Monday, October 31, 2011

The Royal Charter - A Famous Shipwreck Forgotten Part 3

A little delay in my Royal Charter series as my family was under siege by the stomach flu (and for my Halloween post).  Nothing compared to what these poor people went through, but absolutely miserable nonetheless!

This part of the news article goes into the shipwreck entering peril.  It calls into question (as most people did after the tragedy) why the captain made the choices he did.  In it's own way it also points out that hindsight is 20/20.

I had to chuckle at the comment, " no one who knows Welsh pilots will be surprised...", I mean seriously, if it weren't for the Welsh that risked their lives making a human chain to save the few people they were able to, we may be talking about only one or two having been saved at all.  Yes, they were perhaps not 'Welsh pilots', but I'm not for criticizing a people that placed their lives at risk that night for strangers!

There is one more part to this news article that I will post tomorrow.  While it might not be the most exciting of posts, nor descriptive, it is perhaps the most important genealogically speaking.  It gives the names of those who died in the Royal Charter.  A ships list that is not always the easiest to find if you don't know where to look.

Until then, enjoy the last bit of descriptive drama on the tragedy that was forgotten (at least in America).

"How the Royal Charter ever had the right to get into that atrocious Dules Bay, where the rocks stick up like jagged teeth, is a question quite as easy to ask as it is difficult to understand how the Royal Charter should have ventured to pass Holyhead in a gale without a pilot.  From Holyhead to the point where the ship struck is all danger; and though with the wind off the land and a pilot on board, the course for a ship bound to the Mersey may be in shore, was it the safe course, it may be asked, under opposite circumstances?  Yet it is not to be presumed for a moment that the common signs of weather, or the rules for approaching land, were deliberately set at nought, or that the weather-glasses were not consulted, or that the tidal currents and the notorious indraught on the Welsh coast were forgotten or neglected by the lamented commander of the Roayl Charter and his officers, none of whom, alas! remain to tell the story.  From the moment when it was found that the ship could not make head against the hurricane and the indraught, and that it was impossible to make the Mersey, the fate of the ship need no explanation.  Blue lights and rockets were burnt for a pilot; but, as no one who knows Welsh pilots will be surprised to hear, no pilot appeared; and, pilot or no pilot, it was now too late.  The ship was hove to, and drifting helplessly into Dulas Bay.  Here she let go her anchors, 'keeping her screw working to ease the cables.'  One after the other the cables parted with the strain; at half-past 2 she struck, the tide ebbing, and with the flood she went broadside on to the shelving beach, literally split in two amidships, and was smashed to pieces on the rocks.  We are guilty of no presumption in drawing one conclusion, and that is, the worse than uselessness, the absolutely fatel mischief of the so-called 'auxiliary' screw.  The Royal Charter was, it should be remembered, an iron ship of 2,749 ton, 'originally intended for a sailing vessel, 'but transformed into a screw steamer, 'with engines of 300-horse power.'  The value of these screw engines to a ship of this size and quality seems to us at least problematical; at best it could only serve her in making away across the 'calm belts;' and as a set off to this exceptional service, there was the dead weight of the engines and the space they occupied, often to no purpose.  Whatever may have been the use of the auxiliary screw in calms, it is too certain that in working off a lee shore it was not only not serviceable, but disastrous; it not only failed to claw the ship off, but it failed to ease the cables, and when the spars were cut away, the screw got fouled, and ceased to work.  Is it absurd or unjust to suppose that had there been no auxiliary steam power in the Royal Charter she would never have been permitted to hug a lee shore at night in search of a pilot, with a hurricane dead on her weather bow, and strong indraught to the shore?  Had she trusted to her sailing powers only, would she not have consulted her weather-glasses more anxiously, and kept well out to sea?  We do not attempt to answer these questions, but we ask them deferentially, sorrowfully, and under a due sense of responsibility."

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween - A Night to Torment your Children

Danny was not happy at being dressed up as Hedwig from Harry Potter, but the tail was just so cute!

Aah, boxes!  With no armholes!  I'm the cheese!
Trick-or-Treating.  Eating candy.  Little changes.  Although I do remember that when I was young and you went trick-or-treating it was always on Halloween.  None of this crap where the cities designate a day of the weekend to trick-or-treat so it doesn't interfere with school.  Nope.  And teachers that gave homework on Halloween were just plain wrong.  Most kids wouldn't do it anyway.  Although I was the kid that would trick-or-treat and then obsess until I got my homework done.

Ben just wasn't feeling the love that night
I also remember that when you went to a door you would knock, say "Trick-or-Treat", and then you would have to tell a joke.  Was that just a Hazleton, Pennsylvania thing or did other people do that too?  And it was trick-OR-treating.  Sometimes you got that house where the whole "treat" was the spooky haunted house they would put on.  Yeah, as little kids they were the ones to avoid if you were on a hunt-and-kill candy mission, but I have to admit that some were pretty cool too.

And if you wanted trick-or-treaters you would put your porch light on and turn it off if you ran out of candy or didn't want to be bothered.  Today, kids just bang on everyone's door, whether their lights are on or off.  And parents encourage it! (Boy do I sound like a grumpy old fart or what!?!?)

Trick-or-treating could be an expensive thing when you're pressed for money.  It's great to go out and get the free treats, but sometimes getting the costume wasn't so easy.  We were lucky.  My mom was incredibly crafty...after all she was an art major in college!  Homemade costumes!  I'm sure some kids didn't like them.  We did.

Trick-or-treating in Army barracks
When you're really little though you don't have much say as to what you're going to be.  You are at the mercy of your parents.  I have to say that as an adult with two little boys, I do enjoy getting (and sometimes making) costumes of their choice, but when they were little I loved sticking them in what I wanted to dress them up as!  One of the benefits of having kids!

Stop complaining!  I survived my childhood and now I get to torment you!  When you have kids, you can torment them, now let's get some candy!


(A little fun break from my Royal Charter posts, but they'll return tomorrow!)

Our Star Wars Halloween

My sisters and I ready for some candy (I'm on the far left)

Danny was Darth Vader for his first Halloween.  The lightsaber apparently looked yummy!

Ben all dressed up.  The hubby didn't like this costume at all!

The ghost hat is a Halloween hand-me-down for all our kids!

Harry Potter Halloween (Danny got over the embarrassment)

The devil-hood is another hand-me-down for all our kids!

I feel like I'm auditioning for "A Christmas Story"

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Royal Charter - A Famous Shipwreck Forgotten Part 2

The South Australian Advertiser, 09JAN1860, pg3
Continuing on from yesterday's post.  The second part of the excerpt from the South Australian Advertiser (same date and page).  A well-written account of the events that led up to (but not including) the demise of the ship and it's unfortunate passengers.

