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

Personal (5 October 1889)


  • Ex-Alderman COLVIN is back from California.
  • Chief Justice FULLER has returned to Washington.
  • Deputy City Clerk VAN CLEAVE has returned to Miltona Lake
  • Alderman DIXON has returned from a profitable camp-meeting.
  • Alderman BOWLER is back from a pleasant visit to Goose Island.
  • City Clerk AMBERG is negotiating for the purchase of Die Beobackter.
  • Mayor ONAHAN is troubled with enlargement of the head.
  • Alderman RYAN is recovering from a severe attack of thoughtfulness.
  • Congressman MASON gained twelve pounds on his European trip.
  • Alexander H. REVELL, the well-known Chicago merchant, is now in Italy with his wife.
  • Alderman HEPBURN can hardly forgive himself.  He recently discovered some corporations whose interests he had overlooked.
  • Miss L.C. RIORDAN, who has charge of F.R. LAWLOR’s cloak department, has returned from an extended trip through Europe.
  • Congressman LAWLER is troubled with absent-mindedness. He recently forgot to mention himself thirty times in a speech.  He stopped at twenty-nine.
  • Under the able management of Mr. Joseph R. DUNLAP, the Chicago Times is fast regaining its old-time prestige.  There is a snap and vigor to the paper not exhibited by it for year. 

Source: Chicago Eagle,  5 October 1889, Available online at Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Dobosz Family Relations

“I have attached some photos that I have from my deceased cousin that I am trying to identify the people in. I hope you can put these on your site in hopes someone would recognize the people in the photo.

“The photos were all taken around the Chicago Heights, Harvey, Calumet City areas in the early 1900’s. Some may have belonged to the Dobish (Dobosz) and/or the Raczykowski family at some point a long time ago.

“Surnames I am researching in the southern areas of Cook County include: DREJAS, DOBOSZ / DOBISH, SOBOTA, and MACKIEWICZ.”


If you can identify anyone in any of these photos or help with the family research, please email Tami.


Misc. Family Photos

DAVIS family – early 1900s
famdavis These pictures were in the photo collection of former site coordinator, Carol Schatz.
 Frannie Lonquest
 famlonquestfrannie   Contributed 08 Mar 2014 by Norma
Lowell Blake MASON – 1895
fammason1895 The information handwritten on the back of this photo is “Lowell Blake Mason, 2 years old – 1895.” Photo was taken by F.W. Hoffman, Chicago, Illinois. I am in possession of the original photo, but he is not a family member. I found this photo at an antique store in Pamona California. If this person is part of a family that you are researching, and you would like to have the original photo, please contact the Site Coordinator.Contributed 14 May 2003 by Carole Magnuson
John Piasecki Family
fampiasecki   From left to right: James, John, John, Thomas, and MaeContributed 08 Mar 2014 by Norma
Harry & Marie Pietrzak Wedding – 30 Apr 1938
fampietrzakwedding   Tom Piasecki, Joe Brecks, Frank Browiarczyk, Ray Langner, Harry Pietrzak (groom), Vincent “Gabby” Pietrzak, John Piasecki II, Edwin Zaleski, Dick Luczak, Celia Tomazkcwiecz, Dolores Lasciewski, Florence Panzak, Harriet Tomazkcwiecz, Marie Langner Pietrzak (bride), Dolores Langner, Beatrice Jacques, Florence Anderson, Mamie Levenarchek
Contributed 08 Mar 2014 by Norma
Charles and Anna (KRUEGER) RICHARDSON – 1927
25th Wedding Anniversary
Front Row: unknown, Ida (Krueger) Richardson, unknown
Second Row: Daniel Richardson, Charles & Anna (Krueger) Richardson, older couple unknown
Third Row – unknown lady
Back Row – William Richarson, unknown, unknown, Anne Veals, unknown, unknown, Anna (Witthans) Richardson
Front row: empty chair, Charles & Anna Richardson, older couple unknown
Second row: Daniel Richardson, unknown, Edward Veale
Third Row – unknown, unknown, Ann Veale, unknown, unknown, unknown, Ida (Krueger) Richardson, Anna (Witthans) Richardson, unknown
Back Row: unknown, Daniel Richardson, William Richardson, unknown, unknown

Charles and Anna (Krueger) Richardson lived at 9510 Peoria in Chicago. He was a Chicago Police Officer.
Charles was the older brother of Daniel and William.
Daniel married Anna Witthans and had a son, Daniel (my grandparents and father).
William married Ida Krueger (sister of Anna).

If you recognize any of the unknown people, please contact the Site Coordinator.

Contributed Sep 2005 by Danielle (Richardson) Sullivan.


