Augusta Wright Leggett1,2

F, b. 14 November 1851, d. 30 December 1903
FatherAugustus Wright Leggett b. 11 Jun 1816, d. 12 Jan 1885
MotherEliza Seaman b. 9 May 1815, d. 9 Feb 1900
Augusta Wright [Leggett] Pease
     Augusta Wright was born on Friday, 14 November 1851 in Roslyn, Queens County, Long Island, New York, at the family home "Hillside". About 10:00 pm. Augusta Wright married Elisha Brooks Pease on 5 September 1871 in Detroit at the Leggett family home at 169 Elizabeth. By Reverand William McLarran, Presbyterian at 7:30 pm.3 Elisha & Augusta had one son, Percival Seaman [7/29/1872-11/30/1939][m. 1st 2/04/1896 Grace E. Camp, m. 2nd 2/10/1905 Eda Marcho & m. 3rd 1924 Marie L. Jaccard]. Percy & Grace had children: Elizabeth Sharon [1/28/1897-12/30/1903] & Edward Brook [1/__/1899-3/30/1899]. Percy's first wife Grace & their daughter were killed in the Iroquios Theater fire with his mother. Percy & Edna resided at 928 Chelan Avenue, Spokane, Washington in 1910. 5 June 1880, Augusta and her husband, Elisha, were listed on the U.S. Federal Census in Detroit at 189 Elizabeth Street. Enumerated in this household were Elisha B. Pease [31 Detroit], his wife: Augusta W. [28 ___], son: Percival S. [7 Detroit], & servant: Elizabeth Weirdt [21 Mechlinburg, Germany]. Elisha was a clerk.4 8 June 1900, the U.S. Federal Census lists Augusta was residing in a rooming house at Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan. Enumerated in this household were Augusta Pease [48 New York - November 1851], She was a widow with one child, living. She was renting a house at 96 Montcalm Street East where she rented out a room.5 Augusta made her will before 30 December 1903 at Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan.

Under the terms of her will: Percival S. Pease to receive income during his life of all her residuary estate with remainder on his death to his children, if any and default thereof, to Blanche I. Whittemore hereinafter mentioned as sister of the testatrix & under the terms of said will the executors are named as trustees of the said estate upon the death of Percival S. Pease leaving children him surviving & until the youngest child shall become twenty-one years of age; that Orville Wood Ranney & James Whittemore are executors & trustees of said will.6

Augusta departed this life on Wednesday, 30 December 1903 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, at the Iroquios Theater fire at age 52 years, 1 month and 16 days. With her daughter-in-law and her grandaughter. Six hundred two people died in this tradgic event. She was buried at Detroit in the Woodmere Cemetery. Her will was probated on 3 February 1904 at Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan.