"Last Tuesday night, when town and country were well abed, and let us hope not without thankfulness of heart, nor without having taken thought of 'all those who travel by land or sea;' - when even the rancid haunts of vice in London were emptying, and the homeless were slinking off to snatch forgetfulness somewhere out of reach of wind and rain: - in the dead hour of a desolate night, desolate enough among street [sic] lamps flickering in a clammy fog, more desolate still when a sickly moon peered dimly through a drift of ragged cloud, and the wind howled and moaned with a roar of rage and anguish - in that desolate night and that dead hour one of those terrible calamities which are remembered for centuries was hurrying near five hundred of our fellow creatures to sudden death at sea, after a safe and prosperous voyage of twelve thousand miles, within six hours of port, and within stonethrow of the long-wished-for land.  Heartrending and disastrous is the shipping intelligence of this week all round our coasts, but the wreck of the Royal Charter will be a melancholy fireside tale among our children's children.  If, indeed, what is called 'progress' be truly defined as an increasing dominion over time and space, the England, marching at the van, atones for her pre-eminence by many a hostage.  We talk of bridging seas by the size and speed of our ships, but every now and then we offer up costly sacrifices to avenge our triumphs, and correct our pride.

It would be easy for some glib interpreters of Providence to pronounce homilies on the fate of a ship laden with the root of all evil, and of men hasting to be rich; for it is certain that the Royal Charter had at least L500,000 on board, and that many of her passengers were returning from Australia with fortunes in their hands.  But this catastrophe may point, we think, a safer and more serviceable moral.  To mortal sight human destinies are at best a chaos, and it is not for mortal wisdom to presume to fabricate out of inexplicable chances a providential order of its own.  Here, for instance, was a ship touching at Queenstown, and landing 13 passengers, one of whom left his wife on board to pursue her voyage to Liverpool, and as it turned out, to meet death on the way; here were ten poor riggers, just returned from working a vessel to Cardiff, taken on board from a steam-tug in with a ship that had come all the way from Australia in safety.  Who will presume to judge?  'The one was taken and the other left.'  Let us be content to moralise more humbly and humanely on the fate of our fellow-creatures.  It were a miserable task, while the bodies of the poor castaway people are still awaiting Christian burial, to look about for whom to blame, when all but a score are beyond the reach of blame or praise.  It is easy for us to wonder and regret that the Royal Charter should ever have passed on from Queenstown and sailed up the Irish Channel without a pilot in wild and threatening weather - that without a pilot, and with a northerly gale coming on, she should have passed by Holyhead, and kept hugging a dead lee shore at night along the most dangerous line of all our coast.  Any one who knows that coast, or who has even glanced at a chart, cannot fail to be struck with consternation at the bare thought of such a ship as the Royal Charter keeping that Welsh land close on board in the worst of weather, night coming on, without a pilot, in the hope of finding one, and for the sake of saving a few hours at the close of an astonishingly rapid and successful passage."

What a writer.  What emotions in his writing.  We continue on tomorrow with his description of the destruction of the Royal Charter.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Royal Charter - A Famous Shipwreck Forgotten Part 1

The South Australian Advertiser, 09JAN1860, pg3
I always find it incredibly interesting to see how tragedies were viewed during the time period in which they occurred.  This one is so gripping, I thought it appropriate to share during this blog series on the Royal Charter.  The article was taken from the Australian newspaper The South Australian Advertiser and published on January 9th, 1860.

Keep in mind that the Royal Charter was no ordinary ship.  It was its own modern-day miracle.  Cutting edge of the time.  It was a hybrid of sorts.  Instead of relying solely on sails which were at the mercy of the winds (or lack thereof), this ship could engage it's engine when winds were lacking.  It would have been highly desirable to travel on such a ship. 

Regardless of the ship traveled on, such a long journey was dangerous, but the sheer loss of life was, and is, incredible.  No woman or child survived this shipwreck.  I often wonder how my 3rd great grandmother got news of the wreck and how she was sure that her husband was one of the lost.  Did she write a letter?  Did she have a relative send one?  Did she assume when she heard nothing that he was dead?  To be widowed in 1859 with 2 young children and living in a coal patch town had to have been scary.  It had to have added to the misery.  Would she be turned out of the house that her husband built on company property?  How would she live and care for her children?  I do have some of these answers, but for now enjoy the gripping drama that unfolds (why doesn't Hollywood make this into a movie?):

"The Wreck of the Royal Charter.

[From the Home News.]

On the morning of the 27th October the Times published a brief telegram announcing the 'loss, on her way from Queenstown to Liverpool, of the Royal Charter, with over 400 passengers on board, of which number only about 20 were saved.'  It was not till about noon on the same day that this startling announcement was confirmed; and even then hopes were still cherished that it contained some element of exaggeration.  That so famous a ship, which had been telegraphed two days before as being off Queenstown after a most prosperous voyage from Melbourne, should have been utterly lost within two or three hours' sail from Liverpool, with an enormous freight of life and treasure, appeared a catastrophe so appalling in its magnitude and suddenness as to be all but incredible.  People ventured to hope that at least a large number of the passengers might have been safely landed at some point of the coast which did not possess the means of rapid communication; and that in a few hours more we should receive tidings of their rescue.  The hope was vain.  A mournful accumulation of authentic intelligence from the scene of the wreck proved ere long beyond the possibility of a doubt that the first announcement, instead of being an exaggeration, was actually an under statement of the disaster.  In another day, by putting together the various particulars supplied by the survivors, the newspapers were enabled to publish the following compendious narrative of one of the most astounding tragedies on record: -

