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 Bernice M. <I>McCullom</I> Six

Bernice M. McCullom Six

Michigan, USA
Death 6 Feb 1913 (aged 36)
Lawrence, Van Buren County, Michigan, USA
Burial Lawrence, Van Buren County, Michigan, USA
Plot Section 3 Lot 53 Gr. 2
Memorial ID 73090160 · View Source
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The Hartford Day Spring, Feb. 12, 1913


Residence of Dr. A. G. Six Consumed and Charred Body of Mrs. Six Found In Flames


Mother and Daughter Met Tragic Deaths In Early Morning Fire Last Thursday.

His residence a mass of smouldering flames with the dead body of his wife and the unconscious form of his ten-year-old daughter lying at the home of a neighbor, was the horrible revelation which greeted Dr. A. G. Six, one of the leading citizens and professional men of the village of Lawrence, when he returned from a cold drive in the country at 4:30 last Thursday morning.

Grasping the terrifying situation with the instinct of the husband and father and that of the trained physician combined, Dr. Six worked frantically to restore the daughter, Dorothy, to life, but the child was beyond human aid and her death occurred at seven o'clock.

Fire, the origin of which is still a mystery, broke out in the palatial Six residence shortly before four o'clock. The mother and daughter were sleeping on the first floor. Apparently aroused by the flames, Mrs. Six arose from her bed and rushed instinctively toward the room occupied by her daughter only to fall in the doorway and meet death in the flames.

The unconscious form of the daughter was recovered by rescuers who arrived at the scene a few minutes after four o'clock, but the smoke and flames had so suffocated the child that she was beyond resuscitation.

At about 3:30 in the morning Dr. Six was called on a professional visit to the Walter Crane home west of Lawrence. Arising the physician went to the basement and plied the furnace with fresh fuel, then started on his early morning drive.

The furnace fire was low, and it is believed that coal gas generated from the fresh hard coal piled into the furnace, caused the furnace to explode, setting fire to the residence and entrapping the sleeping mother and daughter in a fiery death trap, while the husband and father, unconscious of their danger, was driving rapidly into the country to administer to his patient.

Another theory, quite generally accepted among Lawrence people, is that an explosion of gas caused the tragedy. The Six home was lighted with gas from the municipal lighting plant, and this gas was also used for cooking. The village produces the gas from high-test gasoline, and it is highly explosive. It is believed by many that gas from a gas jet that inadvertently had not been closed tightly reached the furnace or a burning gas light and thus proved the origin of the fire.

The fire was discovered by Tim Carney, formerly of Hartford, who lives opposite the Six home and who turned in the alarm. John Carney, also a former Hartford man, was one of the first to arrive at the scene and in his daring work of rescue he received severe burns about the head and shoulders.

Bursting open the windows where the mother and daughter were thought to be sleeping, the rescuers were greeted by great volumes of fire and smoke. John Carney climbed into the room and discovered the prostrate form of the mother lying in the doorway. He attempted to drag her to the open window, but was overcome by the smoke and fell. Other rescuers assisted Mr. Carney into the open air, and recovered the body of Mrs. Six.

The daughter, Dorothy, was found sleeping in another room where the smoke was stifling but which had not been reached by the flames. She was still breathing but unconscious. She was carried to the Tim Carney home across the street where Drs. Crowell and Butterfield worked over the prostrate form until the arrival of the father, but the combined efforts of the three physicians proved unavailing.

A double funeral for the mother and daughter was held at the Lawrence town hall Sunday afternoon, and the bodies were placed side by side in the Lawrence cemetery. Great banks of beautiful flowers covered the caskets, attesting the high regard in which the unfortunate victims of the catastrophy were held not only in Lawrence, but over the entire county. Many floral tokens were sent by Hartford friends, Dr. Six and his family being well known in this village.

Mrs. Six was 38 years of age and was born in the vicinity of Lawrence, being the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chas. McCullom. There she grew to womanhood, graduated from the public schools and was married to Dr. Six about thirteen years ago.

Little Dorothy was ten years of age, a bright and affectionate child and the idol of her parents.

Dr. Six is grief stricken over the terrible tragedy which destroyed his family and home. He is one of the best known physicians in the county, and has a host of friends who are extending their sincere sympathy in his terrible misfortune.

Both Dr. and Mrs. Six have been prominent in the social life of Lawrence, Mrs. Six being a favorite among her friends and acquaintances, and with the daughter who met so untimely a fate they constituted an exceptionally happy and devoted family.

Family Members






  • Created by: K. Clinard
  • Added: 9 Jul 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 73090160
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Bernice M. McCullom Six (20 Sep 1876–6 Feb 1913), Find A Grave Memorial no. 73090160, citing Hill Cemetery, Lawrence, Van Buren County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by K. Clinard (contributor 11980561) .