Carroll County IAGenWeb


on the 25th Anniversary Jubilee
Originally Published on Friday, 29 September 1899

Translated from German by David Reineke


Beautiful Neighboring Town Totally Destroyed by Fire. The Loss is Enormous.
Entire Business District Sacrificed to Flames due to Strong Wind, Lack of Water, and No Means of Defense.

      Within almost a year of when the little town of Glidden was leveled to the ground by fire, and following the burning of several business blocks in Manning just this fall, our sister city of Arcadia was visited by a devastating fire on Sunday, in which all the business buildings, with a single exception, were sacrificed to the flames. The fire broke out in a livery stable near the railroad, and due to a strong wind, the entire town was enveloped in flames. The fire raged so high that, in Carroll, one could easily observe the flames against the reddened sky. It was not long before all doubt was removed, because Mr. Mohr, who conducts a substantial business in Arcadia, reported to his son in Carroll that Arcadia was in flames.

      The fire was discovered around 7:30 and by about 9:00, within just an hour-and-a-half, all that remained of Arcadiaís business district was one business building, one blacksmith shop, and a grain elevator. The southerly wind spread the fire with raging speed, and since the fire broke out in the southern part of town, it remains only to describe the quick spread of the fire. Unfortunately, the town is completely without fire protection since there is no water system there, and, moreover, a substantial drought is widespread. Indeed, although the devastation was complete in such a short time, it must be considered quite fortunate that there was no loss of life. Mrs. Geo. Reif, who lay ill in bed, was saved in the nick of time before her house soon burned to the ground. It was reported that her small children had fled in the great confusion, and they were later found again in the cornfield.

      From the stable near the railroad, the fire spread to Erpís lumberyard, and then out to the east and west ends, although Joyceís lumberyard was spared. The fire then spread to the other side of the street and destroyed Pilmaierís grocery store and Fred. Bohrís barbershop, as well as the entire block to the west where most of Arcadiaís businesses were located. The post office was destroyed along with its contents, although Postmaster Kleespies was fortunate and saved all the letters and packages. It was a depressing sight for the residents of Arcadia. The citizens could only stand helplessly and watch as the destructive and uncontrollable fire burned down business after business.

      There were various opinions as to the origin of the fire. Some believe that it was set intentionally by an evil hand. Others are of the opinion that the fire was caused by a spark from a locomotive.

      The following list shows, as accurately as possible, the loss caused by the fire and how much was covered by insurance:

T. Reddig, livery stable: loss $2500, insurance 1500.
Erpís lumberyard: loss $2500, insurance 1300.
Wm. Rose, harness maker: loss 1500, insurance 800.
H. Radden, shoemaker: loss 2500, total loss.
C. A. Daniels, warehouse: loss 2000, insurance 1800.
Claus Erp, elevator: loss 1500, insurance 1400.
Rohr Brothers, merchandise: loss 6500, insurance 4500.
Anna Erp, building: loss 2500, insured.
D. H. Mohr, farm implements: loss 2000, loss of building 800, insurance 1000
George Reif, butcher shop: loss 2200, insurance 900.
Pilmaier, groceries: loss 2000, loss of building 800, furnishings 500, total [uninsured] loss 3300.
Fred. Bohr, barber: loss 200, total loss.
Post Office furnishings, loss 125, no insurance.
Mrs. Chas. Jentsch, building: loss 800, insurance expired Saturday.
Barney Meyerís tavern: loss 1500, insured.
C. Wunder, hardware and furniture: building loss 1500, merchandise loss 3000, insurance 3000.
T. Lampman, building: loss 500, sold [for debt or fine], vacant.
George Hoch, farm implements: loss 5000, building loss 300, no insurance.
C. A. Beitermann, pharmacy: loss of merchandise 3000, building loss 800, insurance 3000.
Arp & Hagge, tavern: loss 1000, no insurance.
Dr. Feenstra, pharmacy: loss 1800, loss of building 1000, insurance 1200.
Hoch, Rottler & Pruter, general store: loss 12,000, building loss 3000, insurance 8000.
H. Pruter, hardware: merchandise loss 4000, insurance 2700.
H. Bock, building: loss 3000, insurance 1500.
Fred. Hoogestraat, residence: loss 100, no insurance.
Fred. Bohr, residence: loss 100, no insurance.
D. Reinfeld, residence: loss 1200, insured.
D. Hagge, residence: loss 800, insured.
Jacob Rohr, residence: loss 1000, insured.

NOTES: One book lists Arcadia as having a population of 463 in 1890. It is about nine miles west of Carroll.

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