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Fires! 1883


Posted By: Reid R. Johnson (email)
Date: 11/27/2016 at 11:37:24

Misc. 1883 fires reported in the local newspapers:

Fletcher Preston residence fire
We learn with regret that the residence of Fletcher Preston, near Edgewood, was burned on Thursday of last week, the house and contents being a total loss. His loss is placed at about $2,400, and insured for about $1,750. At the time of the fire, Mr. Preston was at Manchester on business and Mrs. Preston was visiting friends at Elkader. Mr. and Mrs. Preston have the sympathy of their host of Elkader friends in their severe loss.

Elkader Register, Fri., January 12, 1883. Home News column.

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Mrs. Beckler's Home Destroyed
The residence of Mrs. Beckler, at this place, was totally destroyed by fire on Thursday of last week. The fire originated in the chimney and the flames spread so rapidly that all efforts to save the building were unavailing. Mrs. Beckler had the property partially covered by insurance, which makes her loss lighter.

Elkader Register, Fri., January 12, 1883. Buena Vista Notes column.

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Michael O'Loughlin residence fire
From James Jack we learn that the residence of Michael O'Loughlin, one mile west of the Frey farm, in Grand Meadow township, was totally destroyed by fire on Sunday morning, January 14th.

The fire caught in the roof from the flue while breakfast was being prepared, and spread so rapidly that it was impossible to arrest its progress. Some of the bedding, furniture, etc., contained in the lower story was saved in a damaged condition.

The building was a two story frame and its destruction was complete together with a large part of the household goods. We are unable to learn the loss, but understand that it is insured in the Clayton County Farmers Insurance Company.

Elkader Register, Fri., January 19, 1883.

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Bruce Store Fire
Last Monday evening, about six o'clock, our citizens were alarmed by the cry of fire, and soon located the blaze in the store of H. (C or O). Bruce, from which great clouds of smoke were rising, and indicated only too plainly the work of destruction going on within the building.

The fire got under considerable headway before our citizens could get to work, but by hard labor they managed to save the building and a very small amount of stock. The fire, which was caused by an explosion of a lamp, did considerable damage to the building, and almost totally destroyed the large stock of dry goods which Mr. Bruce had on hand. The building and contents were partially insured, but will not cover the loss, which is a heavy blow to Mr. Bruce.

Elkader Register, Fri., January 19, 1883. Elkport Locals column.

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M.A. Creglow's Store Burns
A destructive fire occurred last Thursday night, M. A. Creglow's store with all its contents being totally destroyed. Mr. Creglow locked up at about half past eight, leaving everything apparently safe. At about half past eleven, Mrs. D. M. Zearly discovered flames issuing from the roof and gave the alarm, but the fire had made such headway that it was impossible to save anything, and the efforts of the people were turned to saving other property. Mr. Creglow's loss is about $2,500; insured for $2,000 in the "Home" of New York. Mr. Garber, agent, was on hand promptly on Friday morning and adjusted the loss. Mr. Creglow will rebuild as soon as the weather will permit.

Elkader Register, Fri., January 26, 1883. Osterdock Locals column.

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John Orr, Jr. Home Burned
The house of John Orr, Jr., which was burned last week, was insured in the Clayton County Farmers' Insurance Company, for $700, and the loss was adjusted and paid by Secretary Corlett, on Saturday last.

Elkader Register, Fri., February 2, 1883. McGregor Mites column.

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John Mahony's house fire
McGregor News- Mr. John Mahony had the misfortune to have his house burned down on the 1st of April. A little boy eleven years old rescued a part of the bedding and his fiddle, and he was alone until some train came along and he and his boys tried to save the building, but to no avail. The boy's dog rushed into the flames with him and was lost. Mrs. Mahony was in Milwaukee at the time, but came home in answer to a telegram, and the poor woman is nearly demented over the loss. Mr. Mahoney's friends are helping him some.

Elkader Register, Fri., April 13, 1883. Home News column.
Note: Both spellings of the surname were used in the article.

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Daniel Haggerty's barn fire
On the afternoon of the 11th inst., the barn of Daniel Haggerty, of Giard township, was burned, together with a large amount of farm impliments and a horse. Loss about $400; insured in the Farmer's Mutual of this county.

Elkader Register, Fri., April 13, 1883. Home News column.

