May 10, 1907



The body of Miss Aurora Wittebart, who met death in the University building fire, is yet lying somewhere in the mass of debris of the burned building. No real attempt has been made to recover it, as the ruins were too hot yesterday to permit the firemen to work to any advantage, although streams of water were kept playing on them a great part of the day. It is thought that a search will be made today.

Miss Wittebart perished in the wing of the building where the fire was most severe. This part of the ruins was one of the first to fall, and the unfortunate woman was doubtless buried beneath a great mass of brick, broken irona nd timbers. As soon as the men can get into the building, the tottering walls will be braced and a determined effort will be made to find her body.

Early in the morning, Miss Wittebart's fiancee, George Jackson, wento to the scene of the fire to assist in the search, and was greatly affected when told of the unavoidable delay that would be necessary before the body could be recovered. Mr. Jackson told a pitiful tale of the efforts of his betrothed to reach him by telephone when she realized that escape was hopeless. He is an employe of the Missouri and Kansas Telephone Company and was in his office at the company's headquarters when the fire began. One of the central girls told him that a woman was calling him from the Pepper building, and that she was evidently in great distress. Just before he reached an instrument to answer his sweetheart's call, she was heard to cry out in despair, and it is thought she fell to the floor, overcome by the smoke and the heat.


Mr. Jackson immediately called the fire heaquarters to learn of the fire, and then he ran to the burning building. Of course, he was powerless to aid her in any w3ay. The shock of her death, and the agony of suspense he has u ndergone in the realization that his fincee's body is still lying in the debris, unnerved him and last night he was almost completely prostrated.

Wr. and Mrs. Wittebart, father and mother of the dead girll, arrived in the city last night, and are registered at the Densmore hotel. Both of them were almost prostrated with grief and had not a great deal to say about the calamaty that has befallen them.

'We were at the our home in Coffeeville when the news reached us yesterday evening, said Mrs. Wittebart. "It was a terrific shock to us. We had recently had a letter from our daughter, and of course we never dreamed of any such horrible thing as this. We should have come to the city last night, but Mr. Wittebart, who is not in the best of health, was utterly prostrated at the news and we could not come.

"We have made arrangements as to what we shall do when we find the body. We hardly expect to take it back with us. We shall probably have a funeral here in Kansas City. It is so terrible we do not know just what we shall do.

The remains of Professor Georges de Mare, the other victim of the disaster, were left at Stines during the day. It was announced that no arrangements for the funeral will be made until the arrival of Professor de Mare's mother from Denver. She is expected to reach here this morning.