St. Anthony's School and Church - 1906
(The church in 1976 was known as St. Mary's Church)
The Hawarden Independent, March 16, 1911
FIRE BREAKS OUT IN THE ROOF AND FANNED BY FIERCE GALE
SOON WRECKS BIG BUILDING
St. Anthony’s parochial school in this city was practically destroyed by
fired during the high gale which prevailed Wednesday morning. The fire was
discovered shortly after nine o’clock issuing from the roof of the south end
of the building. The wind was blowing a perfect gale and the fire had gained
such headway that there was little hope of saving the building. The children
were all marched from the burning building in perfect order and no
excitement prevailed while this was being accomplished.
While the fire department was busy getting two lines of hose laid to the
fire, the citizens were busy saving what clothing and furniture the could
from the flames. The fire proved to be one of the most stubborn that the
Hawarden firemen have had to contend against and not until the entire roof
was burned off and the interior of the building on the second floor wrecked
were they able to subdue the flames. The extreme cold froze the clothing of
the firemen to solid mass of ice and the wind made it difficult to scale the
walls. But thus handicapped they continued the fight for over three hours
and again gave evidence that Hawarden has one of the best volunteer fire
companies in the state.
The children who made their home at the school had their rooms on the third
floor and most of them lost all of their clothing and keepsakes. The Sisters
also lost a large portion of their clothing and valuables. The furniture on
the upper floors was a total loss. While nearly everything on the lower
floors was carried out, much of it was damaged in the hurried efforts to
save it. Insurance to the amount of $4500 was carried on the building and
contents but this sum will not nearly pay the large loss sustained.
The origin of the fire is unknown.
Efforts will be made at once to rebuild the school on a larger and better
scale. A fire proof building may possibly take the place of the old frame
structure. The Catholic school grounds are the most sightly in the city and
it is hoped that the desires of the parishioners for a bigger and better
building can be accomplished.
Arrangements have been made for the temporary use of the unoccupied rooms in
the North side public school and the Sisters hope to be able to resume their
school work next Monday.
~NOTE: The date of this fire was March 15, 1911