Search billions of records on

Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
Collected and posted by RITA
This site is exclusively for the free access of individual researchers.
* No profit may be made by any person, business or organization through publication, reproduction, presentation or links to this site.


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.

My great great aunt, Eliza Curtis, an Englishwoman, was badly burned in the Fire but I am pleased to say that, although crippled for life, she remarried to Michael Cramer whose wife and two sons also perished in the Fire.  Eliza died in 1898, aged 73.

Eliza's first husband, William Curtis, also English, died in the Fire, having hanged himself in the well with their adopted daughter, Mattie.

Descendant: Pam Taylor

Rita's Research:

The 1870 Federal Census for Peshtigo, Oconto County, Wisconsin, was taken on June 21, just over 15 months before the Great Fire of October 8, 1871. William Curtis, age 40 and Eliza Curtis, age 38, both born in England, were living with Martha Curtis, age 7 and born in Wisconsin. They made their home with Thomas Fletcher, age 31, and born in England. William Curtis and Thomas Fletcher worked as laborers, Martha (Mattie) was in school. In the next residence, living alone, was a farm laborer named Sam Curtis, age 36, who had been born in Canada.

The 1880 Census shows widow Eliza Curtis is married to widower M. P. Cramer. and living on the farm in Marinette County (was Oconto County until 1879). They also have niece Mary E. Fletcher, age 16 living with them. She was alive at the time of the Peshtigo fire and may be related the Thomas Fletcher with whom Eliza,  her first husband and daughter lived in 1870.

M. P. Cramer is buried in Brookside Cemetery, Oconto. He was born in 16 Dec 1829 in Osnabruck Twnp, Stormant, Ontario, Canada, to John Cramer born 12 Aug 1794 in Williamsburg, Dundas Co, Ontario, Canada and Margaret Steenburgh born 26 Oct 1783 in  Ulster, New York.

Michael Paul (M. P. ) Cramer died 11 Feb 1910 in Peshtigo,  Wisconsin. His first wife, who died in the Peshtigo Fire, was:
    Diana Carnel
        born: 1836 in Canada.
        died:  8 Oct 1871 in Peshtigo, Wisconsin (Peshtigo Fire)
Their three sons were:
         William A. CRAMER
                born: Jan 1852 in Osnabruck Twnp, Stormont, Ontario, Canada
                died:  10 Mar 1907 in Grover, Marinette, Wisconsin
                buried in Brookside Cemetery, Oconto County, Wisconsin ( Peshtigo Fire Survivor)
         Levi CRAMER
                born: 1855 in Osnabruck, Stormont Co., Ontario, Canada
                died:  8 Oct 1871 in Peshtigo,Wisconsin (Peshtigo Fire)
         Sidney CRAMER
                born: 1861 in Osnabruck, Stormont Co., Ontario, Canada
                died:  8 Oct 1871 in Peshtigo, Wisconsin (Peshtigo Fire)

Back to Peshtigo Fire Home Page

Back to Oconto County Home Page