|LOUISA COUNTY, IOWA|
Columbus Gazette, Columbus Junction, Iowa, December 23, 1897, page 4.
Transcribed by Beverly Gerdts, March 6, 2021
Morning Sun, December 20 - Last night about 8 o'clock the fire alarm sounded and in less then three hours every building between R. R. Orchard's store and the St. Elmo hotel was in ashes, except a small room, formerly occupied by Miss McClellan as a millinery store. The origin of the fire is not certainly known, but commenced in a room owned by Geo. Cunningham and used as a grocery by a man whose name we cannot now recall. He is a stranger, having moved in there only a short time ago. E. Frazier's flour and feed store, the News office, Edgar's barber shop, Broadie & Robinson's grocery, the city drug store, McElhinny & Wilson's restaurant, Dr. Upton's dental office and J. F. Holiday's vacant store room, all wooden structures, burnt like tinder. Fortunately the night was calm and the roofs covered in snow, or it would have been impossible to save Holiday's dry goods store and the hotel. Our engine did splendid work and all credit is due to the good judgment of the company. People worked as only they can work at a fire and the wonder is how they checked it so soon. Nearly all the firms carried some insurance, but the loss is heavy, especially with the News which had this same misfortune only two years ago. I understand their engine and large press are a total loss. It will be impossible for all our business men to start up in business again until rooms are built, though the citizens are doing all they can to accommodate them.