After a splendid passage from Melbourne, accomplished in 58 days, and after having landed 13 passengers at Queenstown, and telegraphed her safe arrival to the owners, the Royal Charter made for Liverpool on the 25th of October.  She had sailed from Melbourne with 388 passengers on board, and a crew, including officers, of 112 persons.  After leaving Queenstown she took on board from a steam-tug 11 riggers who had been assisting in working a ship to Cardiff.  Thus she had now on board 498 persons.  Her cargo was small, consisting mainly of wool and skins.  A more important item of her freight was gold and specie, which at the lowest estimate is here put at L500,000.  On the evening of October 25, there was blowing from the E.N.E. a violent gale, which fell with full force on the ill-fated ship.  She arrived off Point Lynas at 6 o'clock that evening, and for several hours Captain Taylor continued throwing up signal rockets, in the hope of attracting the attention of a pilot.  None made his appearance.  The gale increased in violence; the ship was making leeway, and drifting gradually towards the beach.  It was pitch dark; no help was at hand.  The captain let go both anchors, but the gale had now increased to a hurricane, and had lashed the sea up to madness.  The chains parted, and not withstanding that the engines were worked at their full power, the Royal Charter continued to drift towards the shore.  At 3 a.m. she struck the rocks in four fathoms of water.  The passengers, a large portion of whom were women and children, had till  this moment no idea of the imminence of their peril.  The most perfect discipline and order prevailed.  The masts and riggings were cut adrift, but caused no relief, as the ship began to thump on the sharp-pointed rocks with fearful rapidity.  Shortly after she struck, the ship was thrown broadside on, perfectly upright upon the shelving stony beach, the head and stern lying due east and west, the former not being more than 20 yards from a projecting rock.  At this juncture one of the crew, a Maltese, named Joseph Rogers, nobly volunteered to struggle through the heavy surf and convey a rope on shore.  Though it was not believed by any one that danger was imminent, the captain gave the order, and Rogers ably fulfilled his duty.  A strong hawser was then passed and secured on shore, and to this was rigged a boatswain's chair.  While this was going on a fearful scene was being enacted in the saloon.  An attempt had been made by a Mr. Hodge, a clergyman, to perform a service; but the violent thumping of the vessel on the rocks, and the sea which poured into the cabin, rendered this impossible.  The passengers were collected here, and Captain Withers and Captain Taylor were endeavouring to allay their fears by the assurance that there was at any rate no immediate danger, when a succession of tremendous waves struck the vessel and absolutely broke her in half amidships.  Shortly afterwards the foremost portion was again torn in half, and the ship began to break up rapidly.  Several of the crew saved themselves by means of the hawser, while the remainder were hurled upon the rocks by the waves;  all the officers perished.  Captain Taylor was the last man seen alive on board.  He had lashed his body to a spar and was drowned.  The whole number saved out of the 498 persons on board was 39.

A number of stirring leading articles on the wreck of the Royal Charter soon appeared in all the journals.  Of these the most remarkable was one which appeared in the Daily News.  We extract it here in full, as it gives the most vivid picture we have yet seen of all the salient features of the terrible Catastrophe: - "

To be continued...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Blogiversary - Remembering Why I Started

"The Royal Charter off Moelfre"
Image used with permission of E. D. Walker

October 26th marks my 1 year Blogiversary.  It's hard to believe that it's been a whole year!  I'm very proud of my little blog and while I haven't come as far as I'd like to (certification is still a dream away), I have grown and hope that my journey continues in a positive path.

October 26th also marks another anniversary of sorts.  The anniversary of the shipwreck that took my 3rd great grandfather, Manus Maurice Boyle's life.  A shipwreck that was famous at the time, but one that we don't hear of much today (at least not in America).  Just like I commemorated the anniversary of the Great Peshtigo Fire with a week's worth of posts, I intend on doing the same for this.  The shipwreck of the Royal Charter.  Below is the first post I ever made on my blog.  It's where it all started and it's one of the reasons I began blogging.  I've merely updated it to reflect the current year.  Enjoy!

October 26, 2011 is the 152st anniversary of my great-great-great grandfather, Manus Maurice Boyle's, death in the shipwreck of the Royal Charter. He worked in the coal mines of northeastern Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Alice Monaghan, were both Irish immigrants and longed for a better life for their two daughters, Bridget Mary and Anna. He left Pennsylvania in September 1856 to go to Australia to mine for gold in hopes of a better future for his family. He was returning to his family from Australia in the autumn of 1859. The Royal Charter would have taken him back to Britain. No one knows what ship he was to board to return to America. No one knows what fortunes, if any, he was returning from Australia with. During the last leg of his journey to Liverpool a "hurricane" struck. There was no advanced warning. None existed prior to that date.

The winds that raged over 100 mph changed from East to North/Northeast and the bay (Moelfre Bay) which Captain Taylor had hoped would shelter them became the instrument of their demise. The anchors that had been weighed, snaped in the first hours of the morning of October 26th and the ship was repeatedly thrown against the rocks until it split and sank. Of more than 480 passengers and crew only 41 survived. No women or children were saved.

The valiant efforts of one of the crew, Joe Rogers, and the inhabitants of the Moelfre coast were what enabled even those 41 to be saved. The storm had caused damage to one of the Moelfre homes and as residents were repairing the roof in the early hours of the morning they saw the ship in peril. They woke the town and 28 local men made a human chain in the violent waters of the bay to attempt to rescue those aboard. Joe Rogers took a line from the ship and swam to shore, being turned back in the violent waves of the storm at least 3 times before reaching the men on shore. The rope was used in an attempt to bring those from the vessel ashore.

Sadly, many of the passengers on the ship jumped or were thrown overboard. The bulkiness of the clothes of the time coupled with the fact that many had money belts and pockets filled with gold inhibited their efforts to the deadliest of degrees. Had they abandoned their garments and treasure many more may have survived.

There was over 322,000 pounds (British monetary unit) of gold aboard the ship. This was the amount insured back in 1859 and does not include the gold the passengers kept on their persons. I do not know the equivalent in today's currency the gold would be valued at, but it would obviously be substantially higher. The large amount of money combined with the rumors of "good fortune" that surrounded the town after the wreck led to the shipwreck being called the Golden Wreck.

The village church of Saint Gallgo became the collection point for the bodies. The Reverends Stephen Roose Hughes and his brother Reverend Hugh Robert Hughes paid the local inhabitants to bring the bodies to the church, a difficult trek up the rocky shores to the church made monetary remuneration the only way to persuade the locals to take on the grim task. They saw to the burial of those killed and personally answered over 1000 letters they received begging a response regarding loved ones. The stress from this caused the Reverend Stephen Hughes' life to be cut short. He died a few years later.

The church at Saint Gallgo still exists today and each year remembers those lost in this tragedy. Monuments stand to remember those lost. A distant cousin of mine Debbie Fay Buch and her husband, Josh Buch, placed a memorial stone at Saint Gallgo Church in August 2004. It reads:

Manus Maurice Boyle
Never Recovered from the Royal Charter
Placed by the Fay Family
Hazleton, PA USA 2004

I don't sit around depressed over the fact that this is the anniversary of my ancestor's death. What would have happened had he come home with gold from Australia? My 2nd great grandmother, Anna Boyle, may never have met her husband, Martin Blanchfield, and I would never have been born. Sometimes good can come from tragedy. People's fortunes can improve or worsen causing them to make decisions that determine the outcome of their history and sometimes other people's histories. It does sadden me to know that Manus was never to hold his youngest daughter, Anna. She was born 2 months after he left for Australia. It saddens me to know that his last thoughts were most likely of a family that he would not see again in this world. Or perhaps his last thoughts were of a determination to survive and get back to them. A determination that was matched by the ferocity of the circumstances in which he found himself. It saddens me knowing that he did not die the "peaceful" death of drowning for the majority of those lost were broken on the rocks of the bay. The passengers and crew of the Royal Charter died so close to shore that even today the wreck can be seen below the surface of the waters from the bay's shoreline. Still there, resting peacefully below the water.

