EDHS News and Updates

"Survivor Story": ​Henry Zintak (Vantak)

Chicago, Illinois -- Henry Zintak (Vantak) brought his wife and his daughters, Helen, barely 16 years old, and Frances, on what he thought would be a day of merriment and joy. Rather than enjoying the fresh air and picnic festivities, he watched his wife and daughters drown as he struggled in the Chicago River for about half an hour before he was rescued.

Henry and his family lived at 3806 South Winchester Avenue, located in Chicago’s southwest neighborhood of McKinley Park. Henry described his experience, "I could not believe the boat was turning over. I did not see my wife or children after the boat turned. They were carried into the river with the crowd. Some one grabbed me around the neck and kept pulling me. It was a woman but I could not save her."

The newspaper article, “Women Calmly Await Death or Rescue While Men Battle in Panic,” is from the Chicago Tribune's July 25, 1915, edition.


Get Involved