Family of Peshtigo
Wilson Stitt was
born June 28, 1821 in June 28,1821 in Maghadone Co, Londonderry, Ireland. He came with his
parents and 12 siblings, immigrating first to English Canada (Colborne,
Ottawa). There in 1853, thirty-four year old Wilson Stitt married seventeen year old,
Canadian born, Caroline and the couple had all
but the youngest of their children.
Researched in part by Pat Drees
"Uncle Wilson Stitt was
in the lumber business on the Gatineau River, Quebec. Then he
removed to the State of Wisconsin. His wife died from the
effects of the Chicago Fire.
1871 Afterwards they removed to the State of Washington, perhaps
some of them are now living there." (Rev Wilson Stitt
(1865-1939)) Wilson Stitts
parents: James Stitt 1773-1844 of Colborne and Eliza Steele 1783-1848
Diane Moorhead email@example.com
In 1866 Wilson and Caroline, along with children Robert age 12, Phebe/Phoebe
age 9, William age 8, Eliza age 7, James age 5 and Delia age 1 left
Ottawa, Canada and boarded a boat for immigration to the US.
After landing in the Port of Chicago they traveled north, settling in
town of Peshtigo, which was then Oconto County, Wisconsin (now
Marinette County). Little Caroline, the
youngest, was born October 31, 1868 in town of Peshtigo.
following is local oral history passed down in the area among
survivors' families. [also see: Peshtigo Fire (Home Page) ]
In the late
Sunday evening the winds became strong and very warm. There had been
heat and smoke for weeks but this was more intense. An orange glow in
the distance turned rapidly to red. At first the people of the village
and immediate surrounding area had thoughts of burying their valuables
and trying to wait out the night in or near their homes. It
wasn't long before many knew that the river was their only hope of
Traveling preachers had been giving hell fire and damnation sermons
about this being the end of time. An unknown number of people accepted
this fate and stayed in their quarters awaiting the inevitable, seen
through the windows of their homes or in their yards reading from the
bibles or in prayer. However, a large number chose to try survival.
Among these were the Stitt family, who joined countless others in their
blind struggle across the flaming bridge and down the
very high, steep bank to the mud flats along one side of the greatly
diminished trickling river. The only people in this area of the
fire to survive were the ones who made it to the flats and managed to
stay mostly submerged and unexposed during the most intense part of the
flaming tornadic fury.
Nearby neighbors who were also in the blaze and in the rush for, and
chaos at, the mud flats along the Peshtigo River that ran through the
village included surnames Mellen, Armstrong and Oaks. All 7 of the Stitt
children were in the night time fire of Sunday, October 8, 1871. Mother Caroline and 3
year old daughter little Caroline went missing during the blaze. The
rest were with their father Wilson. Caroline was identified by her
wedding band only; her remains were otherwise not recognizable.
Little Caroline was thought to be with her mother and the remains,
mostly ashes, were unidentifiable, so she was presumed dead. There was
nothing of little Caroline that could be found after the intense heat,
since she was so small, and the rain and wind after the fire scattered
much of the ash remains before recovery was able to be made.
Wilson Stitts' date of death was August 14, 1878 at age 56 years old. He is
buried at Peshtigo Cemetery near his
wife Caroline and daughter Delia who died
in 1873. The surviving Stitt
children remained in town of Peshtigo with their father Wilson until
his death which was attributed, in part, to the damage of his lungs and
extremities he had suffered in the fire.
Eldest son Robert M. Stitt moved and in 1880 married Paulina Winslow
in Taylor County, Wisconsin. By 1900 the
couple was living with three children in Duluth, Minnesota where Robert
was a lumberman. The couple were living in Duluth in 1910 where Robert
was listed as a retire lumberman. He had fathered 6 births but only 2
children survived; daughter Jane born 1891 in Wisconsin and son Arthur
born 1898 in Minnesota. Robert had passed away by 1920 and his widow
Pauline was living with their son and 8 year old grand daughter Mary
Stitt in Duluth, where they took in roomers. Pauline and granddaughter
Mary Stitt were on the Duluth census of 1930 running the boarding house.
married Hiram Sutherland in 1874 and lived in Peshtigo. for a number of
years. Hiram had immigrated from Canada in 1870 and worked as a
lumberman into his late 70's. By 1900 Phoebe had given birth to
10 children all in Wisconsin, with 9 living; Emma born 1875,
James born March 1877, Cora: born March 1880, Della born October
1883, \ Stella born October 1883, Nellie born December 1884, John
born March 1890, Hiram born October 1893 and Beatrice born July
couple was living in Peshtigo in 1920 with their youngest
daughter. Hiram Sutherland was born 11 May 1849 in Canada and died
30 July 1931 in Peshtigo, WI. He was the son of Isaac Sutherland and
Althea Warner. Phoebe Stitt Sutherland died 17 May 1934 in
William Stitt was 14 years old at the time of the Peshtigo fire. He
married Margaret Laura in 1879 and they had three children; Robert L.
born June 1880 in Wisconsin, Bessie born July 1887 in Wisconsin and
William John born October 1890 in Wisconsin. The family lived in
city of Marinette, Wisconsin, in 1900 where William was a lumber
Between 1905 and 1910 he and his wife Margaret Laura and their three
children, moved west and are found in Orting, Pierce County,
Washington. William had passed away by 1930 and his widowed wife
Margaret had taken in a boarder at her home in King, Washington.