It is not everyone that can say their ancestor's demise was written about in books. I have read two that write of the Royal Charter. One by Alexander McKee, "The Golden Wreck: The Tragedy of the Royal Charter" is out of print, but it tells of the voyage from Australia to it's wreck, the recovery of the remains of the victims and the trial of the crew that survived. I have read the account of the shipwreck written by the great Charles Dickens (yes, I said Charles Dickens wrote about this tragedy!) in his book "The Uncommercial Traveller" (only about the first 20 or so pages of the book are dedicated to this wreck. It's a series of 34 books and this is in volume 24. The entire series tells of Dickens' travels as he IS the Uncommercial Traveller).

I take this time today to remember a man I never knew, but love nevertheless. As a genealogist it can be hard to convey to those that do not research their ancestry that while we may never have met these names that appear in our family trees, we feel a closeness that defies explanation.

Rest in Peace, Grandpa. You will be remembered by your many descendants.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Aaah How I've Missed You!

My posts have been scarce this past week.  In fact I think this has been the longest I've gone without posting, but this past week and weekend have been truly hectic!  I'm the PTA President and we had our Fall Carnival on Friday.  The chairperson and committee put on a spectacular event, but we were all more than a little tired by that evening!  The very next day it was time for Cub Scout camping with a haunted hayride thrown in.  I didn't camp, but I did go out for the day and then came home so my beagle could go outside!  Monday evening was the Pack awards ceremony and I'm the Awards Chair, so more work!

With all that finished I can get back to what I love.  And just in time since my blogiversary will be on Wednesday!  Until that post (and I can catch up on the 1000+ items in my Google Reader)...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Follow Friday - The News Edition (More or Less)

CNN posted about a trend that people will most likely see when researching their trees in the future in an article titled, "More Latinos Identify as Native American, Census Shows."  An interesting article, but I didn't consider it unexpected.  I was actually surprised it wasn't happening much sooner.

Genealogists/Family Historians tend to travel...a lot.  What apps do you use when you travel to make your trip run smoothly?  Brett Snyder has a blog "The Cranky Flier" which may interest many, but he also writes for CNN occasionally and his post on their news site, "Travel Apps That Really Help" was very good.

Jenn Woods at "Climbing My Family Tree One Branch at a Time" always has such great posts.  She recently posted about a murder that her ancestor gave testimony about.  Always interesting to read and very exciting!

Researching German ancestors?  Then you'll eventually need to dealing with German script and handwriting.  Nancy over at "My Ancestors and Me, and other relatives, too..." has a post for you!  A German genealogical must!

And wrapping it up are two videos.  The first a friend shared with me.  It was posted on Yahoo! News (it was from KCCI News in Iowa) and it was about a couple that were married for 72 years and they died holding hands.  Not to be morbid or anything...I just found it sweet.

The second just happened to start playing immediately after the previous story and was also from KCCI.  It was a story about Oak Grove Cemetery and the damage time has caused by eroding away a hillside and the graves ending up in a ravine.  Tim Schultz (an area landscaper) is looking to help rectify that situation by building a retaining wall, but the red tape is hard to get through.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Martin Blanchfield and Anna Boyle

As I wondered what I was going to post on this evening, I received an email from a cousin (thanks for the post idea, Rebecca!) with a great article published in the New York Times, published on February 26, 1875.  Why was this significant?  It was a story on a horrible collapse that occurred at St. Andrew's Church in New York City.  The same church that our ancestors, Martin Blanchfield and Anna Boyle, were married in less than a year later.

So I figured I'd post the marriage certificate that was sent to me a few years back from Saint Andrew's.  It's a transcription as you can see from the "19" being crossed out in the year and "18" being written.  I may transcribe the article at some point as well, but not today.  It is a tale of panic, and not something for a wedding!

Sacrament of Matrimony (transcribed from church records)

Martin and Anna Blanchfield nee Boyle were my 2nd great grandparents.  Martin was born in Ireland.  Anna in Pennsylvania.  Married in New York City at Saint Andrew's Church on January 9, 1976.  They would have twelve(-ish) children:

Mary, Alice (my great grandmother), Annie, William, Josephine, Lillian, Catherine, Joseph, and 4 children of unknown name/gender that are remembered as numbers in censuses.  We don't know if they were stillborn or died young, but they didn't live long enough to have their names recorded in a census.

Anna has always been dear to my heart, but what ancestor isn't?  You love them all, right?  As I approach my first blogiversary, I have been preparing a series of posts on what started my world of blogging and it happens to be an incident that took her father's life.  Anna is dear to me because she was born after her father left America to mine for gold in Australia, and he died on his way back.  A great sacrifice made by a man that wanted to bring a better life to his family.  Years away from his family in a great effort to try to escape the coal mines of Northeastern Pennsylvania.  That sacrifice was not to benefit them, however, and his youngest daughter would never know the arms of her father.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - The Long Lost Dennis Dugan

I've blogged before about Dennis Dugan and his first wife, Bessie Dugan nee Quirk.  Bessie was my great-great aunt and she died shortly after giving birth to a daughter.  I've often wondered what happened to that daughter, but so far (despite previous moments of inspiration on the subject) I have been unable to figure out if she died young, moved away to live with other family, or if she grew up and simply got married and led a normal life.

In an attempt to try to find out what happened to her I finally tracked down some obituaries for her father, Dennis, and his 2nd wife.  Sadly, there was no mention of her in the obituaries, so back to square one.  Her not being mentioned does lead me to believe that her life was most likely cut short.  Perhaps she even died prior to her father remarrying.  Who knows.  I'd like to avoid Pennsylvania doing a broad search for her death record, but it may come to that if I keep banging my head against this brick wall.

Dennis' daughter, Betty/Elizabeth (named after her mother), did have some half-siblings though.  I do often wonder if they ever knew her.  Was her name even mentioned after she passed?  Ah well.  On to her father's obituary:

The Globe Times - 17MAY1954, pg8
"Dennis J. Dugan

Dennis J. Dugan, 711 Pawnee St., a former employee [sic] of Bethlehem Steel, died unexpectedly at 8:30 a.m. today in his home.