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Wm. Wolter's House Burned Out
Word received here yesterday announces that the dwelling house of Wm. Wolter, at Motor, was totally destroyed by fire, yesterday afternoon, together with all its contents. This is a great misfortune for William, as he is a poor man, and this fire has destroyed all his savings of years. It seems that he is doomed to be afflicted as it was but a few months ago that two of his children died of the scarlet fever. He has the sympathy of all.
Elkader Register, Fri., 12 Oct. 1883. Home News column
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We learn that Wm. Walters, whose house at Motor was recently destroyed by fire, received $500, the amount of his insurance. Besides losing all the furniture in the house he had $23 in money burned.
Elkader Register, Fri., 26 Oct. 1883. Home News column.

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John Patterson's Residence Burned
The residence of Mr. John Patterson, in Wagner township, was destroyed by fire, Wednesday night about 12 o'clock, together with all its contents, the family only saving what they wore on their backs. The children narrowly escaped burning with the house. They were sleeping up-stairs and Mr. Patterson ran up and got them safely out, and on trying to return found the rooms they just left all a mass of flames. The loss is about $1,500, but the house was insured in the Home, of which W. A. Preston is agent, for $950.

Elkader Register, October 19, 1883

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Sargent's Livery and House Burned
Elkader has been quite free from fires for a year past, and our citizens were quietly resting in fancied security from the ravages of that hot element, but on Friday afternoon of last week they were aroused from their day dreams by the alarm of fire, and on running to the scene found it located in the livery barn of J. W. Sargent.

Willing hands were soon at work removing property, and succeeded in getting out his horses, carriages, wagons, and a part of the harnesses. It was soon seen that not only his barn but his house was doomed, and the work of removing his furniture was begun, and carried on so rapidly that nearly every thing was saved. By hard work on the part of our citizens the adjoining houses and barns were saved.

Mr. Sargent loses his house, barn, and buggy sheds, with a portion of his harnesses, ropes, and all the feed, making a total loss of about $3,000, with insurance to the amount of $1,500.

The origin of the fire is supposed to have been in the space between the office ceiling and grain room floor, through which the office stove pipe passed. A fire had been built in the stove to heat water for cleaning harness, and the fire caught from the pipe, which was hot.

The buildings were as dry as tinder, owing to the long period which had elapsed since we had been favored with a rain, and they burnt rapidly and made a very hot fire, making the work of saving adjoining property very difficult. To show the amount of heat it is only necessary to say glass in the windows of Mrs. McCarthy's house across the street was melted.

It seemed at one time as though the houses of Mrs. McCarthy and Goodendorf must surely be burned, and the goods were removed from them, but wet carpets and blankets and hard work by our citizens saved both dwellings, as it did also the barn of Mrs. Whipple, just across the alley from the livery stable. Mrs. McCarthy's house was afire several times.

A heavy wind was blowing at the time of the fire, and carried blazing brands all over the west part of town. One of these burned a hole in the roof of W. Schmidt & Bro's., residence, and another set fire to some loose straw in F. W. Dennert's yard, and but for timely discovery would have caused a fire there, as it lay close to the barn.

Our citizens worked hard in their endeavors to save the property adjoining Mr. Sargent. Among the hardest workers was Mrs. Thomas Cummins, who done good work in carrying water.

This fire demonstrated the need of a well organized hook and ladder company, and we understand steps are being taken to organize one. Let it be done.

Elkader Register, Fri., 27 Apr. 1883

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P. Geraghty Burned Out
Last Friday evening about seven o'clock a fire was discovered in the building owned by P. Geraghty, on Lower Front street, and occupied by him as a harness shop. The fire when first discovered was in the work shop, but rapidly spread to other parts of the building, and soon it was all a seething mass of flames. The hose company responded quickly to the alarm, and threw water in a remarkably short space of time, but it soon became evident that the building could not be saved, and their attention was turned towards saving the adjacent buildings, which were all wood. These buildings joined Mr. Geraghty on the north side and in face of the south wind were saved by the prompt work of the fire company.

Some of Mr. Geraghty's stock was saved, but the majority of it, together with his books, is a total loss. His loss is full covered by the insurance, having $400 on the building and $1,000 on his stock.

The origin of the fire is a mystery, but it is supposed that it started in the chimney, as there was no signs of fire except in the stove, when Mr. G., left the shop, about half an hour before the fire was discovered.

Again has it been demonstrated that our town stands greatly in need of an organized hook and ladder company, which would second the hose company in its work. Let all pull together and secure one before we are visited by some disastrous fire.

Elkader Register, Fri., 9 Nov. 1883


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