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James Lee Elliott

James Lee Elliott


...sat on a piling underneath the bridge...

James Lee Elliott was nearly eight years old and was at home with his mother when their phone rang: James' father was calling from his job as train dispatcher at the Chicago Tunnel Company.  The fire alarm box located in his father's office had just rung and per his habit, he was calling home for his son to come with him and investigate what was happening.

James' mother quickly walked him from their home on south Paulina Street to the street car.  Per his dad's instructions, James stood on the front platform of the Ashland Avenue street car looking for his dad to know when to get off of the street car.

James and his father walked to Clark Street and sat on a piling underneath the bridge and watched the heroic efforts of the U. S. Coast Guard and the Fire and Police departments.  There they sat for most of the morning, watching the aftermath unfold while stretchers were carried overhead on the bridge to the Reid Murdoch warehouse.


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