A resident of Bethlehem for 45 years he was born in Audenried [sic], Pa.  He was a member of St. Ursula's Church in Fountain Hill, of the Protection Hose Co. and of the South Side Fireman's Relief Assn.

His survivors include his wife, Rose (King) Dugan; two sons, James of Bethlehem and Francis, at home; two daughters, Sister Rose Dennis Dugan, SSJ, Church of the Ascension in Philadelphia, and Mary wife of James Phillips at home; and two sisters, Mrs. William O'Donnell and Margaret Dugan of Washington, D. C. Three grandchildren also survive."

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Peshtigo Fire - A Miracle From the Ashes

The statue of Mary inside the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help

As promised I'm ending my posts on this historic tragedy on a miraculous note.  I'm not speaking figuratively.  I'm not saying "It's a miracle my husband's ancestors survived".  I'm grateful that they survived, and it could be viewed as miraculous, but I'm talking church acknowledged miracle! This miracle didn't happen in the town of Peshtigo.  It was across the bay in a town called Robinsonville that was also under attack by the series of fires collectively known as the "Great Peshtigo Fire"....and it's the sort of story that makes you believe in miracles if you didn't already.  A little history...

Adele Brise (also spelled Brice) was a young Belgian immigrant who came to America with her family and settled in Wisconsin.  She had originally wanted to stay behind in her native Belgium and join a convent with some other girls, but after talking with her priest, he advised her to do what any good priest follow her parents wishes and go to America with them.  He told her that if she was meant for a religious order that she would no doubt find one in the United States.  So instead of a convent Adele found herself in a heavily wooded area of Wisconsin.

Mary as Adele described
Adele was very religious.  She would walk to church every week...ELEVEN MILES to church every week!  In October of 1859 Adele experienced not one, but 3 Marian Apparitions.  The first was as Adele was walking to a grist mill 4 miles from Robinsonville with a sack of wheat on her head.  She saw a lady in white standing in her path on the trail she was walking.  She stopped, frightened and remained still until the lady disappeared before her eyes a few minutes later.

The second time was that Sunday as she walked to church.  Her sister walked with her and in the exact same place, Adele saw the lady before her in the distance.  She stopped, again afraid.  Her sister could not see the woman.  Eventually she disappeared and they continued to church.  After Mass Adele spoke with her priest about what she saw.  The priest told her that the spirit would not hurt her, but to ask in God's name what she wanted.

On the way home from mass that day, Sunday, October 9th, 1859, Adele again saw the apparition before her.  The people with her stopped as she knelt and asked the apparition , "In God's name, who are you, and what do you want of me?"  The response that Adele got was that the apparition was the "Queen of Heaven" and she commanded that Adele teach the children their catechism, how to make the sign of the Cross, and how to receive the Sacraments.

On that spot Adele's father (Lambert Brice) built a ten by twelve foot structure to mark the spot of the visions.  Not everyone believed in what Adele saw, but that did not deter her.  Over the years, as people began to make pilgrimages to the spot and as Adele began to fulfill the promise she made to teach the children, the structure grew and the land that held the school and chapel was consecrated.  The Chapel became known as "Our Lady of Good Help."

Twelve years later, almost to the day Adele spoke to the apparition of Mary, the fires erupted.  This is the account of what happened that night as printed in the book "The Chapel:  Our Lady of Good Help" (Sister M. Dominica, O.S.F, 1955):

Stained glass windows in the Shrine
"We do not propose to pass judgment on the reasons for this catastrophe, but we know that twelve years later almost to the day, October 8, 1871, the great calamity fell.  The Belgian colony which embraced a large part of the peninsula,  was visited by the same whirlwind of fire and wind that overwhelmed Peshtigo.  Here, as across the Bay, the forest fires had crept on for weeks and months, and on the same Sunday night came whirling over the Lake and Bay counties.  The Wisconsin peninsula, too, was the scene of an awesome drama.  A terrible, ten-fold wind sprang up from the southeast and fanned the smoldering fires into a mighty wave, submerging the whole peninsula into a raging sea of fire and smoke.

After weeks of fear and suspense, the hour struck and the great forest rocked and tossed simultaneously.  In one awful instant, before expectation could give way to horror, the black-curtained sky burst forth into great clouds of fire.  The day had been prophetically [sic] still; smoke and gases filled the air.  An ominous dread gripped the minds and hearts of every living creature, even the wild beasts of the forests mingled with men as both fled in terror before a great consuming roaring fire circling all within its fiery grasp.  At first the roaring blaze thundered like great cataracts among the tree-tops, but as it gained momentum, it sounded like the distant roar of the sea giving place to thunderous fury mingled with a tornado of fire.

A survivor wrote that if one could imagine the worst snow storm he ever witnessed, and each flake a coal or spark of fire driven before a terrifying wind, he would have an idea of the atmosphere at the time the fire struck.  Hundreds of families were driven from their homes, many being overtaken by the rain of fire.

Adele Brise's photo at the Shrine
'This is judgment; this is the end of the world,' was uttered by a frenzied mob dashing wildly for means of escape made impassable by fallen timber and burning bridges.  Land and sky in flames, wild confusion of the elements, while men looking on, stupefied [sic] with horror, were withering with fear.  It was indeed a terrifying spectacle.

The wide spreading track of ruin covered the greater part of the peninsula from Green Bay to Lake Michigan, and from the neighborhood of Green Bay on the south to 'Death's Door' on the north.  In the town of Green Bay, the fire entered at the southeast corner and swept on the wings of the wind to the north east.  It extended into parts of Outagamie, Kewaunee, Door, and Brown counties.  The towns of Humboldt, Green Bay, New Franken, Casco, Brussels, Rosiere, Lincoln, Robinsonville and many others were scathed with a whirlwind of flame which devoured the woods, leaped across clearings, and lopped everything inflammable in its path.  The area burned was not less than fifty miles in length and twenty average miles wide.  The burning belt widened as it advance.  Nothing could be done to stop its forward march, and the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Help lay in its path.

The crucial hour had come, the hurricane of fire broke in all its fury.  Adele and her companions were faced with a momentous decision.  They were determined not to abandon Mary's shrine, and their faith in Mary's protection never faltered.  The children, the Sisters, and the farmers with their families, drove their livestock before them and raced in the direction of Mary's sanctuary.  They were now encircled by a raging inferno with no means of escape.  Looking back, they saw their buildings literally swallowed by the fiery monster.  By this time the surrounding territory was one vast sea of fire.  Awe-stricken, they thronged the Chapel grounds.  Already the Chapel was filled with terror-stricken people beseeching the Mother of God to spare them, many wailing aloud in their fright.  Filled with confidence, they entered the Chapel, reverently raised the statue of Mary, and kneeling bore it in procession around their beloved sanctuary.  When wind and fire exposed them to suffocation, they turned in another direction, and continued to hope and pray, saying the rosary.

