Baker purchased theater tickets for his seventeen
year old daughter Adelaid and her two friends, Helen
Dewey Bagley and Irene Cummings. All three were
students at Hyde Park high school. Their seats were
in the fourth row of the dress circle in the second
floor balcony. The girls' bodies ended up at three
different mortuaries. Though newspapers would
describe all three as eighteen year olds, they were
sixteen, seventeen and eighteen.
The body of seventeen year old Helen Bagley (b.
1885) was located at the county morgue and
identified by her clothing. The Bagley family
probably lived at the address reported by the
coroner a week after the fire, 24 Madison Park,
though early reports had her living at 5135 Madison
Ave. (5135 Madison was the address of Helen's
friend, Irene Cummings. While it is most likely the
addresses were confused during the first hours after
the fire, I note that Addie Baker's parents were
also Massachusetts natives. There were two other
girls named Helen Bagley living in Chicago in 1903
(one of whom made the newspapers as an eighth grade
student when she tried to commit suicide with an
overdose of laudanum because she was reprimanded by
the Kershaw school principal). Both were two to
three years older than the Helen Dewey Bagley who
died at the Iroquois.
The Iroquois victim Helen Dewey Bagley was born in
Millis, Massachusetts. Her death was recorded in a
handwritten town record with inexact distinction
between entries. She may or may not have been the
daughter of Medway, Massachusetts native, Hannah
I found a September, 1902 advertisement for a rental
at 24 Madison Park (today a scenic private street in
the Windy City), and it sounds pricey. Whatever
Helen's father did for a living, he was probably
"10 ROOM SOUTH FRONT HOUSE 24 Madison Park; just
remodeled; new modern plumbing and hardwood floors
throughout; elegantly decorated; new combination
heating plant; 5 minutes walk to 47th St. trolley or
I.C. Express trains."
I suspect Helen's family did not move to Chicago
until after 1900. 1904 newspapers were so busy
reporting that the debutante Helen Bagley did not
die at the Iroquois that virtually nothing was said
about the Helen that did.
The body of eighteen year old Irene Cummings (b.1885) was found at Sheldon's mortuary and identified
by her father. She was one of six children born to
Robert Fowler Cummings and Mary Augusta Marston. The
family first became prominent in Clifton, Illinois
where Robert served as mayor, and in Chicago where
he was active in the grain industry, various banks
and the Chicago Board of Trade. The family lived at
5135 Madison Ave. in Chicago.
Sixteen year old Adelaid "Addie" Baker (b. Mar,
1887) was found at Rolston's mortuary and identified
by her mother. A daisy locket was found on the body
(depending on the newspaper, it was found in her
bodice or around her neck, engraved B.R.B. or A. R.
B.), a treasured gift from a schoolmate. When the
Bakers could not find her body they published a
notice of her description. She was described as 5'4"
tall, weighing 130 pounds and with brown hair. She
wore "a brown skirt of basket cloth goods, a red and
navy blue checked silk waist with brass buttons, a
navy blue ribbon around her neck, three rings and a
1905 class pin. The Bakers lived at 4410 Ellis Ave.
in Chicago. Addie was one of two children born to
fifty-plus year old Massachusetts natives, Rebeka (b.1844)
and Moses Baker (b.1843). Moses was a member of the
Chicago Board of Trade and a principle in the law
firm, Baker & Baker, doing business at 311 State St.