Thirteen year old Ethel Barker and a friend, Miss
Harris, were said to be neighborhood playmates. Miss
Harris came home from the Iroquois Theater; Ethel
did not. One newspaper story the day after the fire
reversed their names but a burial permit was issued
for Ethel M. Barker and none was issued for Miss
Ethel M. Barker (b.1890) was the daughter of an
English immigrant Harry J. Barker (b.1850) and a
Maryland native, Agnes Barker. Ethel attended the
George W. Tilton Elementary school in Chicago.
Besides her parents she left behind an older
brother, Herbert Barker (b.1883) and a grandmother, Harry’s widowed mother, Alice Barker (b.1836
England), who lived with the family at 1925
Washington Blvd. in Chicago. Ethel's father worked
as a supervisor at Plamondon Manufacturing.
Harris’s father, W. H. Harris, also worked at
Plamondon, reportedly as a foreman, as had Ethel’s late uncle John. (Three
years before the Iroquois fire, John went missing and they searched everywhere for
him. Seven weeks later his body was found with a
suicide note confirming the family’s suspicion that
he could no longer endure the pain of a chronic
Ethel's funeral was held on Saturday, Jan 2, 1904
and burial was at Forest Home.
Ethel’s mother died during the seven years after the
fire, and her brother married.
The Marshall Everett book
incorrectly reported Ethel's age as twenty seven.
The Harris girl may have been
Dosia Harris (1890-), daughter of William Harris who
lived at 346 23rd street, four miles from the Barker
A Bertha Harris escaped from
the second floor balcony. She was a native of
Lena, Illinois and probably not this Harris.