Statues of children kneeling on the grounds of the Shrine
'Thus passed for them the long hours of that terrible night.  I know not if, supported only by nature, they would have been able to live through that awful ordeal, ' so wrote Father Pernin, hero of the 'Peshtigo Fire.'

After hours of horror and suspense, the heavens sent relief in the form of a downpour.  The fervent prayers to the Mother of God were heard.  The fire was extinguished, but dawn revealed the ravages wrought by the conflagration.  Everything about them was destroyed;  miles of desolation everywhere.  But the Convent, school, Chapel, and the five acres of land consecrated to the Virgin Mary shone like an emerald isle in a sea of ashes.  The raging fire licked the outside palings and left charred scars as mementos.  Tongues of fire had reached the Chapel fence, and threatened destruction to all within its confines - the fire had not entered the Chapel grounds."

A fire so fierce that it destroyed most everything in its path did not destroy Our Lady of Good Help.  It was 151 years after the apparition of Mary to Adele, 139 years after the miracle at Our Lady of Good Help occurred that the Roman Catholic Church finally acknowledged the visions of Adele Brise.  On December 8th, 2010 Bishop David Ricken of the Diocese of Green Bay announced, "I declare with moral certainty and in accord with the norms of the Church that the events, apparitions and locutions given to Adele Brise in October 1859 do exhibit the substance of supernatural character, and I do hereby approve these apparitions as worthy of belief (although not obligatory) by the Christian faithful."

Candles lit by visitors inside the Shrine

That declaration made Our Lady of Good Help the first and only approved Marian apparition/shrine in the United States.  You can read more about the Churches declaration and the Shrine, by going to the Diocese's website here.

Within 2 weeks of the announcement my family and I were back in Green Bay visiting for the Holidays.  It is hard to convey the feeling of knowing that this happened so close to where my in-laws were.  The first Marian Shrine in our backyard.  I took my boys and my mother-in-law and we visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help.  I didn't know what to expect.  The grounds were pretty, but looked like any other church.  The crypt where the statue of Mary is located, and the site of the original vision, is in the basement.  The Church built on top of it.  It is small, but I thought it beautiful.  I lit a candle to my father-in-law who had passed away earlier in the year, and to my cousin who was killed by her husband earlier in the year.  I finally lit a candle in honor of all my family's ancestors and prayed for awhile.

Crutches left behind
When I was done, and without disturbing the few others that were in the Shrine, I took out my camera and took some flashless photography to remember this place.  I took pictures of the crutches that people left behind.  Those that since 1859 came to the Shrine using crutches and left them behind as they walked away.

Our Lady of Good Help was being visited by newspapermen from the New York Times the day that we visited.  They asked my mother-in-law if she believed.  Without hesitating, she replied that she did.  A bit ridiculous if you thought about it.  Why would you visit if you didn't?  We weren't offended though.  We were glad that it was being reported on.  Glad to see that after so many years and so many people thinking Adele Brise was lying or demented that the Church acknowledged what she always knew to be true.

With everything that happened during the Great Peshtigo Fire, how could I or anyone not view what happened on that spot as anything other than miraculous!

The cemetery at the Shrine

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Peshtigo - Why Did it Happen?

Click on map to be taken to Rootsweb's Peshtigo Fire page
Who knows?  There are lots of guesses, but it's hard to determine which is correct. Some believe that it was the work of a comet.  Others due to fires intentionally set to clear the area as a fire prevention measure.  Still others believe that there was one fire and that it jumped the bay.  So who is right?

Well, I've got no scientific proof, but I really don't think it takes much to figure out at least part of it.  No one debates the fact that there was an extreme drought that took place that year in Wisconsin and parts of Michigan.  Naturally, with dry conditions there are bound to be fires.  Some were man-made (as a part of manufacturing, clearing large areas to ready for farming/building, to prevent fires, etc).  Some may have been nature-made (lightning).  Sorry, I'm not a big comet-theory believer.  Show me the rock, baby! That one just seems like there has to be someone trying to become a member of the Who's-Got-The-Oddest-Theory-Club.

The bottom line (to me) is that there had been fires.  The inhabitants of the various towns and of the country-side had been fighting them for awhile.  If you've ever been camping you get absolutely nagged to make sure your campfire is completely out.  What if it's not?  Fire.

Moving on a bit.  A strong frontal system moved through the area the evening of October 8th.  What usually occurs when a weather front comes through?  Wind.  In this case the winds were described as almost hurricane force and many survivors described being thrown to the ground several times by the wind.  Think about that one.  How strong does the wind have to be to throw an adult to the ground?

So we've got small piles of smoldering ash/pine needles/leaves that people previously fought to put out and a giant wind comes along.  What happens when you blow on something like that...Fire.  Oxygen feeds the fire.  It starts it up again, but it needs more.  It needs something to consume.  To burn.  Wisconsin was (and frankly still is) a heavily wooded area.  Dinnertime.

Aftermath of the Peshtigo Fire 1871
The frontal system just pushed that fire through.  The area was extremely dry to begin with so it didn't take much to ignite.  To spread...and it did.

I don't know why the whole attachment to thinking it all started in Peshtigo and jumped the Green Bay to hit the Door County Peninsula.  It kind of makes me laugh because the Bay is at least 5 miles across.  Jumping rivers?...Yes.  It jumped the Peshtigo River easily and tormented those taking refuge in the water.  Jumping a 5 mile wide bay?  Well, you'd have to prove the possibility of that to me because it's too funny.  Perhaps I'll be proven wrong one day.  Maybe I should call Myth Busters and see if they can figure it out. Until then, I still think it more likely that fires that had been burning were advanced quicker and those that had been incompletely extinguished had been revived.  The name the "Great Peshtigo Fire" is used because Peshtigo was the area hardest hit.

Any way you theorize it the combination of drought, fire and wind was deadly.  Luckily today, we have the means to monitor our weather and to evacuate people in danger.  We know the danger is coming.

I hope we never see another Peshtigo-type fire.  Living in Texas this year has caused me to think of Peshtigo often.  In my neck of the woods we hear about fires almost daily, and the wind in Killeen is no joke.  But we are better prepared today.

Now I have posted about many depressing and down-right scary things this week, but as promised, I will be ending on a positive note.  A miracle.  Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Peshtigo Fire - Illustrating an Absence of Ancestors

The Appleton Post Crescent 08OCT1963, pg 12
As I blog through the week on the Great Peshtigo Fire, I am reminded that there were many disasters, plagues, and even small accidents that could explain why we can't find an ancestor we are searching for.  It is always good to know a bit about great disasters and plagues, but don't forget to troll through those reels of newspaper microfilm that may have hints about what happened to ancestors.

