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This article is copied from the Lake City Review - dated April 26, 1882


Lake City Almost Destroyed by the Flames.

Three Quarters of our Blocks gone But Not One Bit of Our Pluck

Still Alive and Kicking, and the Liveliest Town in Minnesota To-Day.

On the morning of Saturday last at 2 o'clock the most terrible fire ever known in southern Minnesota was started. It broke out in an unused room in the Sexton house on the point and before the loud clanging of the fire bell could arouse half the citizens the building was a mass of flames and before the engine could be drawn into the street, the fire was past control. The wind was blowing a fierce gale from the east , fresh off the lake and it fanned the flames into a fury. The old rookeries in this portion of the city occupied as wagon shops, boarding houses, sheds and barns, were only fuel for the fire; and for a few minutes it looked as if the whole western and northern part of the town, both business and residence, were doomed; but the efficient work of the employes of Neal Johns & Co., saved that establishment and the flames leapt across the street to the wagon shops of A. N. Curtis and Richardson Bros.. & Co., from which they crossed another street to John Dobner's blacksmith shop and to all the buildings, mostly of brick, on the east side of Washington street, between Center and Marion streets, everyone of which was consumed. Crossing Washington street the flames burned Samuel Lindgren's saloon, and the other brick buildings on that side belonging to A. H. Brown, F. Rueckert and the First National Bank were soon involved, together with the new brick building of Patton & Son, occupied as a restaurant by Mrs. Kyle, which was as far as the fire extended down Washington street on the west side. The old frame buildings of Adam Sigler, on the northeast corner of Center and Washington streets offered no resistance to the flames. Cinders were blown from the east side of the street and found a ready lodgment in the doorways and under the eaves and the fire started on the third square of its disastrous march. It moved along both sides of Center street, reaching across Main to the fine brick stores of C. F. Young & Brother, and extending as far west on the north side of Center street as the store of the Lake City Furniture co., which was destroyed. The buildings on the lower side of Center, between Washington and Main streets, including the First National Bank, were all consumed. From Siegler's wooden buildings on Washington and Center streets the fire quickly extended over the whole square bounded by Washington, Center and Main streets and Lyon avenue, destroying every building thereon, including the fine three-story postoffice block, though the lower corner room of the latter building, occupied by the bank, is left standing, owing to the strong efforts of the firemen at that point. From the post office block the fire jumped diagonally across Lyon avenue and Main street to the Commercial hotel, which it consumed, stopped there simply for lack of more fuel. The row of brick stores on the west side of Lyon avenue and the block on the north side of Washington street as far as Center street are all that remain in this portion of the city. But notwithstanding the awful loss of property the citizens retained their pluck and energy and new stores were rented and new goods ordered almost before the flames were checked. The enterprise of our citizens is most praiseworthy. Instead of tears and curses there seems to be cheerfulness and resignation, and the work of repairing the loss is going on briskly. Inside of a year almost every trace of the fire will have disappeared and the $100,000 that would have gone into the new hotel will be spent in the permanent benefit of the most beautiful little town in the northwest.
  Below we give a full list of the losers, the losses, the insurance and what will be done by the parties in the way of rebuilding or continuing business:
The Losses.

