Elizabeth (Mrs. Frank) Krivanec


Elizabether (called Lizzie) Krivanec worked at Western Electric at assembly telegraph keys. She was planning to take her five children on the annual picnic to Michigan City for the day. There was Frank, Jr. - 13 years old; Florence - 10 years old; Paul - 8 years old; Evelyn - 3 years old; and Eva - one year and one month old. (Another child, George, was born a year later in 1916.) As fate would have it, Eva got sick and as a result, Lizzie kept all of her children home. She wasn't going to let any of them go without her being there to watch over them.

When Lizzie heard about the Eastland Disaster, she hurried to the river to see if she could help. Her husband, Frank Krivanec, Sr. (the men in the fire department called him Pa), was listening to the telegraph when the news came over asking for help. At that moment, he thought all of ihs family were on the boat.

When Frank Sr. found out the members of his family were all safe, he helped with the survivors and victims. He helped the living people to the armory to identify the dead and try to help find the living. Urbanek Mortuary was one of the places where people took their loved ones.

Lizzie meanwhile helped clean people up from the river water. She always remembered a lovely young woman with long red hair that she brushed out and tried to get it clean. She always talked about all the people who lost their lives that terrible day. That was to be a day of family fun. She said she could still smell the river water, with all the clothing soaked and dripping wet on the dead.

Frank Sr. would never talk about the tragedy. It hurt too much. He drove a team of horses and the steam pumper in the early 1900s and 1920s in Chicago Company 38.

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