Tom O'Connor was a resident of 5 Coronation Street from 1904 to 1908. Tom was an Irish immigrant and had lived with the Matthews family for seven years at their old house in Butcher's Alley. When they were allocated a house in Coronation Street after John Matthews's death in an industrial accident at Hardcastle's Mill, Tom accompanied widow Cissy and her children to the new house. Tom worked at the mill as an engineer.
Local gossip was rife that Tom and Cissy had been in a relationship for years but in fact they had only just began relationship in the wake of John's death. They were married at Christmas 1904 and a son, Reg, was born in 1907, but when he was three months old Cissy accidentally smothered Reg in bed, and after burying their baby the couple fled Weatherfield, fearing arrest for manslaughter.