Mueller Jacobson (b.1875) was a
twenty-eight-year-old wife of four years, and the
mother of a toddler, when she lost her life at the
Iroquois Theater in Chicago. It was December 30,
1903 and she had attended the ill-fated matinee
performance of Mr. Bluebeard that took over
600 victims. It is not yet known who went to the
theater with Pauline, where she was seated nor the
nature of her injuries.
Pauline was born in Chicago and her parents were
from Germany. She and her husband rented a rear flat
at 432 W. Superior St. in Chicago where they'd lived
for at least three years at the time of her death.
Their son, Roy, was born in 1900 and was three years
old when his mother died.
In the front of 432 W. Superior lived Pauline's
widowed father, August Mueler (1844-1913), her
sister, Minnie Mueller (1869-1911), and two
brothers, August Jr. and Henry. Her mother,
Friedericke "Ricka" Mueller (1846-1902), had died a
year before the Iroquois Theater fire. August and
Ricka emigrated from Germany in 1864. Five of their
eight children were surviving at the time of
Pauline's body was identified at Rolston's funeral
home by her husband, machinist, Alfred Jacobson
(1869-1942). He was an Illinois native whose parents
were from Norway. Pauline was buried alongside her
parents in the Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park,
IL. Alfred would follow thirty-nine years later.
Pauline's funeral may have been conducted at St.
Peter's United Church of Christ at the corner of
Nobel and Chicago as that had been the site of her
mother's funeral a year earlier. (The church would
later be relocated to Cortez and Oakley, then to
Diversey and Linder, where it remains today.
Coincidentally, it was founded in 1864, the same
year August and Fredericke came to America.)
In the years after the fire
A wrongful death suit
was brought against the theater on Pauline's behalf.
Alfred remarried three years after the fire, to
Carrie Blanchard (1873-1944). He continued to work
as a machinist, in the printing industry, then, at
the end of his life, worked as a night watchman in a
bank. He and Carrie purchased a home on Montana
Street in Chicago. They did not have children.
Pauline and Alfred's son, Roy, in 1927 married Marie
Bekken, a North Dakota native. As a young man Roy
worked as a salesman for the Alvin Silver company.
He and Marie lived most of their life in Minneapolis
and Bloomington, Minnesota. I did not
find evidence that they had children.
Related to the Mueller family of Iroquois
possible Pauline was related to and attended
the theater with a family of Milwaukee,
Wisconsin Muellers in which there were three
Iroquois Theater fire fictims: widow Emelie
/ Amalie Mueller and her two daughters, Ella
Mueller and Dora Mueller Schneider. It is
likely that Pauline was the "Lena Mueller"
whose name appeared on many fatality lists
but for whom a death certificate was not
issued, presumably because by the time the
body was claimed, her married name was
established thus the certificate was issued
for Pauline Jacobson. That she was sought by
her maiden name of Mueller increases the
possibility that she was related to Emelie
Mueller and her girls as there were several
relatives searching for bodies of the
Mueller family victims, any one of which
might have reported Pauline's missing status
at a morgue without supplying her married
I spent a crazy amount of time trying and
failing to find the connection. The most
likely is that Pauline's father, August
Mueller, was the brother of Emelie's late
husband, but the husband's name remains
unknown. According to their reports in the
1882 U.S. Census, Emelie and her daughters
emigrated from Germany to America in 1882
but I could not find them in passenger