend. He would pass away a year
later at age thirty-eight, bequeathing $300
to the Bohemian Redemptorists Fathers for masses for
the repose of Mary's soul and $200 to her parents to
erect a monument to Mary.
Baltimore, undertaker Frank Cvach took charge of
Mary's body, preparing it for viewing in her parents'
living room on North Castle Street. Three of
Mary's siblings and her parents survived.
elaborate funeral was held at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church on Central Avenue in
Baltimore. Rector Reverend Edward Hornung said
high mass. Descendants report that Mary
was dressed as a bride for burial at Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery in
Thirty-three-year-old Anna Cerny Hrody (b.
was the mother of five children
under age seven (Mildred, Clara, Edward, Joseph Jr.
and Thomas), and since 1891 the wife of Joseph T. Hrody
(1870-1940). They had lost an infant daughter
Joseph was a sign and show card painter, in business
with twenty-nine-year-old Cornelius H. Babbe
Babbe & Hrody. In 1903 the company operated at 189 Clark.‡
The sign business was successful
enough that by 1900 the family owned their home at
1353 S. 40th St. in Chicago. No small feat in 1900.
Nothing was reported about who attended
the theater with Anna, where she was seated, or
or funeral. Her body was found at
Horan's morgue and identified by Joseph F. Halik.†
She was buried in Saint Adalbert Catholic Cemetery
in Niles, Illinois.
Anna is thought to have
been one of nine children born to German immigrants, Albert
Kate Cerny (1844-1943).
years after the fire
remarried in 1905, to one of Annie's sisters, Mary
Cerny (1851-1961), the widow of John Hubalek.
To Joseph's five children, Mary added her two girls, Mae and Minnie Hubalek.
until 1930 that Joseph and his wife lived without
their children in the household.
was still in the sign business at the time of his
death. In 1929 a fire destroyed his shop at
111-113 S. Wells. Fire fighters on the scene
were led by
Michael J. Corrigan, an early responder at the
Discrepancies and addendum
Today Catholic Charities operates
Our Lady of Lourdes Child Development Center in a
portion of the original church property on 15th and Keeler
in Chicago. In December of 1904 the church
planned a two-story, $20,000 addition to the church.
In 1907 Joseph and Cornelius
patented a method of producing shadowed lettering on
In 1895 Joseph partnered with
his brother in law,
Frank Uhrer (1867-1900),
husband of Annie's sister, Kate, and Alois Petrik,
to form the Merchants Parlor Furniture Company.
Annie had married Joseph and Kate had married Frank
on the same day in 1891.
spellings of Mary's last name included Newman, Newmann and Neuman.
Anna was sometimes referred to as Annie. The last
name was spelled "Hrody" in Iroquois stories in 1903
but the coroner spelled it as "Hrodij" on the
inquest list and in city directories and other documents
spellings included "Hrodej," "Hrodei" and
† Joseph F. Halik may have been a bicycle maker who lived near the church and was also
an Austrian immigrant.
structure leased by a group of merchants, including Babbe and Hrody,
for $5,000 per year.