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Elizabeth and Frank Krivanec

Elizabeth and Frank Krivanec


...planned to take her five children...returned home to find his family alive and intact...

Elizabether "Lizzie" Krivanec worked at Western Electric in assembly telegraph keys.  She planned to take her five children - Frank, Jr. (13), Florence (10), Paul (8), Evelyn (3), and Eva (13 months) - on the yearly employee picnic.  (A third son, George, was born a year later in 1916.)  The youngest, Eva, became sick and Lizzie kept all of the children home from the picnic.  She was not going to let anyone go without her being there to watch over them.

Lizzie's husband Frances (Frank, Sr,) was a fireman for the 38th Company of Chicago, driving a team of horses and a steam pumper.  When news of the Eastland Disaster came over the telegraph into the fire station, Frank immediately thought of his family, believing that they were on the ship.  When he found out that his family was safe, Frank turned his efforts toward assisting with the rescue of the survivors and the recovery of the victims.

Later in the day when Lizzie heard about the Eastland Disaster, she hurried downtown to see how she could help.  She helped clean people up from the river water.  Lizzie remembered a lovely young woman with long red hair.  Lizzie brushed the woman's hair and dried it.  It was Lizzie's personal show of compassion in making the victims a little more presentable.

Lizzie also talked about all of the people who lost their lives that terrible day, a day that was to be fun for the people and the families.  Lizzie said she could remember the smell of the river water, with all of the clothing soaked and dripping wet on the dead.

Frank would never talk about it.


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