EDHS News and Updates

"The 844": Blanche Set Out With Her Picnic Basket

Chicago, Illinois -- The following individuals are amongst "The 844" who lost their lives in the Eastland Disaster on July 24, 1915. We remember: Brennan, Joe (age 35); Fischer, Frederick George (0.75); Fischer, William (21); Hipple, Ada W. (age unknown); Hipple, Clifford Edward (7); Hipple, Cora May (Mrs. John) (41); Hipple, Hazel Marie (13); Hoffman, Joseph M. (41); Hoffman, Marie (19); Hoffman, Martha A. (Mrs. Joseph) (37); Holcombe, John Ralph (22); Holdsworth, James William (68); Holstedt, Oscar J. (26); Holtz, William (21); Holub, Vercinc (Vincent) (26); and Blanche Jelinek (18).

Eighteen-year-old Blanka "Blanche" Jelinek set out with her picnic basket early on the morning of July 24, 1915 with her older sister Anna and Anna's husband Edward Zobac. They boarded a street car and headed downtown. The Eastland Disaster would soon claim the lives of Blanche as well as Edward and Anna.

When they departed for the day's festivities, Edward and Anna had left their young children, Violet and Harold, at home in the care of their Grandmother Zobac. The Eastland Disaster immediately orphaned Violet and Harold, and they became one of the 19 families who were left without parents. Harold was raised by his uncle, while Violet was raised in her grandparents' home across the street.

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