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Survivor Stories of the Peshtigo Fire

October 8, 1871

This page is dedicated to the people who lived to tell of their survival and stories of the Peshtigo Fire. All submissions are from the family members and are welcome for posting.


Olive and Benjamin Bosworth came to this sight with four of Olive’s children: Austin, A.B. (Alvah), R. Tyler and Sylvia Phillips and Benjamin’s daughter, Martha, who had married Austin in 1849 in Royalston, Massachusetts.

They traveled by stage coach, canal boat and sailing schooner from Winchendon, Massachusetts to DuPage County, Illinois in 1849. The two families lived in that area until 1854 when Jesse Leavenworth of Peshtigo sold them the SW ¼ of the NE ¼ of Section 31, Town 30, Range 22 in the Town of Peshtigo, Oconto County, Wisconsin.

Benjamin and Olive were 59 and 52 when they bought the land and pioneered their farm. Benjamin died in 1864 at the age of 69 and Olive had him buried on their own land instead of the established rural cemetery on the Newton farm at Four Corners, Harmony.

On 23 September 1865, Olive Bosworth sold 2.44 acres of this land, including Benjamin’s grave plot, to the Town of Peshtigo for One Hundred Seventy Two ($172.00) Dollars.

Olive died with two of her grandchildren, Sarah and Alice Taylor, in the Peshtigo Fire. She is buried here between her husband Benjamin and her daughter Sylvia.

Written by Alice Judy Behrend &  Linda Phillips Loser

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