EDHS News and Updates

News and Updates

Survivor Stories

"Survivor Story": Frank Blaha

Chicago, Illinois -- Frank Blaha was an 18-year-old Western Union employee when he embarked on the cranky Eastland on July 24, 1915, with his friend, Joe Crawl. Frank, who had several friends at Western Electric Company, asked his boss for the day off to attend the Hawthorne Club 5th Annual Picnic.


"Survivor Story": Morris Dempsey

Chicago, Illinois -- Morris Dempsey, Harry Kleinfelder, and Harry’s younger brother Ed were all good friends who planned to spend July 24, 1915, playing games, laughing, and enjoying the day off from work.


"Survivor Story": Theresa Ragnhild Lindseth and Willard Brown

Chicago, Illinois -- Theresa Ragnhild Lindseth and Willard Brown were two Western Electric Company employees who were lucky to survive the Eastland Disaster.


"Survivor Story": Marguerite Beel

Chicago, Illinois -- Marguerite Beel and her husband Jethro Richard Beel Jr. went on the Eastland together for a day of relaxation and merriment. The happy couple were dancing on the lower level of the ship when it began to list.


"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.


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