EDHS News and Updates

"The 844": James Was a Chicago Cab Driver

Chicago, Illinois -- On this first Wednesday in April, we recognize and honor the lives of the following individuals who perished in the Eastland Disaster: Jonas (Jones), Joseph (age 26); Judge, Martin R. (27); Judge, Martin R., Jr. (2); Jungwirth, Lillie (17); Jungwirth, Mamie (16); Justin, James C., Jr. (20); Koukl, Anna (21); Leonarczyk, Ignatius (19); Lepine, Joseph (37); LeRoy, Edgar (29); Leu, Edward (21); Lewandowska, Walewja (Violet) (18); Lewitzki (Lewicki), Jan (John) (4); Lewitzki (Lewicki), Leo (34); Lewitzki (Lewicki), Ottilia (Ophelia; Mrs. Leo) (30); Liening (Rivy), Elisabeth (20); Locke, Adolph M. (19); Lockey, John W. (22); and Padrta (Paderta), James (23).

James Padrta was a 23-year-old Chicago cab driver who had only been working for one month when he boarded the S. S. Eastland on July 24, 1915. He is pictured here with his horse-drawn cab.

James had also just recovered from a bout of pneumonia when the Eastland Disaster claimed his life. He left behind his mother and younger brother -- who wrote the "Brother Jim" caption on this photo of James. His 17-year-old brother became the breadwinner for the family after the loss of James.

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