Contributed 29 Apr 2000 by James Norman Blazier

Unknown Wedding – 1936


If you recognize any of the wedding party, please contact Site Coordinator

Marjorie WATSON – 1908
famwatson1908 The information handwritten on the back of this photo is “Marjorie Watson, age 8 months – December 1908.” Photo was taken by J.E. Waters, Chicago, Illinois. I am in possession of the original photo, but she is not a family member. I found this photo at an antique store in Pamona California. If this person is part of a family that you are researching, and you would like to have the original photo, please contact the Site Coordinator. Contributed 14 May 2003 by Carole Magnuson

Morgenstern Missing (1889)

Ignatz N. MORGENSTERN is missing from Chicago and with him the funds of the Polish National Alliance of North America, of which, until week before last, he was General Secretary. MORGENSTERN was also Secretary of the Polish National Building and Loan Association, and financial manager of the Sgoda, a Polish weekly paper.  Besides this he was an agent for real estate owners and did some business as a transportation and passage agent.  It is believed he has embezzled funds from each of these connections.  The total amount of his embezzlement is variously estimated at from $4,000 to $12,000.

Source: Chicago Eagle,  5 October 1889, page 2. Available online at Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Letter from Bernard McDonnell (1846)

25 Sep 1846
Letter from Bernard McDonnell in Galveston, Texas,
to his brother, Charles McDonnell, in Chicago, Illinois

My Dear Charles,

On Mrs. McD arrival here in Texas I sent on a power of attorney to you to sell my lot, and in two weeks after I wrote another letter to you to neither of which I have received an answer as yet. I am therefore led to believe you have not received either of them. I have been anxiously awaiting an answer, every mail comes in I have go to the post office but got no letter. I received some newspapers from you and have sent you some Galveston papers in exchange. It gives me great pleasure to see the Chicago papers. About three weeks ago I received a letter from Nicholas, they are all well except Peter Doyle who has hurted the spine of his back by a fall from a load of hay belonging to my mother which leaves Ellen in much poverty, Nicholas appeals to me in her behalf for some relief which is out of my power to render at present of account of my building so much this summer. I have built a two-story house 43 X 36 the lumber of which cost from $22 to $40 per thousand.

I have sent Nicholas’ letter on to Mary by the Steam Ship New York which got wrecked fifty miles from this city and lost the mail bags and nineteen passengers and of course the letter is gone. There has been above a hundred thousand dollars in cash lost on her which the merchants belonging to this place was sending on to the north. Write to me as soon as you receive this and let me know whether you have received the power of attorney or not, in order that I may send on another to you if that has been mislaid through the post office. I have been expecting the money for the lot before this to lay in my winter stock. It would be of the great service to me at this time as I have laid out the most of the cash I had on hand in the building. My calculations were made that I would have the money by this time and that was the reason that I lost no time in sending on the power of attorney on Mrs. McD’s arrival so that you would have the whole summer to make sale of it. You will therefore see the necessity I’m under of selling as soon as possible although I do not want to make a sacrifice of it. I want it to sell for whatever any lots in the neighborhood is bringing or near it.

There is nothing of any importance from the army. They are on the march to Monterey and every vessel passes by here from Orleans is crowded with horses, mules and army accoutrements of every description.

Mrs. McD sends her love to you all, remember me to Ed Cosgrove.

Your affectionate Brother,
Bernard McDonnell

Mrs. McDonnell requests of you to let her know how Mrs. McDonnell and all the children are. I received a letter from Mary some six weeks since. She and husband are well.


Contributed Feb 2004 by Eileen Johnson

Family Charts

Your Family Group Sheet or Descendants Chart of a Cook county ancestor could be posted here with a link to your email address. Please be sure to remove references to any person still living, then contact us to let us know you would like to send us a submission.

Descendants Charts

ASHEIM, Clas (1-page pdf file) submitted by Jeffrey Crowell
BRUNOW, Ferdinand (2-page pdf file) submitted by Jeffrey Crowell
LANGNER, John (3-page pdf file) submitted by Norma
PANTKE, August 1-page pdf file) submitted by Jeffrey Crowell
PREVENAS, Demetrios (2-page pdf file) submitted by Norma
RETZLAFF, George (1-page pdf file) submitted by Jeffrey Crowell
WOTKE, Herman (1-page pdf file) submitted by Jeffrey Crowell

Family Group Sheets

CHMURA, Stanley (1-page pdf file) submitted by Norma
DOLECKI, Frank (2-page pdf file) submitted by Norma
DREJAS collection (7-page pdf file) submitted by Tami
PIETRZAK, Martin (2-page pdf file) submitted by Norma

Pedigree Charts

WOTKE, Theresa (4-page pdf file) submitted by Jeffrey Crowell

Resurrection Cemetery

7200 Archer Road
Justice, Illinois

Woods/Wodarczyk, Joseph, born 14 Feb 1902, died 01 Nov 1964, 62y
Woods/Wodarczyk, Helen, born 11 Jun 1911, died 23 Oct 1971, 60y
Ulanowicz, Stanley, born 1882, died 13 Dec 1948, 66y
Ulanowicz, Veronica, born 1883, died 1952, 69y
Theodore A Ulanowicz Sr., born 22 Apr 1922, died 14 Jun 1965, 43y

