Frederick Dankers

...his sister pleaded for him not go board...

Fred Dankers was 24 years old and worked at Western Electric, one of the largest employers in the Chicago area. On Saturday, July 24, 1915, Fred left his Oak Park home with his only sibling Rose (pictured above) and her best friend Irene.

The three walked towards the Eastland, but as they got close to boarding, Rose got a 'very bad feeling' and begged Fred and Irene to stay behind and wait for the next ship. Irene noticed how upset Rose had become, and made the decision to stay with her.

However, Fred wanted to hear the live music that was playing below deck. He ignored Rose's plea not to board the ship. Moments later, Rose and Irene stood on the wharf and watched in horror as the Eastland capsized and came to rest in the Chicago River. Tragically, Fred was one of the 844 people who lost their lives that day.

Recalling the day's horrors never got easier for Rose as she remembered how her premonition saved her life, but didn't save her younger sibling's. Oftentimes she would become emotional, and once told her granddaughter, "If I hadn't listened to my gut I wouldn't be here and then neither would you, and that would be a real tragedy."

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