Families from Marano Marchesato, Cosenza, Calabria

Fortuna Muto
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Title: Fortuna Muto
Description:  Fortuna Cairo (nee Muto) was married to Joseph Cairo.  Joseph came to Chicago somewhere between 1892 and 1895, leaving his wife and five children (Rose, Pasquale, Salvatore (Eugene), Maria, and Frank) back in Marano Principato, Italy.  He and his brother-in-law, Dominico Muto, worked as switchmen for the Chicago and North Western Railroad and lived together in a boxcar. They used kerosene lamps to guide the trains at night.  On October 3, 1895, two trains were approaching each other on the same track in Highland Park, Illinois.  Dominico Muto was not particularly attentive of the situation, but Joseph Cairo saw the impending collision and rushed to switch the tracks.  He was struck by the train approaching from the north.  A doctor was called in, but Joseph died later that night.  The Chicago and North Western Railroad left $1000 in escrow in 1900 for Fortuna Cairo and her five children.  They also offered education and a home in Kenosha, Wisconsin for them  - if and when they came to America.

Fortuna Cairo had another brother named Casper (Gaspare) Muto.  He and his wife Mary (nee Luchetta) brought Fortuna's oldest two children, Rose and Pasquale, to Chicago sometime between 1896 and 1900.   The other three children (Salvatore, Maria, and Frank) came over together around 1900 and stayed with Uncle Casper and Aunt Mary. 

After sending her five children to America, Fortuna Muto married again when she was much older to a man named Covelli, a wealthy property owner.  In 1949, Joseph Pellicore, husband of Fortuna's eldest daughter Rose,  traveled to Italy.  Property had been sold which amounted to $300. Fortuna wanted it divided equally between her five children;  Joe told her to keep his wife's (Rose) and Salvatore's shares. The other three children received $60 each. Nobody seems to know what happened to the $1,000 held in an escrow account by the railroad for Fortuna Muto. They had a house in Kenosha Wisconsin that was purchased for her and the five children, though they never occupied it.  Fortuna lived well into her 90's. 

Submitted By: Jeff Caracci (courtesy of Joe Higgins)

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