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 • Kirksville
 • Adair County
 • Missouri
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Jennie Belle Finch
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Birth: Apr. 30, 1882
Adair County
Missouri, USA
Death: Dec. 30, 1903
Cook County
Illinois, USA

A terrible blaze occurred at the Iroquois Theater in Chicago on December 30, 1903 as a fire broke out in the crowded theater during the performance of a vaudeville show, starring the popular comedian Eddie Foy. The fire was believed to have been started by faulty wiring leading to a spotlight and claimed the lives of hundreds of people, including children, who were packed into the afternoon show for the holidays.

Jennie Finch reportedly perished in the fire but her name does not appear on the list of victims.


Obituary of Miss Jennie Finch.

The first Sabbath of the year 1904, was a day of mourning in our little city, and throughout the country. The awful disaster of the Iroquois Theater had sent into almost a thousand homes the mementoes of its cruel tragedy. To many it seemed a nation wept that day.

Borne back to Kirksville as a result of that disaster was the remains of Miss Jennie Finch one of the teachers in our public schools and one of our most popular young ladies. She had been spending her Christmas holidays with her sister, Mrs. Lida Hickman, who resided in Chicago and both perished in that awful fire.

Miss Finch was born in Kirksville, April 30, 1881, but left an orphan at an early age, father dying in 1882, and mother in 1888, at which time she was taken into the home of her uncle, Mr. S.M. Link, where she has since lived as, indeed, a daughter. She was educated at the public schools in Kirksville and at the normal school. Miss Jennie was teacher in room 2 in the third ward public school, which position she was holding for the second year.

There was an element of cheer about her which instantly won people, and a sunny disposition that made her an attractive figure in all her circles of acquaintances. She will be sorely missed, as are all such bright and cheery people. We have none too many of these sunny souls who ever wear a smile and who go singing as they meet life's trials and duties.

When nine years of age she was converted and united with the First Baptist church, where she worshiped and wrought as she could for the Master.

To those who knew her, this seemingly untimely death, was indeed a sad shock.

With no small heroism of faith are we called on to say: "Thy will be done." Through our tears the cloud of sorrow looks very dark but yet we are persuaded that He in whose hands are lodged the prerogative of giving life and of taking it away, doeth all things well.

"Their severe afflictions
Not from the ground arise;
But of times celestial Benedictions
Assume their dark disguise.

In that great cloister's stillness,
By guardian Angels led;
Safe from temptation, safe from sin's pollution
She lives whom we call dead."

The funeral was conducted Sunday afternoon at 2:30 from the First Baptist church by the pastor. It was one of the most largely attended funerals ever held in Kirksville.

May the God of all comfort, bless those who mourn the earthly loss of a loved one.


Kirksville Journal
Kirksville, Missouri
January 7, 1904 
Family links: 
  Mary E. Link Finch (1846 - 1889)
  Jennie Belle Finch (1882 - 1903)
  Lida Finch Hickman (1885 - 1903)*
*Calculated relationship
Forest-Llewellyn Cemetery
Adair County
Missouri, USA
Plot: FA-75
Created by: NE MO
Record added: Dec 04, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 62523875
Jennie Belle Finch
Added by: Blytha & Donald Ellis
Jennie Belle Finch
Added by: Larry Olson
Jennie Belle Finch
Added by: Blytha & Donald Ellis
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- Blytha & Donald Ellis
 Added: May. 8, 2015

 Added: Aug. 24, 2014

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