EDHS News and Updates

"The 844": The Engenharts' Story

Chicago, Illinois — Every week beginning in October, EDHS has been commemorating the lives of those were among "The 844" -- those who perished in the Eastland Disaster.

This week, we honor the following lives that were lost on July 24, 1915 in the Eastland Disaster: Robert L. Clarke (age 33), Marie Eleanor Anderson (Mrs. Robert L.) Clarke (28), Eleanor Clarke (2); Anna Kerstina (Mrs. Claus) Clausen (31), Ella Kerstina Clausen (7); Rose Rutz (Mrs. Joseph Smith) Cmucha (27); Celia (Mrs. Frank) Columbik (24); Anna Comerford (18); Margaret Belle Quaine (Mrs. Matthew) Cooney (34), Thomas F. Cooney (1); Mary E. Jackson, aka Bethel Cox (24), Mildred S. Cox (13); Rose Veronica Cullen (21); Ruth Curtin (22); and Harry Engenhart (20).

Brothers Harry (pictured left) and William Engenhart (right) both worked at Western Electric, and were excited to attend the annual company picnic and excursion on July 24, 1915. The two brothers were on the Eastland that fateful morning, but one survived and one perished in the tragedy.

Tragically, Harry perished in the Chicago River, while William survived.

William later married Josephine Polivka (in April 1917), who was also aboard the Eastland. He died in 1929, leaving Josephine and a young daughter Alice. Josephine lived a long life and passed away peacefully on February 10, 2000, just a few days before her 104th birthday.

Harry is buried at the Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois.

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