Retired grocer Benjamin Moore and
his wife Kittie hosted a family reunion during the
December, 1903 holidays. Relatives came from the
Chicago area as well as from Hart, Michigan and West
On the afternoon of Dec 30
Benjamin treated 12 of his family members to a
, a colorful music pageant
based on the Mr. Bluebeard fairy tale.
In the party was Benjamin, his wife, 2 daughters, a
daughter in law, three great granddaughtersand his great grandson. The family
purchased seats in the last row of the third floor
balcony on the north side of the Iroquois
In their party of thirteen, only
one survived, one of Benjamin Moore's daughters --
(Aleana) H. Moore Hanson (1873-1948) of Hart, Michigan.
If her children, fourteen and nineteen year
old Winfield and Fremont Hanson were in attendance,
they were not mentioned in news stories so possibly
did not make the trip to Chicago from Hart.
Lena was married to attorney/insurance agent,
Winfield S. Hanson. After his death she
lived with a widowed sister, Estella Moore Bates
(1860-1940), for several decades before marrying at
age seventy-one to Henry Phelps Boice.
Seventy-one-year-old husband, father,
grandfather and great grandfather, Benjamin
Moore (b. 1832)
Forty-eight year-old wife and stepmother,
Catherine Ella "Kittie" Sayles Moore (b.
Benjamin Moore and his
wife Kittie were Chicago residents. Kittie
was Benjamin's second wife, married in 1882.
She and Benjamin had only one child;
Benjamin had six children with his exwife, Hannah Henion. Kittie Moore was the
daughter of Henry S. and Phebe H. Kinney
Sayles of Elbridge in Oceana County,
Michigan. Benjamin was born in Canada and
become a prominent citizen in the Hart,
Michigan area as the owner of a sawmill and
hotel. He moved to Chicago after marrying
Kitty, around 1900.
Thirty-eight-year-old husband and son in
law, Joseph J. Bezenek (b. c1865)
4. Forty-one-year-old daughter and grandmother,
Nellie Moore Shufelt Best Bezenek (b. 1862)
Nellie was one of
Benjamin Moore's daughters by his first
was Nellie's third husband;
they'd been married just over a year.
With her first husband, Stephen Shufelt,
Nellie had a daughter, Estelle Shufelt,
named after one of Nellie's sisters, who
married George MacKay and bore a son,
Rolland MacKay, who also died at the
Iroquois (see below).
While in Chicago, the
Bezeneks stayed with their daughter, Estelle
MacKay, who remained at home while they took
their grandson, Roland, to see Mr.
Prior to their marriage Joseph, a
machinist, operated a bicycle shop in
Chicago with August Blum. He also
participated in Chicago bicycle races in
the late 1890s.
5. Six-year-old great grandson and grandson, Roland
S. MacKay (b. 1898)
Roland MacKay was
Benjamin Moore's great grandson, the son of
Estelle (1878-1911) and George R. MacKay (b.
George, a native of Iowa, was a picture
frame manufacturer. Estelle and George lived
in Chicago. They did not attend Mr.
Bluebeard. At the Iroquois, Roland was in
the care of his grandparents, Nellie and
Joseph Bezenek (see above). Two years after Roland's
death at the Iroquois, Estelle and George
had a daughter.
Estelle died of tuberculosis in 1911.
6. Thirty-three-year-old mother and
daughter-in-law, Mary E. "Mate" Farmer Moore
7. Thirteen-year-old granddaughter
and daughter, Sibyl L. Moore (b. 1890)
Mother and daughter went with Sibyl's
grandfather Benjamin to the Iroquois. Mary
was married in 1886 to Benjamin's son, Perry Moore
(1870-1920). Mary's parents
were James Anson Farmer (1842-1914) and
Hannah E. Randal (-1914). Perry remarried
after Mary and Sibyl's deaths.
He and his second wife lived in Alaska
for a time, then in Arizona where they
died in 1920 of tuberculosis in
Arizona, the second and third TB victims in
8. Ten-year-old granddaughter,
Lucile Bond (b. 1893)
From Hart, Michigan. Lucile was Benjamin
Moore’s granddaughter, child of Benjamin's
daughter Lily Moore Bond (1864-1911) and Lily's second husband, wire
dealer George H. Bond (1860-). Lily and
George did not attend the theater.
9. Fifty-eight-year-old Mathilda
"Mattie" Christina Hulda Johnson Moore (b.
Grandmother to three La Rose girls
who died in the fire (below), Mattie was the
widow of John Moore and mother of Elvena
Moore La Rose. Her body was
identified by Herman Mathias, of unknown
relationship. (Still need to learn
how John Moore connected to Benjamin
10. Ten-year-old Matilda Louise La
Rose (b. 1894)
11. Seven-year-old Josephine Emma La Rose
12. Twelve-year-old Laura Elvena La
Rose (b. 1891)
were the daughters of Joseph W. La Rose
(1867-1909) and Elvena Moore La Rose (1873-).
The La Rose family lived at 833 N. Clark St.
in Chicago. Joseph was a native of
Canada who worked as a leather cutter in
the shoe industry. Elvena worked
as a nurse after Joseph's death.
Josephine's and Matilda's bodies were
located at Rolston's funeral home and
Laura's at Horan's. One newspaper
reported that the girl's mother also
attended the theater but lengthier
stories did not include her.
Joseph served on the organizing
committee for the victim memorial
service a year after the fire.
History of 4 University
of Chicago Iroquois Theater suvivors
Mr Bluebeard at NYC
Iroquois Theater victim
Mary Cohen and Yetta
Margaret Idall Dotts
husband worked at CBOT
Brother and sister Emil
and Rosie Espen
If you have additional
info about an Iroquois victim, or find an error, I would like to
hear from you. Chaos and communication limitations of 1903
produced many errors I'm striving to correct and welcome all the help I can get. Space is provided at the
bottom of stories for comments, or