Survivor! Mrs. Carrie (Jackson) Hoppe

Hoppe was four months old at the time of the fire. She lived with her parents and 18-month-old brother on a farm six miles from Peshtigo. Her father, Ezra Jackson, was bedridden with scarlet fever, and her uncle was on the farm at the time, assisting the family.

“When the fire came, my father was sick, and he stayed in bed until the house caught fire and he had to run,” said Hoppe. “My uncle took my brother and hurried out of the house. My mother wrapped me in a baby blanket and told my dad to come with us.”

Her father told the family to hurry into the plowed field and hope the fire would not reach them.

“My uncle carried my brother with him, somewhere we didn’t know. But my mother took my father’s advice and hurried into the field,” she said. “Mother and I were saved, although mother told me that my blanket caught on fire about 45 times and that she beat it out with her hands.”

When the farmhouse caught on fire, Hoppe’s father left his bed and hurried to the field to join his family.

“We were saved, but my uncle and brother were lost,” she said. “My father found one of my brother’s shoes and some ashes. Most of the ashes had been blown away, but we know they were dead.”

Though their house and cattle were destroyed, her father rebuilt on the same site. She lived there until she and her husband moved to Green Bay.

Story courtesy Peshtigo Times

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