...went below and was never seen again...
Early Saturday morning, Nicholas H. Suerth and his oldest child, 16-year-old Joseph, left their home at 3238 W. Potomac Avenue in Chicago to attend the Western Electric Company picnic. Nicholas' 40-year-old wife Margaret, several months pregnant with their seventh child, stayed at home as did the remaining five of their six children.
Nicholas and Joseph boarded the steamer Eastland and were on the top deck when Nicholas told his son that he needed to go below deck to turn in some money or tickets. Joe stayed on deck with a friend. Nicholas went below and was never seen again.
The 42-year-old Nicholas had worked as a machinist at Western Electric for many years and had received a weekly salary of 17 dollars for his efforts. He was survived by his wife, his six children including Joseph (16), William (13), John (10), Bernice (8), Margaret (4), and Marcella (1), and the son he would never know, Marshall. Nicholas's seven children ultimately produced 22 grandchildren and 52 great-grandchildren.