Eliza (Helen) Stitt married Samuel S. Hamilton in Peshtigo. Samuel was
born in Illinois and both his parents were born in Kentucky.
Their children were all born in Wisconsin. Their
children included Carrie M. born 1876, Edna born 1877, Lucille born
November 1879, Nellie C. born April 1878, Henry C. born
July 1880, Frank F. born July 1883, Daisy B. born October 1885, Ray S. born October
1887 and Howard born September 1891. Samuel was a widowed
farmer by 1900 and living in town of Ellsworth, Pierce County,
Wisconsin, with 6 of their children. The widowed Samuel S. Hamilton was
in Stanley, South Dakota in 1910 with three of their children.
James did not die
in the fire, as some researchers have reported. He
filled out and filed a Del. of Intention on December 21, 1918 in
Seattle, Washington State. James was a laborer, and was described as
white; medium complexion, height 5 feet 11 inches, weight 165 pounds,
hair grey, eyes brown, scar on chin and index finger of right hand,
born in Canada April 17, 1862. He was single and lived at 5223 Russel
Ave., Seattle, Washington. James was single and living in Seattle,
Washington in 1920.
Matilda (Delia) survived the fire and lived until November 7, 1873. She
was 9 years and 9 days old. She is buried in Peshtigo Cemetery along
with her parents.
Youngest child Caroline was lost in the Peshtigo Fire, Sunday, October
8, 1871. Her remains were never identified for burial.
born: June 28, 1821 in Maghadone Co, Londonderry, Ireland
March 14, 1870 in Peshtigo, Oconto County, Wisconsin - Aged 56
years, 9 months, 16 days
Caroline Stitt (maiden name unknown)
born: June 1840 in English Canada
married: 1853 in English Canada (Colborne) -
to Wilson Stitt
October 8, 1871 in Peshtigo, Oconto
County, Wisconsin - Aged 34 years, 2 months
Children of Wilson and Caroline Stitt:
Robert M. Stitt
born: Jan. 12,
1855 in Colborne, Canada
married: 1880 Paulina Wilson in Taylor County, Wisconsin ; born Oct. 3,
1860; died April 9, 1933, Duluth, Minnesota.
11, 1913 in Duluth, Minnesota; gravestone is shaped in a 10 foot log
placed on cutting blocks (concrete) inscribed "STITT".
Note on Robert: WI. Lived in Duluth, Minnesota; 3 children; occupation-
1900, retired 1910.
born: 1857 in English Canada
Sutherland; born May 1849 in Canada.
May 17, 1934 in Peshtigo, WI
Note on Phoebe: Lived in Peshtigo, WI; birthed 10 children, 9 surviving
born: 1858 in English Canada
and lived in Wisconsin until 1905 - 1910, then moved to Washington.
1910 and 1930 probably in Washington
Eliza (Helen) Stitt
born: 1859 in
married: Samuel Hamilton on June 29, 1874
in Peshtigo, WI
died: between 1891 and 1900 in Wisconsin
born: 1861 in
English Canada single in 1920.
1920 probably in Seattle, Washington
Note on James: moved to Seattle, Washington,
Delia (Anella Matilda) Stitt
born: 1865 in
died; Nov. 7 1873 in Peshtigo,
Oconto County, age 9 years. & 9 days
Map Source: Atlas
1868 in Peshtigo, Wisconsin
October 8, 1871 in Peshtigo, Wisconsin
Extended Wilson Stitt Family of
Ireland and Canada
Families - Reflections from the changing countryside:, Stittsville
Women's Institute, Tuidsmuir History Committee (1969). McMaster
of the Wilson Stitt Family Of Peshtigo
John Stitt and Martha Jackson,in
Maghadone Co, Londonderry,
were paternal grandparents of Wilson Stitt.
Steele of in Maghadone Co, Londonderry, Ireland, immigrated to Colborne (Canada) were
the parents of Wilson Stitt who was one of 13 children.
The record lists the 13 children of James and Eliza:
(b. 1797 d. 1824)
2. John (b.
1800, d. NY 1829)
(b. 1802, died 1838, married Jackson; 3 children: Luke, Matilda &
4. James (b
1804, d. Goulborn 1867)
Stitt (b. 1806 d. Colborne Nov 25, 1859 (buried
Huron Co Founder of Stittsville,
Carleston County, Canada.)
6. Luke (b
1808, d infant)
7. Daniel (b
1810, d. Baltimore 1833)
8. Luke (b
1812, d infant)
9. Joseph (b
10. Eliza and twin
11. David died
Wilson (b in Maghadone Co,
Londonderry, Ireland June 28, 1821, died
in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, 1870}
13. William (b
"Before Bytown was thought of -- a road was opened through the long
swamp (near Richmond) to Jackson Stitt's and the word was prolonged as
the Third Line of Huntley" - quoted in this book as being from page 141
of Rev J.L. Gourlay's book "History of the Ottawa Valley"
- On early maps it was "Stitt's Corners", on the C.P.R. station
"Stittville" and to todays residents its "Stittsville".
This map of Stittsville in 1879. Source: Belden's
Atlas of Carleton County
The initials "J.S." on the edge of the Pack farmon the upper left
corner, stands for Jackson Stitt, the founder of Stittsville.