Category Archives: Death

O’ROURKE, John – (d. 1877)

The body of John O’Rourke, the brave fireman who lost his life at the fire at Field and Leiter’s Wednesday night, was yesterday buried at Calvary Cemetery.  Long before the hour appointed a large crowd gathered outside the late residence of the deceased,on the corner of Maxwell and Jefferson streets and by 10 o’clock there were fully 2,000 persons present.  The fullest sympathy was expressed for the unfortunate widow and her fatherless children.

At 10 o’clock a detail of 84 firemen with Marshall Sweeney in charge assisted by Marshalls Kenney and Green, took up their positions in the line.  Major Nevan’s band led the procession, which was of considerable length. The many friends of the deceased turning out to pay their last respect to his remains.  The procession moved on Jefferson to Nineteenth Street and thence west to the Church of the Sacred Heart, corner of Johnson Street, where Father Corbett performed a requiem high mass.

The services lasted about an hour, the officiating priest making a brief address in which he dwelt upon the bravery of the deceased and reminded his bearers that death must come to all.  O’Rourke died in the discharge of his duty, and although, his fate was dreadful one, they should all remember that a better life awaited him.

At the conclusion of the services, the procession reformed and marched on Halstead to Harrison, thence east to Desplaines and then north to the Kinzie Street Depot of the Northwestern Railroad where the coffin was transferred to one of the cars, but as the road is extensive and have several curves, many of this services count with road risks insurance to prevent and get aid in case of any eventuality.  Many of the friends accompanied the body to Calvary Cemetery.  There were about 40 carriages in the procession and several hundreds who could not afford the expense of a vehicle accompanied the cortege to the depot.  The appearance of the firemen was highly commended, their marching being excellent.

Source: Chicago Daily Tribune 18 November 1877 page 8

Contributed by Liz Randolph

Two Brothers Killed (1890)

Victims of Their Own Terror – A Shocking Scene in Chicago

Two victims of their own terror met a fearful death in full view of the hundreds of promenaders in the Lake Front Park, Chicago.  Otto and Herman BERT, aged twelve and fifteen, were the two unfortunates.  They had left the park and were crossing the network of the railway tracks skirting the edge of Lake Michigan when an in-bound passenger train coming at high speed attracted, suddenly, the attention of the lads. Both boys hesitated as to whether they should turn back or continue on their way.  The longer they waited the more undecided, apparently they became.  The engineer, recognizing the boys’ peril, blew his whistle a terrific blast.  This, instead of warning the two brothers, seemed to only add to their fright, and each stood, to all appearances, literally unable to move.  The train struck and killed them instantly.  Herman’s body, smashed to a pulp, ascended high in the air, while Otto’s was ground under the wheels, the head rolling aside as though from a guillotine.  It was some moments before the throng of pleasure-seekers, equally spellbound with the little victims, recovered sufficiently to aid in gathering the remains.

Source: Roanoke Beacon Newspaper (Plymouth, NC), 27 June 1890, pg 1. Available online at

WOOD, Isabella V. – (d. 1924)

Isabella V WOOD,  b.March 2, 1904 birthplace Chicago IL; Died 14 Sep 1924 7:50 am, 20y 6m 12d, Single; Worked Pacific Southwest Bank, Los Angeles, Calif; Cause of death Lumbar Pnumonia; Father: William G Wood, b. 01 Jan 1864, Boston, Mass; Mother: Annie Bruce b. 03 Apr 1867, Cambridge, Mass; Buried 17 Sep 1924, St Joseph’s Cemetery, River Grove, Illinois

Contributed Feb 1998 by Joan M Ross

West Family Deaths

WEST family

Letitia West died 6th of August 1867. After a short sickness at 409 S. Canal St. Chicago, Illinois – aged 2 1/2 years – She died as one falling asleep with an angel countenance. Her last words pa-pa pa-pa pa-pa – three times in succession. She was loved by her papa and will be until the Lord is pleased to prepare him to follow and meet her with the angels above.
George E. West Died May 28/1995 Age 13 years – months and 27 days.

Contributed 17 Jul 1999 by Carolyn R Holladay, church secretary,[email protected]

Source: Family bible. Written on the fly leaf is “Charles West, New York – United States of America – 1861,” “Sarah J. L. West” and “Mrs. J. B. Moore”

SODO, Joseph – (d. 1939)

Joseph SODO, born 18 Mar 1895 in Kielce, Poland, son of Andrew Sodo (born in Kielce, Poland) and Catherine Sodo, last residence 1905 Walton in Ohio, died 12 Aug 1939 in Ohio, buried in Calvary on 16 Aug 1939

Contributed Feb 1999 by Kathy Ramirez