Columbus Gazette, Columbus Junction, Iowa Wednesday, March 1, 1904, page 1
Transcribed by Beverly Gerdts, February 4, 2022

Wapello was visited Thursday night with one of the most disastrous fires in its history. Its origin seems to be a mystery, but thought to be incendiary. It began about 11 o'clock in the big dry goods and grocery establishment of J. E. Garret. It was checked from going south by the fire wall of the bank, but burned everything north in the block except the G. A. R. hall, in which the post office is located. The Garrett building was the best business room in town and it and contents were an entire loss. Partly covered by insurance. The next room north was owned by J. W. Wilson, of Morning Sun, purchased only last summer or fall. It is occupied below by J. H. Jamison with a feed and flour store; upstairs by Harry Druse's photograph gallery. Another total loss, but well covered by insurance. The J. L. Sweeny building north of this contained no goods except some organs etc., which were removed and saved. The Modern Woodmen occupied the upstairs and lost all their property. The G. A. R. building was saved except the wooded structure in the rear, which was torn down. Total loss about $40,000; total insurance, less than half the amount. Whether the burned territory will be rebuilt at once is not yet determined.

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