Elizabeth and Frank
wasn't part of the
"theater set." Though the location of their seats at
the Iroquois is not known it is likely they were in
the second or third floor balconies because
their seats were paid for with pennies hard earned
upholstering carriages and sewing dresses.
The cost of tickets to an
afternoon matinee would have represented a
Forty-three-year-old Canada native, Elizabeth Brown Eberstein (b.1859),
and her son, nineteen-year-old
Frank B. Eberstein (b.1884),
lived at 84 E. 26th Street in Chicago. Elizabeth
was one of thirty victims taken to the
Samaritan Emergency Hospital*
at the corner of 481 Wabash and Eldredge
Court (9th St.). Nothing is known of her
condition upon arrival. Her husband and
sister, John G. Eberstein (1853-1930,)
and Jane "Jennie" Brown (1850-1927)
found and identified her body there.
Frank's body was found at Gavin's funeral home and
identified by John.
The Eberstein's had another
child, eleven-year-old Bertha
Gertrude Eberstein (b.1892),
who stayed home from the theater thus survived.
Dating back to at least 1874
and until his death,
John Eberstein operated the Eberstein Bros
carriage trimmer shop with his
brothers, Christian and Frederick Eberstein. It
was a trade begun by their father, George Christian
Eberstein. They upholstered carriages and
sisters, Jane and Margaret, were dressmakers.
Elizabeth was the daughter of
Irish and English natives, George Brown and Susan
Elizabeth and Frank's
funeral was held at the family's home. Frank was a
student at the time of his death but his school is
Elizabeth and Frank were buried in Oak Woods
Cemetery in Chicago. The gravestone is
weathered and hard to read but the office at Oak
Woods verifies the interment.
In the years after the
Iroquois Theater fire, John and Bertha continued
living with Elizabeth's sisters, Jenny and Margaret.
In 1915 Bertha married Harry Hafford, had a couple
children and John lived with them until his death.
He did not remarry.
Discrepancies and addendum
*Opened in mid 1900 as a
private 45-bed emergency treatment charity hospital
to service Chicago's downtown area, the Samaritan
Hospital was one of eleven hospitals closed a month
after the Iroquois Theater fire for non-compliance
with Chicago building codes insofar as fire safety.
A month later it was back in operation. In
1905 proprietor, Dr. L. Blake Baldwin, announced a
plan to relocate to a newly remodeled Hotel
Normandie at Michigan and 18th street that would
cater to a wealthier clientele but two years later
the property was sold. Baldwin also owned the
Dearborn Medical College. At it's opening the
Samaritan was distinguished by being the first
Chicago hospital with a Turkish bath and as
specializing in skin ailments.