Elisha Brooks Pease b. 24 Dec 1848, d. 16 Aug 1895


  1. [S246] Iroquois Theater Fire, The Detroit Free Press, 31 December 1903: front page headline - Hundreds Perish in Chicago Fire - Iroquois Theater Destroyed and Appalling Loss of Life; 1 January 1904: front page headline - City Regulations Not Lived Up To. page 2 - many Michigan people among the dead, Mrs. E. Brooks Pease of Detroit pictured & listed among the dead along with her daughter-law & granddaughter Elizabeth Pease of Chicago - "Early yesterday morning, James Whittemore, patent attorney, of this city, received a telegram from Percival Pease, of Chicago, formerly of Detroit, saying that Mrs. E. Brooke Pease, his mother, Mrs. Grace Camp Pease, his wife, and his eight year old daughter, Elizabeth, had been killed in the disaster. Mrs. E. Brooke was a well known resident of this city and was in Chicago on a visit to her son. Percival Pease was born and brought up in Detroit, but of late had been connected with a type foundary in Chicago. Mrs. Pease lived at 96 East Montcalm Street. Her body had not been found last night, according to the Associated Press, but that of the child had been recovered. Mrs. Pease was a sister of Mrs. L. T. Ives, mother of Dr. A. W. & Percy Ives, and of Mrs. C. C. Randall and Mrs. James Whittemore, of Detroit, Mrs. Adolph Barthel, of Detroit, William H. Leggett, of Detroit, and Mortimer A. Leggett, of Pontiac, Michigan."; 2 January 1904: front page small headline - Body of Mrs. E. Brooke Pease Has Not Been Found - "James Whittemore, 67 Garfield Avenue, last night received a telegram from Percival Pease in Chicago, telling him that up to that time, the body of his mother had not been found. Valentine S. Ives, 46 Palmer Avenue East, has gone to Chicago to assist in the search."; 3 January 1904: "long search for body of Mrs. E. B. Pease. of Detroit, ended early yesterday, when Percival S. Pease identified the body at Jordan's. Pease had been searching since Wednesday night, and had almost given up hope, but early yesterday he found in the city custodian's office a return trip ticket to Detroit on the Wabash Railroad and a ring with the letter "P" inside. It was unrecognizable but the shoes bore a Detroit store mark and the clothing was a Detroit make. Dr. A. W. Ives said last night that the bodies of Mrs. E. B. Pease, Mrs. Percival S. Pease, Mrs, Pease's daughter, Elizabeth will arrive in Detroit at 7:15 this morning over the Michigan Central. With them will be Percival S. Pease, Valentine F. Ives, Mrs. Adolph Bartell, all relatives of the deceased..."; 4 January 1904: Body of the Pease Victims Are Here - "three bodies to be buried in Woodmere Cemetery..."
  2. [S247] Iroquois Theater Fire, Chicago Daily Tribune, 1903, December 30: Iroquois Theater Fire
    Chicago's most deadly fire occurred less than a month after the opening of the new, supposedly fireproof Iroquois Theater at 24-28 W. Randolph. It was standing room only for a holiday matinee of the popular musical "Mr. Blue Beard, Jr." Of the 1,900 people in the audience, mostly women and children, at least 600 perished. Among the 500 performers and backstage personnel, only the tightrope artist caught high above the stage died.
    Due to a long history of theater fires in the U.S. and Europe, by 1903 fire precautions were well developed, but not followed by the Iroquois Theater management. The primary danger came from the stage scenery consisting of many canvas backdrops painted with highly flammable oil paints and suspended in midair close to a large number of hot lights. In a number of fatal fires, including the Iroquois the scenery caught fire, then quickly reached almost explosive proportions.
    Standard precautions which had functioned well in other localities included firemen stationed near the stage with fire extinguishers, hoses and pikes for pulling down scenery. In case of fire, an asbestos or iron curtain would drop down cutting the audience off from the stage and its burning scenery. Adequate exits and trained ushers would prevent deaths from panic.
    Neglect of all of these factors contributed to the huge death toll in the Iroquois Theater fire. At 3:15 p.m. a hot light started flames crackling up a velvet curtain. The on-duty fireman was equipped only with two tubes of patent powder called Kilfyres. Sprinkling these on the fire proved totally ineffective. The theater lacked fire hoses, extinguishers or any other means of fighting fires above the fireman's head.
    The asbestos fire curtain got stuck before it reached the full down position due either to projecting lamps or cheap wooden tracks. This left a gap which exposed the audience to flame and smoke. The curtain was apparently instantly consumed in the fire anyway. Testimony revealed that the curtain was probably not made of a fire proof material. Curtain reinforcements as well as the tracks in which it rode were cheaply constructed of wood leading to probable failure in a fire. The inexperienced stage crew was slow to pull down the curtain, not able to unjam it, and as at least one witness testified, may have pulled down a scenery curtain, instead of the ineffectual fire curtain.
    As the fire started the orchestra played on, and the leading actor urged people to remain seated. Although this no doubt prevented some deaths from panic, those who heeded his advice perished in the explosive smoke and flames. A number of bodies were found still seated. The theater management had added iron gates over many of the exit doors. Some of the gates were locked, others were unlocked but opening them required operation of a small lever of a type unfamiliar to most theater patrons. Other doors opened inwards. The theater had had no fire drills so ushers and theater personnel neither opened the doors, nor directed people to safe exits. Many people were trapped behind unopened doors. The time it took to open other doors added to the fatal panic as it forced almost everyone to use the main exits.
    Even though it was outside the fire area, trampled bodies were piled ten high in the stairwell area where exits from the balcony met the exit from the main floor. More fatalities occurred when fire broke out underneath an alley fire escape. People above the fire jumped. The first to jump died as they hit the hard pavement. Later jumpers landed on the bodies and survived. The same scenario happened as patrons jumped from the balcony to the main floor of the theater. All injuries occurred within 15 minutes of the start of the fire, which was put out by the fire department within half an hour.
    The largely undamaged building reopened less than a year later and operated as the Colonial Theater until it was torn down in 1925.
  3. [S636] Certificate of Marriage: 5 September 1871 Detroit, Michigan: Elisha Brooks Pease age 23 years of Detroit and Augusta Wright Leggett age 20 born Roslym, Long Island, New York; witnesses: George B. Pease & C. M. Leggett: pastor oWilliam E. McLaren. [Michigan Marriage Records] - transcribed by Larry & Kathy McCurdy.
  4. [S677] 1880 United States Federal Census: Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan - 6th Ward, Enumeration District 285, sheet 17, line 44 - transcribed by Larry & Kathy McCurdy.
  5. [S679] 1900 United States Federal Census: Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan - 1st Ward, Enumeration District 4, sheet 14, line 69 - transcribed by Larry & Kathy McCurdy.
  6. [S349] Roeser, & Storck Ferriss, Petition & Order To Show Cause In The Matter Of The Application For The Appointment Of A Trustee To Execute The Power Of Sale Remaining Unexecuted Conferred By The Last Will & Testament Of Thomas Leggett, Deceased.