This won't solve every problem as this article on the 92nd anniversary of the Peshtigo Fire illustrates in the final paragraph.  If an ancestor was transient during a period, you may never find them.  Many of the transient workforce killed in the Peshtigo Fire may never be accounted for and therefore we may never know the true loss of life experienced.

"Peshtigo Scene Of Devastating Fire in 1871

1,200 Persons Died In Blaze Which Swept Lumber Town

PESHTIGO (AP) - Today is the 92nd anniversary of the great Peshtigo fire, on of the worst disasters in Wisconsin history.

Twelve hundred persons died in the terrible conflagration that destroyed the small lumbering town in northeastern Wisconsin - 800 in Peshtigo, another 400 in the surrounding area.

The destruction was complete.  Flames devoured every building in town save one - a house that was under construction.

An accident of history prevented the Peshtigo fire from receiving the attention it deserved.  For it was on the same day, Oct. 8, 1871 - a Sunday - that Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked over a lantern to start the great Chicago fire, or so the oft-repeated story goes.  The Chicago fire claimed 250 lives.

Slow Burning Fire

The Peshtigo fire was an outgrowth of a series of slow-burning blazes in pine needle blankets and peat bogs.  The acrid smell was in the air for weeks before and volunteers had been in and out of the woods trying to extinguish them.

Fanned by galelike winds, the small fires merged, forests were soon ablaze and flames roared into the village.  This was a Sunday night.  The time:  about 10 p.m.

Ran for Lives

Within 20 minutes the entire town was ablaze and residents were running for their lives toward the Peshtigo River in the center of the community.  Many made it:  some did not.

The fire raged through the night.  At daybreak when the wind had died down the flames abated, and the heart-rending task of searching for the missing began.

The death toll continued to rise for days as fever and shock claimed additional victims.

Officially, Peshtigo's population was listed at 1,750 at the time of the fire.  But historians say hundreds of transient workmen, many of them immigrants, also were living in the village or nearby.  Many were trapped and died in the flames."

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Great Peshtigo Fire - Reporting the Unimaginable Part 3

Today I will be continuing with my posts on the Great Peshtigo Fire.  This is the last series of posts dealing with a rather long article that appeared in the New York Times on October 17, 1871 regarding the fires.  This last bit is the longest of the three sections I broke it into, but I've got to admit that I'm rather impressed with how much space the New York Times actually gave to the fire.

The New York Times, 17OCT1871, pg4
"Several Villages Utterly Destroyed - Appalling Loss of Life - Four Hundred Dead Bodies Already Recovered.

From the Green Bay (Wis.) State Gazette, Extra, Oct. 10

On Sunday night, about 9 o'clock, fire broke out in the southern part of the Belgian settlement at Brussels, in Door County, and rage with terrific violence, destroying about 180 houses, and leaving nothing of a large and flourishing settlement but five houses.  Nine persons are missing - supposed to have perished in the flames.  The names are as follow:  Mrs. JOHN B. WENDRICKS,  and three children; three children of JOS. DANDOY; one child of JOS. MONFILS, and a young man by the name of MAURICE DELVEAUX.  The remains of some of the clothing of the latter person were found, by which he was identified.

On Monday morning, 200 people breakfasted on four loaves of bread.  Houseless and homeless, the camp out on their land, and seem struck dumb with their great losses.  Their houses, barns, implements of farming, house furniture and cattle were burned and destroyed.  The roads are filled with carcasses of horses, cattle, sheep and hogs, suffocated by the smoke and heat.  At Sturgeon Bay WILLIAMSON'S mill is reported burned, and fifty persons are said to have lost their lives.  our informant reports the most pitiable state of things all through the district devastated by the fire, and hunger and starvation staring the wretched inhabitants in the face.

The [sic] inhabitants during the conflagration only saved their lives by throwing [sic] themselves on the ground and covering their heads.  They had no warning of the approach of the fire, except the ringing of the church bell for a few minutes in advance.  Then suddenly a great fire came down on them from the woods, roaring like a cataract, and they had no time to save anything.  The heavens were all ablaze, and the earth also seemed on fire.


The George L. Dunlap has just arrived from Escanaba, having been delayed thirty hours by heavy winds and dense smoke.  Her passengers bring terrible accounts of the devastation by fire.  At Menominee they received accounts of the burning, last night, of nearly the entire village of Menekaunee.  At the mouth of the Menominee river, on the Wisconsin side, 150 buildings were burned, including three extensive saw-mills, owned by McCartney & Hamilton, Spofford & Gilmore and Spaulding & Porter, the latter being the largest, with one exception, on the bay shore.

The villages of Menominee and Marinette were in great danger, and many of the people fled to the bay shore for safety, remaining in the water all night.  The steamer Union, lying in the river, took about 300 women and children to a place of safety in the harbor.  The women and children of Menominee went on board the steamers Favorite and Dunbar and vessels lying at anchor in the roadstead.  The male portion of the population of three villages lying within three miles of each other spent the whole night in fighting the fire.  No lives are known to be lost, with the exception of one man, who died from fright after he had been rescued from the water, and another, who was sick in a house, which was burned before he could be rescued.  At a small settlement of five or six houses, called Birch Creek, on the State-road, none miles west of Menominee, every house was burned, and ten or twelve lives lost, only three persons escaping.

At Peshtigo Harbor they were met by a number of people from the village of Peshtigo, seven miles west, who gave a heart-rending account of the total destruction of their town.  During Sunday evening a hurricane of wind from the west sprang up, which fanned the smouldering fires int he timber into a blaze and drove the flames into the village.  It came rushing into the village between 9 and 10 o'clock.  So great was the violence of the wind that in less than one minute after the first house took fire the whole village was in flames.  There was no prospect of checking the flames, for the smouldering forest presented one mass of fire.  The people could only flee to the river for safety.  Those living in close proximity to the water reached it and waded in to their necks.  Here they remained from two to four hours, and by constant wetting of their heads were enabled to escape with their lives, although many were terribly burned.  Those who lived only one or two streets from the river were struck down by the fiery fiend and burned to death.  Whole families were thus destroyed.  This morning the streets were strewn with burned bodies.  In one case eight or nine bodies were found together.  One family, consisting of father, mother and three children, were found dead together within twenty feet of the stream.  It is impossible as yet to form any correct estimate of the loss of life at Peshtigo.  Fully seventy-five are known to have perished by fire and water.  Reports are constantly coming in of new cases of destruction of property and life.  In Peshtigo not a single house remains standing.  The immense wooden-ware factory and the large saw-mill of the Peshtigo Company, at the village, are burned.  Stores, dwelling-houses, &c., are totally destroyed, not a vestige of property remaining.  The people who were saved escaped in a destitute condition, being without clothing or provision.  The names of but few of the lost could be learned.  Among those known to have perished are JOSEPH S. BEEBE, book-keeper to the Company, wife and two children, and Mr. THOMPSON, express agent.

