Expanding on the Pierce Co. Rootsweb site cemetery listing for Bid OCONNELL in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery El Paso Township, Pierce County, Wisconsin which reads:
Bid d. 30 Dec 1894 Ae 37y 10m 29d;
Bid & her 5 children died in a house fire; This was family
of Mike OCONNELL aka Black Mike, bro. of Maurice X. OCONNELL. A son, a baby daughter & Black Mike survived fire.**
Andrew d. 30 Dec 1894 Ae 15y 7d
Nellie d. 30 Dec 1894 Ae 13y 4m 6d
Ann d. 30 Dec 1894 Ae 8m 13d *
Maurice d. 30 Dec 1894 Ae 7y 7m 15d
Margaret d. 30 Dec 1894 Ae 4y 3m 20d
I am the great granddaughter of Bids sister Anne PARKS MULHOLLAM and have heard of this tragedy often: The baby was Bessie OCONNELL later MEEHAN [mother of Rudy, Kermit (Mike) and Shirley MEEHAN]. According to family lore Bessie was tossed out of the house onto the snow*** and thereby survived. She was raised by her aunt, Anne PARKS MULHOLLAM, and uncle, James Alexander MULHOLLAM. They raised Bessie along with their MULHOLLAM/MULHOLLAND children Michael J., Margaret, Thomas M., James Alexander [listed James W. 1876-1946 in Farm Hill Cemetery listing (father of the late Juanita MULHOLLAND QUIRK)], Patrick B., Andrew (father of Victor, Vernon and Emily MULHOLLAM CROESt) and Bessie MULHOLLAM HANSON (mother of Anne Marie HANSON (Mrs. Emil) PETAN and grandmother of Harold PETANt).
Bid was Bridget PARKS OCONNELL the daughter of Bridget DONNELLY PARKS and the sister of Patrick, Barney, Anne PARKS MULHOLLAM and probably a PARKS sister who married a BADOUR.
* Ann OCONNELL was more than likely 8 years old rather than 8 months because there was the infant who survived the fire.
** Mike OCONNELL and his son were away from home at the time of the fire. Again according to family lore Mike O'CONNELL and his son did not stay in the area after the tragedy. It was said that the son later lived in Michigan and that he did not marry. He did come home to visit.
*** I finally found a newspaper article that contradicts small points in the story. I probably posted it on the Find a Grave site for Bridget Parks OConnell, El Paso, Pierce Co. WI. St. Joseph's Catholic cemetery. I think article was in the Elsworth, Pierce Co. newspaper. Great volunteer work done for the St. Joseph's cemetery on Find a Grave.