Collinwood, OH School Fire, Mar 1908 - Death List Now 167



The Body of Miss Weller, a Teacher Who Died in an Effort to Save Her Pupils, Identified by Her Teeth.

CLEVELAND, O., March 6.---The body of Miss Katherine Weller one of the two teachers who lost their lives in the Collinwood fire, was positively identified to-day by a dentist. The body had been so terribly burned that it could hardly be distinguished from the bodies of the smaller girls. The identification was established by her gold filled teeth upon a description furnished by a Pittsburg dentist.

Miss Weller died in an effort to save the lives of her little charges. Safety lay within her reach, but she turned back to try to lead her pupils out of the building.

The body of Rosetta Machnich, a pupil in the school, was identified also by her shoes. When Mrs. Machnich was positive of the identification she fell, fainting, upon the charred body of her little one.

There are still twenty-three bodies unidentified.

So far 167 bodies have been recovered. The list of missing now tallies with the number of unidentified, which would indicate that all of the bodies have been found and that the total death list will stand at 167.

In fully 100 cases the funerals will be individual, each family burying its own dead. The first of these funerals was held this morning. They will continue throughout the day. In some instances funeral service were grouped, with five to ten bodies in one church.

The unidentified will be buried next Monday morning, according to present arrangements. The expense of these funerals, together with the funerals of children whose parents are not in a financial condition to meet the burden, will be borne by public subscriptions, which are growing larger every hour. Already thousands of dollars have been raised. In addition to this a bill has been introduced in the state legislature, approiating[sic] $25,000 for the relief of the needy fire sufferers. This bill, it is expected, will become a law to-day.

The Kansas City Star, Kansas City, MO 6 Mar 1908