Twenty-three-year-old Elizabeth “Bessie” F.
Zimmerman (b.1881, Illinois) died at the hospital
from injuries suffered at the Iroquois. It is not
known who was in her theater party but it may have
been a fellow school teacher. Bessie taught at the
John Ericsson elementary school on Harrison St. at
the corner of Sacramento Avenue in Chicago.
(Built in 1891 as a sixteen-room building at a cost of $62,408.)
Her parents were Martin Van Buren Zimmerman
(1838-1913) and Francis “Fanny” Dunne Zimmerman
(1852-1920). They married in 1879. According to the
1900 census, both were from New York but in the 1920
census Fanny reported that she had immigrated from
Ireland in 1881. In the Civil War, Martin served as
a sergeant in the 23rd infantry regiment of New
York’s Company G.
1903 he worked as a postal clerk, with an annual
salary of $600. Bessie had one younger sister,
Bertha C. Zimmerman (1884-1970). According to the
1910 and 1920 census Bertha was an artist, working
in an “artists studio."
The family lived at 949 or 945 St. Louis Avenue in
Bessie died at St. Lukes Hospital and was identified
by her twenty-six-year-old cousin, John F. Craddock.
Funeral services were at her parents home at noon on
Jan. 2, 1904. She was buried at the Elmwood Cemetery
in River Grove, Illinois.
Discrepancies and addendum
A twenty-year-old Mary E. Zimmerman, residing at 841 South
Turner appeared in some early Iroquois fatalities
lists but not in subsequent lists and the coroner’s
office did not issue a death certificate for her so
I’m inclined to think she was not an Iroquois
fatality. According to those possibly inaccurate
reports, Mary’s body was found at Postlewalt’s
funeral home and she lived at 841 South Turner Ave.