Twelve year old Louise Alice Buschwah (b. 1891) lost
her life at the Iroquois Theater. It is not known
who else was in her theater party. Louise was a
student at the Nettelhorst* elementary school and
two other Nettelhorst students,
Agnes Lange and Johnny Washington, were also an
Iroquois Theater victims. Agnes and Johnny
were in a theater party of eight young people and
the names of only four of the eight are known so
Louise may have been one of them.
Louisa was the only child of Mathilda Brecher** Buschwah
(1858-1942) and Jacob Buschwah (1854-1926***),
married in 1884, and
granddaughter of Gustave A. Brecher*
(1833-1918) who had emigrated from Germany in 1854.
In 1900 Louisa and her parents
lived with Gustave at 1810
Wellington Ave. in Chicago.
Louise’s Prussian-born father, Jacob, was a cabinet
maker and in 1910 operated a livery service.
Gustave Brecher, a retired shoe
manufacturer, owned his home on Wellington Avenue
and left an estate of over $100,000 (inflation
adjusted $1.7 million).
Her body was identified by E.
K. Robinson and Louise was buried at Graceland
Cemetery in Chicago where her parents and
grandfather would later be interred.
Louise's name may have been
miss recorded with that of a fifteen-year-old "Lewis
Busback" reported as having been severely burned and
crushed. Their addresses on Wellington are
rather too coincidentally similar with Louise living
at 1810 Wellington and Lewis at 810 Wellington.
St. Sebastians catholic boys school was located at
810 so Lewis could have been a student there but
there weren't any fifteen year old boys named
Busback, Busbach, Bausbach or Bausback in the whole
country, least of all Chicago.
* The Nettelhorst school was
previously known as the Evanston Avenue school.
** The spelling of Gustav’s and Mathilda’s surname varies. In the 1900 census it was
spelled Precher; in 1910 Brecher. On Louise’s
birth certificate it was Brecker. Brecher is
used on gravemarkers for Gustav and Mathilda's
*** Birth/death dates shown are
as reported on Jacob's death certificate and vary
from 1852-1928 inscribed on gravestone.