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Fires! 1903


Posted By: Reid R. Johnson (email)
Date: 1/20/2017 at 15:52:13

Elevator Burned at McGregor.

At McGregor early last Wednesday morning fire destroyed the large elevator of the Spencer Grain Co. and two adjoining warehouses. The train crew of the passing freight discovered the fire and gave the alarm but the fire company came to late to do more than prevent the spread of the fire.

The direct cause of the fire is not known, excepting that it originated in the engine room of the elevator.

The elevator operated by the Spencer Grain Co. was an immense building standing over 100 feet in height and built at a cost of $30,000, and could not be rebuilt today at that price. The building contained about 90,000 bushels of grain consisting of wheat, Rye, barley and oats, representing a value of about $50,000.

Mr. Davidson, the manager for the Spencer Grain Co. at this place sleeps in the office of the elevator. In endeavoring to save some papers that were in the office, both Mr. Davidson and Will Merrit were injured by the explosion of grain dust.

The warehouse of Gilchrist & Co. and its contents, some 2,000 bushels of rye, also the warehouse of the Huntting Grain Co. were totally destroyed; also a boxcar with its load of wheat some 1,400 bushels was also burned. The approximate loss was $100,000, covered by insurance.
~Elkader Argus, Wed., 27 Jan. 1903

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Last week while playing in the barn on their rented farm north of town, the Greenwood children set fire to some straw and the flames devoured the barn, corn cribs, etc., cleaning all the out buildings off the farm and leaving the house alone. Over 700 bushels of grain was lost in the fire.
~Elkader Register, Thur., 23 April, 1903. Luana column

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At noon Monday the cry of fire was raised on our streets and in less than a few minutes nearly all of the men and boys and a great many of the women and girls were on their way toward the fire, which was the farm house of C. H. Overbeck, just east of town, rented by Mr. LeHaw. When it was first noticed by Frank Farnham he telephoned to Splies' store and soon the alarm was spread over town, but before they could reach the place the roof was all on fire and it was seen that the house could not be saved, so all hands went to work getting things out of the house. The furniture downstairs was saved but the carpets, furniture, clothing, etc., not in use, stored upstairs, were all lost. The men had all they could do to save the large barn and corn cribs. Mr. Overbeck's loss was about $900, $800 of which is covered by insurance. Mr. LeHaw lost about $300 worth of goods not insured. This will be quite a loss for both these gentlemen and they have our sympathy. Mr. LeHaw and family will move into a part of Will Hinman's house on Maple street for the present.
~Elkader Register, Thur., 30 April 1903. Luana column

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The house of Thos. Madden was entirely consumed by fire, with most of its contents, last Thursday. It burned in the daytime and how it started is somewhat of a mystery but is supposed to have caught in the flue in some manner. It was insured in the Communia Mutual Co., and the loss has been adjusted satisfactorily and he will rebuild as soon as possible.
~Elkader Register, Thur., 30 April 1903. Littleport column

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The residence of Herman Schwartz, near Volney, was struck by lightning in last nights storm and was, with household furniture and clothing, burned to the ground. The family had all they could do to save themselves. Mr. Schwantz carried insurance in the Allamakee County Farmers Insurance Company to the amount of (Looks like $1,600.), but how much of the total amount was upon the home is not reported.

~Elkader Register, Thur., 16 July 1903. Monona column.

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During the thunder storm Monday the large barn on the Wm. Kregel farm was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. The property is leased by Julius Tangeman, who suffers the loss of hay and grain, harnesses and some machinery, without any insurance.
~Elkader Register, Thur., 6 Aug. 1903. Garnavillo News column.

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On Thursday evening last between six and seven o'clock the barn and contents, and grain stacks of Austin Thyne, of Sperry township, were destroyed by fire. Between fifty and sixty tons of hay, all the small grain in stack, four sets of harness and thirty or forty chickens went up in smoke. The insurance covering the property amounted to $830. in the Clayton County Mutual, which lacks considerable of meeting the loss. The origin of the fire is not known, but it is supposed to be spontaneous combustion in some clover hay.
~Elkader Register, Thur., 10 Sept. 1903. Local News column.

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John H. Bernhardt, of Giard township, had the misfortune to lose his barn, hay and outbuildings by fire Tuesday morning. A valuable bull was also consumed in the flames. The loss is partially covered by insurance.
~Elkader Register, Thur., 15 Oct. 1903. Local News column

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About two o'clock Wednesday morning the Commercial House at Monona, owned by Wash Sargent, was discovered in flames and was entirely destroyed. The guests escaped in their night clothes. The flames spread so rapidly that nothing was saved except a cook stove and some kitchen furniture. It is said the building was insured for $1800 and there was a small amount on the furniture. Mr. Sargent and wife were absent from the home being at Littleport.
~Elkader Register, Thur., 12 Nov. 1903


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