It is supposed that the inmates of the Company's boarding-house, 100 in number, nearly all perished in the flames.  A special messenger was dispatched to this city last evening for supplies for the people of Peshtigo, and the steamer George L. Dunlap left this morning with everything necessary for their sustenance and comfort.

Aid for Wisconsin and Michigan

E. C. FISHER, President of the Anchor Life Insurance Company, No. 178 Broadway, states that being personally acquainted with the people of Maintee, Mich., whose homes have been destroyed, he will gladly take charge of and forward any donations, either in money, clothing, or other necessities, that the generous-hearted may contribute for their relief.  Acknowledgements will be made through the public press."

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Great Peshtigo Fire - Reporting the Unimaginable Part 2

Tonight I'm continuing to blog about the Great Peshtigo Fire.  The article I'm transcribing is a bit long so, as I mentioned in yesterday's post, I'm breaking it up for easier reading.  Tonight's portion of the news article (taken from the Green Bay [Wis.] Advocate and reprinted in the New York Times) is the account of what happened by G. J. Tisdale.  The NYT also includes information as to the situation in other cities/regions of Wisconsin.  Rosiere, where my husband's ancestors were is briefly mentioned toward the end as a town of previously having 180 houses now with only 5 left. 

The account of Mr. Tisdale is well worth reading.  I know much of this can be difficult to read, but I promise a miraculous end to my series of posts!  Stay tuned.

New York Times, 17OCT1871, pg4
"...G. J. TISDALE makes the following statement in regard to the calamity at Peshtigo:

'During the day - sabbath - the air was filled with smoke, which grew dense toward evening, and it was noticed that the air, which was quite chilly during the day, grew quite warm, and hot puffs were quite frequent in the evening.  About 8 1/2 o'clock at night we could see there was a heavy fire to the south-west of the town, and a dull roaring sound, like that of a heavy wind, came up from that quarter.  At 9 o'clock the wind was blowing very fresh, and by 9 1/2 a perfect gale.  The roar of the approaching tornado grew more terrible at 10.  When the fire struck the town it seemed to swallow up and literally drown everything.  The fire came on swifter than a race-horse, and within twenty minutes of the time it struck the outskirts of the town, everything was in flames.  What followed beggars all description.  About the time the fire reached the Peshtigo House, I ran out at the east door, and as I stepped on the platform the wind caught me and hurled me some distance on my head and shoulders and blew me on my face several times on going to the river.  Then came a fierce, devouring, pitiless rain of fire and sand, so hot as to ignite everything it touched.  I ran into the water, prostrated myself, and put my face in the water, and threw water over my back and head.  The heat was so intense that I could keep my head out of water but a few seconds at a time for the space of nearly an hour.  Saw logs in the river caught fire and burned.  A cow came to me and rubbed her neck against me and bawled piteously.  I heard men, women, and children crying for help, but was utterly powerless to help any one.  What was my experience was the experience of others.  Within three hours of the time the fire struck the town the site of Peshtigo was literally a sand desert, dotted over with smoking ruins.  Not a hen-coop or even a dry-goods box was left.  Through the sugar-bush the case seems to be even worse than in the town, as the chances for escape were much less than near the river.  I estimate the loss of life to be at least 300 in the town and sugar-bush.  Great numbers were drowned in the river.  Cattle and horses were burned in the stalls.  The Peshtigo Company's barn burned with over fifty horses in the stable.  A great many women and children and men were burned in the streets, and in places so far from any thing combustible that it would seem impossible they should burn.  They were burned to a crisp.  Whole families, heads of families, children, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, were burned, and remnants of families were running hither and thither, wildly calling and looking for their relatives after the fire.'

Peshtigo had nearly 2,000 inhabitants.  The village was mainly owned by the Pestigo Company, of which Wm. B. Ogden, of Chicago, is President and chief owner, and THOMAS H. BEEBE, also of Chicago, general manager.  W. . ELLIS is the resident manager at Peshtigo.  It was the chief point of the company for its large operations on that river, and there were concentrated all the offices, stores and general head-quarters.  It is about seven miles from the harbor at the mouth, with which it is connected by a railroad.  It is also on the highway from Green Bay to Escanaba, between Oconto and Menominee,  and is to be a station on the Northern Extension of the Chicago and North-western Railway.  Among the main features of the place was the extensive pail and tub factory, one of the largest and most complete in the United States, and quite new, having been running less than a year.

There was also an extensive mill for the manufacture of sash, doors, blinds, and a variety of wood-work.  The company also had a large hotel and boarding-house, and a great number of dwelling houses - one of which, the residence of the local manager, was as complete as all the modern improvements could make it.  There were also the company's shops, for the building of cars, logging sleds, and all the implements required by this great lumbering concern.


We are informed that the exact number of houses in Rosiere was 180, of which there are but five left.  In addition to the names of the dead first reported, we get the name of GABRIELLE MANFORT.  The villages of Rosiere and Messiere form the town of Lincoln.  Both are burned.  At last accounts twenty-one persons were missing.  Among the dwellings burned at Dyckesville are those of PAUL FONTAINE, PIERRE LIGOT and JOSEPH TONNARD.

At the burning of SCOFIELD'S mill, town of Brussels, and settlement, nine lives were lost - six men and three women.  HAULOTT'S mill, in the town of Humboldt, was burned on Sudnay.

A letter from Forestville, Door County, says that a settlement of six families, on the west side of the town of Brussels, was burned Sunday evening.  But one family escaped.  They at one time gave up for lost.  All the buildings were burned, and thus far thirty-four dead bodies have been found and buried.  A large amount of stock was burned.  The Kewaunee Enterprise brings news of additional destruction in the towns of Ahnepee, Pierce, Kewaunee, Casco and Carlton.

A telegram from Green Bay, Oct. 12, says:

The northern steamer is just in.  Three hundred and twenty-five bodies had been found and buried at Peshtigo up to last night.  The river will be dragged today, and it is thought 100 more bodies will [sic] be found.  Between sixty and seventy dead bodies were brought into Oconto last night.  The loss of life on the east shore - in Door and Kewaunee Counties - is appalling as the terrible news comes in.  Those left are houseless and almost naked.