EDHS News and Updates

News and Updates

Survivor Stories

"Survivor Story": Charles Marchewka

Chicago, Illinois -- Charles Marchewka was born in Poland on August 16, 1897. When he was a small child his family moved to Southhampton, England, where his father worked for the Cunard Line. The family immigrated to Buffalo, New York to join his grandparents and family in the early 1900s. They then moved to the Chicago area, finally settling in Cicero, Illinois.


"Survivor Story": Marie Linhart

Chicago, Illinois -- 22-year-old survivor Marie Linhart lost seven of her girlfriends in the Eastland Disaster on July 24, 1915. She remembered sliding "down and down" into the water when a "force brought [her] back up." When her head surfaced, her hands were free, but all around her were "picnic baskets and bodies and people and everything." Marie was able to grab a life preserver hook and was pulled to safety.


"Survivor Story": Harry & Ed Kleinfelder

Chicago, Illinois -- Brothers Harry (pictured) and Ed Kleinfelder left their home on the northside of Chicago early on the morning of July 24, 1915, said goodbye to their mother, and headed downtown to board the Eastland. On the way they were joined by an employee of Western Electric, Harry's good friend Morris Dempsey.


"Survivor Story": Jenny Juranek

Chicago, Illinois -- Jerry Muchna, nephew of Eastland Disaster survivor Jenny Juranek, recalled her story: "I was 9 years old at the time, but I remember the day very well. I was playing with a friend when we heard that the Eastland had capsized in the Chicago River. My parents were very concerned because my mother's sister, Jenny Juranek, was on the ship.


"Survivor Story": Augusta Houillion

Chicago, Illinois -- Augusta Houillion was one of eight siblings in her family, and was a 14-year-old employee at Western Electric. Augusta survived the Eastland Disaster only because a locker fell over her, which provided an air pocket for her to breathe. She was below deck, where few people survived. Augusta lost her best friend in the tragedy.


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