May 11, 1907


Only a Small Amount of
Debris Over The Girl

The body of Miss Aurora Wittebart, the second victim of the University building fire of Wednesday afternoon, was found by a squad of firemen at 3:20 o'clock yesterday afternoon. No active or systematic search could be made until the walls had been braced, insuring the safety of the searchers, but within half an hour after work could progress without hinderance the body was found and removed to Stine's morgue. In the squad of firemen working under the direction of Assistant Chief Henderson were Jack Evans, W. C. Pahlman, A. Van Dusen, Dick Ginn and Charles Brown, and these men performed the work of recovering the body and conveying it to the morgue, where it was ordered taken by Thompson.
The body was not badly burned. Only the head and hands showed the effects of the fire. A sever injury on the right side of the head lacerated the scalp and the face was somewhat disfigured. The body was lying at full length on its back in an easy and natural position when found under a shallow pile of debris about ten feet south of the hall line and about twenty feet west of the elevator shaft. This location indicates that Miss Wittebart, contrary to general belief, did not lose her life near the northwest corner of the building in the vicinity of the fire escape, but had evidently made her way almost to the middle of the building and probably fell overcome by the smoke and flames. When the fifth story floor fell in, she was carried down with the wreckage and only a small quantity of debris from the roof covered her.
The girl's hat and coat were not found when the body was discovered. There was no doubt about immediate identification. The green skirt and white shirtwaist were easily recognized, as was a string of amber beads about her throat and a small gold fililgree ring on the third finger of her left hand.
The abundant light hair of the dead girl was not even schorced and the clothing was not torn or disarranged.
Miss Wittebart's parents, who are staying at the Densmore hotel, and her fiance, George P. Jackson, of 910 Holmes street, were not permitted to see the body, immediately, thought it was with the utmost difficulty that the police and firemen were able to restrain Mr. Jackson.
The young man was on the verge of nervous collapse after the body had been taken to the morgue. He insisted upon seeing the body, but his friends, realizing the inadvisability of this, took him to the Densmore hotel, hoping by removing him from the scene they could do better toward quieting him. As the party walked toward the hotel a crowd of morbidly curious followed as far as the hotel office, and one woman followed directly into the room to which he was assigned there. She cooly took a seat and remained until requested to leave, which she did, but with decided reluctance. Last night his nervous condition had improved considerably, and it was said that he was standing the ordeal with more fortituude than he had displayed since he had learned of the death of Miss Wittebart.
The funeral of Miss Wittebart will be held at 3 o'clock tomorrow afternoon from St. Patrick's church, Eight and Cherry streets. The body will be taken to the home of a friend, Mrs. F. C. Schmidt, 3338 Prospect avenue, today, and from there will be taken to the church Sunday. On account of the nervous condition of theparents of the young woman and George Jackson, the young man to whom Miss Wittebart was engaged to wed, it was thought advisable to not have them view the body of the dead girl, and the casket will remain closed.
Burial will be in Mount Washington Cemetery.