Contributed Jan 2004 by William Wodarczyk

Click on each image to see a larger view.

andersonalice   Alice Anderson, nee Langner, died 23 Feb 1961
 andersonflorence   Florence Anderson, Died 15 Mar 1971
 andersonhenry   Henry Anderson, died 21 Sep 1965
 armbrustercharles   Charles Armbruster, born 11 Jan 1904, died 08 Apr 1964
 armbrusterclara   Clara Armbruster (nee Knebel), born 19 Jun 1908, died 21 Jun 1979
 bejnarowiczedward   Edward Bejnarowicz, born 23 Feb 1916, died 07 Apr 1976
 jarkaelaine   Elaine E Jarka, born 26 Jan 1932, died 20 May 2012
 jarkaroman   Roman F Jarka, born 21 May 1925, died 20 Jun 1977
 karlowantoinette   Antoinette Karlow, born 12 Jun 1904, died 30 Jun 1990
 knebelagnes   Agnes Knebel (nee Laszewski), born 10 Jan 1883, died 09 Jan 1981
 knebelalex   Alex Knebel, born 1906, died 31 Oct 1969
 knebeledward   Edward Knebel, born 1917, died 21 Nov 1934
 knebelkarol   Karol Knebel, died 08 Apr 1937
 langnermary   Mary Langner (nee Michalak), born Jun 1867, died 21 Jun 1957
 laszczewskafranciszka   Franciszka Laszczewska aka Frances Laszewski (nee Leonarczyk), born 1887, died 13 Sep 1942
 laszczewskianttonette   Anttonette Chrzaszcz Laszczewski, born 12 Nov 1903, died 01 May 1946
 leonarczykbessie   Bessie Leonarczyk (nee Piasecki), born 29 Dec 1895, died 19 May 1970
 leonarczykjohn   John Anton Leonarczyk, born 13 Jun 1892, died 06 Apr 1954
 lilegdonjohn   John Charles Lilegdon, born 24 Jan 1912, died 29 Sep 1988
 mackjulius   Juliusz Mach aka Julius Mack, born 19 Jan 1861, died 30 Sep 1939
 mackmargaret   Margaret Mack, died 22 Jun 1936
 mlyniecraymond   Raymond F. Mlyniec, born 09 Aug 1918, died 17 Apr 1987
 nowackakatarzyna   Katarzyna Nowacka, died 1942
 nowickicharles   Charles E Nowicki, born 3 Mar 1906, died 23 Nov 1998
 nowickiharriet   Harriet Nowicki, born 10 Oct 1911, died 28 Sep 1986
 piaseckijohn   John Piasecki, born 29 Sep 1890, died 26 Apr 1956
 piaseckimae   Mae D Piasecki, died 14 Apr 1961
 piaseckimary   Mary Piasecki, died 07 Feb 1957
 pietrzakadam   Adam Pietrzak, born 23 Nov 1906, died 16 Oct 1980
 pietrzakanton   Anton M Pietrzak, died 12 Sep 1967
 pietrzakbalbina   Balbina Pietrzak, died 16 Feb 1971
 pietrzakchester   Chester Pietrzak, died 14 Aug 1937
 pietrzakharry   Harry M Pietrzak, born 09 Sep 1914, died 09 Feb 1981
 pietrzakignatius   Ignatius E Pietrzak, born 24 Jan 1909, died 17 Jul 1977
 pietrzakirene   Irene L Pietrzak, born 16 Oct 1913, died 19 Nov 2005
 pietrzakmarcin   Marcin Pietrzak, died 4 Apr 1936
 pietrzakmarie   Marie Rose Pietrzak, born 28 Jul 1909, died 22 Nov 2002
 pietrzaknorman   Norman Xavier Pietrzak, born 21 Sep 1931, died 05 Apr 1983 
 pietrzakpaul   Paul E Pietrzak, born 16 Oct 1948, died 01 Oct 2006 
 pietrzaksabina   Sabina Pietrzak, born 29 Dec 1909, died 17 May 1993
 pietrzakvincent   Vincent Pietrzak, died 28 Aug 1952 
 remblosdennis   Dennis Remblos, born 19 Jun 1940, died 09 Mar 1965
 remblosfrank   Frank Remblos, died 13 Mar 1967 
 remblosstella   Stella Remblos (nee Langner), born 23 Nov 1904, died 06 Jun 1950
 sabanjoseph   Joseph Saban, born 12 Jul 1934, died 19 Jul 2012 
 sandersthomas   Thomas R. (Piasecki) Sanders, born 14 Dec 1917, died 21 Mar 1974
 trinergladys   Gladys Triner (nee Laszewski), born 27 May 1908, died 15 Nov 1973
 walengakatarzyna   Katarzyna Walenga (nee Perkowska), born 10 Nov 1873, died 17 Jun 1955
 wysockamaryanna   Maryanna Wysocka, died 14 Feb 1955