Joseph Zobac


..set out with their picnic baskets...

Edward Zobac and his brother Joseph worked at Western Electric's Hawthorne Works. Edward was a machinist earning roughly $0.25 per hour. While Joe decided to use the day off from work to do some painting on his parents' home, Edward, his wife Anna, and her sister Blanka Jelinek set out with their picnic baskets for the excursion and picnic. They boarded a street car and headed downtown. The Eastland Disaster soon would claim the lives of Blanka, Edward, and Anna.

When they departed for the day's festivities, Edward and Anna had left their young children, Violet and Harold, at home in the care of their grandmother Zobac. The Eastland Disaster immediately orphaned Violet and Harold, and they became one of the 19 families who were left without parents. Courts later appointed Edward's sister, Josephine Zobac, as guardian for the two youngsters, with brothers Frank and Joseph Zobac being appointed as sureties. Frank raised his nephew Harold, while Violet was raised in her grandparents' home across the street.

Anna's locket and the young parents' wedding rings are reminders of their young love that was cut short by the tragedy.

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