   C. F. Young & Bro., on buildings and stock, $55,000; insured for $18,000. They saved goods to the value of about $10,000. Are undecided as to whether they will rebuild or not. Have secured a room in Lyon's block for the present.
   First National Bank, building, $5,000, insurance $2,000. Are rebuilding. Have erected a tempoary building on Crane Bros. old corner.
   Van Vliet & Garrard, building, $5,000; insurance $2,000. Will not rebuild at present.
   L. S. Van Vliet, building $2,000; insurance $1,000. Will rebuild.
   C. H. Salisbury, stock, $2,500; insurance $1,000. takes room in Lyon block.
   H. D. Stocker, law library and furniture, $3,500; insurance $2,000. Taken rooms in Lynon block over Thomas store.
   A. E. Edholm, stock $10,000; insurance $5,000. Will continue business.
   E. J. Megroth, building #3,500; insuranc $2,000. Probably rebuild.
   Richardson Brothers & Co., wagon shop building and stock $16,000; insurance $2,500. Will not rebuild.
   G. F. Benson. building $3,000; insurance $1,500. Will rebuild.
   A.T. Guernsey, building and stock $9,000. inusrance $5,500. Saved $300 in stock. Rented room in Lynon block in front of the post office.
   J. W. Kennedy, boots and shoes, stock $7,000; insurance $4,000. Saved $5,000 worth of goods. Rented room in the Merchant's hotel block.
   C. W. Smyth, butcher, stock $2,000; insurance $600. Don't know what he will do.
   James McCarthy, hotel and funiture, $5,000; insurance $3,000.
   C. Clement, grocery, stock $2,5000; insurance $2,000 Will continue business.
   James Lilley & Son, butchers, $400; no insurance. Have began business opposite C. E. Finsh's.
   D. M. Smith, grocery stock and building $2,000; insurance $1,000. Don't know what he will do.
   Anderson & Abraham, shoeshop $900; insurance $500.
   Seely & Buck, by heat and water, $700; fully insured.
   John Phillips photographer, $1,200; insurance $400 undecided what to do.
   J. Manning, office fixtures, $200, insured $100, Moved over Review office
   Stout & Dwelle, clothing store, stock and biulding $11,000; insurance $13,000. Moved under Richardson Brothers store.
   H. K. Terrell, auctioneer, stock $600; no insurance. Undecided what to do.
   J. L. Salisbury, restaurant, stock $1,800; insurance $700. Is undecided.
   Postmaster Seeley, personal effects $500; no insurance. Taken residence at hotel.
   J. E. Mabey & Co., butchers $100. Now across the street in Lyons block.
   Richardson Bros., buildings $3,000; no insurance will probably lease ground.
   Richardson Bros., hardware store, damage to buildings $1,000; covered by insurance.
   Koch & Hinckley, furniture, stock $6,500; insurance $2,000. Undecided.
   Mrs. J. Everson, millinery, stock $5,000; insurance $1,500. Rented room in Lyon block.
   J. D. Cummings, feed mill, machinery, $1,500; no insurance.
   John Gludt, hotel and funiture, $1,000; insurance $600. Undecided.
   Robert Romick, Commercial hotel, furniture $1,200; insurance $500. Rented Minder's building on Marion street.
   Murray & Bartrom, farm machinery; no insurance. Undecided.
   Mrs. Kyle, restaurant stock, $1,000; fully insured. Undecided.
   C. F. Rogers, building, $6,000; insurance $3,000. Will rebuild.
   Joseph Daniels, household goods, $350; no insurance.
   A. Pierce, hardware stock and building, $10,000; insurance $5,000. Will not continue business.
   D. E. Carrier, damage to grocery stock, $300; insured.
   O. A. Corwin, restaurant, stock and household goods, $400; no insurance. Will not resume.
   J. Kenney's shoe shop, $100. Rented part of J. W. Kennedy's room.
   Silas Hazlett's buildings, $300.
   Lake City bank building, $15,000; insurance $8,000. Will rebuild. Have taken part of reading room for temporary use.
   T. W. Palmer, stock of boots and shoes, $6,000; insurance $3,000. Undecided.
   C. Sinclair buildings and lumber $3,000; insurance $720. Has resumed.
   Mrs. Pugh and daughter, household effects and money, $600.
   P Lindbald, shoe shop and stock, $500; no insurance.
   Henry Stevens, millinery stock and barber shop $3,000; insurance $900. Rented room over Thomas Gibbs for millinery and part of Calvert's restaurant for barber shop.
   A. Campbell, restaurant and stock $4,000; insurance $1,000. Undecided.
   John Klint, refreshment stock, $300.
   G. Erickson, furniture stock, $6,500; insurance $1,000. Rented room in Lyon block.
   Dennis Foley, household goods, $300.
   Thomas Gloria, building, $1,000. No insurance.
   Edwards & Matthews, barber shop $350. Rented room in Merchant's hotel block.
   W. C. Edwards, household goods, $250.
   W. H. Lyon, buildings $13,000; fully insured.
   G. L. Matchan, law library, $1,200, insurance $1,000. Moved into room over Thomas store in Lyon block.
   F. Nold, bakery stock and household goods, $1,000; insurance $500.
   Miss A. M. Gillett, dressmaker, furniture $300.
   W. Sexton, building $2,000; insurance $1,500.
   B. Jackson, hotel and barn, $3,000.
   Hersey, Bean & Doe, building $2,500.
   Dr. J. H. Harris, dental stock, $600. Saved $200, no insurance. Will resume.
   A. C. Weaver, variety stock, $4,500; no insurance. Won't resume.
   H. Miller, drug stock and hosuehold furniture $8,000; insurance $2,800. Will not resume.
   C. E. Finch, damage to stock, $2,000; fully insured.
   Mrs. Fowler, household goods $300
   E. P. Race, building $5,000; insurance $3,000
   C. Joy, building $5,000; insurance $3,000
   Patton & Son, buildings $9,000; insurance $2,000. Undecided.
   Mrs. A. W. Ditmar, building $1,400; insurance $800
   Mrs. Kimball, millinery and dress goods, $2,000; partly insured. Rented room over post office.
   S. Lindgren, building and stock, $5,000; insurance $3,000.
   Crane Brothers, jewelry stock, $1,500; fully insured. Have rented front windows of Richardson Bro's store.
   H. D. Wickham, harness stock $500; no insurance. Will resume.
   A. N. Curtis, carriage shop and stock, $3,000; insurance $500. Will rebuild.
   H. D. Brown, building $3,000; insurance $2,500. Won't rebuild.
   Fisher & McMillin, barber shop, $200; fully insured. Undecided.
   Chalmers Brothers, jewelry and stationary stock, $2,500; insurance $1,000. Undecided.
   G. H. Hutchins, grocery stock, $2,500; insurance $1,000. Undecided.
   W. E. Reusch, grocery, harness shop and restaurant stock, $7,000; insurance, $2,400. Has bought Dr. Patton's building on Center street and will resume.
   J. C. Hassinger, grocery stock, $6,000; insurance $1,000. Will resume.
   McDonald & Co., two separators $900
   F. Ryan, hotel and furniture, $3,700; insurance$1,500.
   John Dobner, wagon and blacksmith shop and stock $3,000; insurance $800.
   Dr. D. C. Estes, library and museum, $2,200; no insurance. Taken room in Lyon block.
   F. Reuckert, hardware adn gunstore, building and stock $6,500; insurance $2,000. Will resume.
   Kemp & Schmidt, dry goods stock $9,500; insurance $8,200. Will resume.
   A. V. Sigler, building, $10,000; no insurance. Sold his land.
   Bartlett & Benedict, law office, loss $100; fully insured.
   Irving J. Bull, Boston stored dry goods, loss $500. Insured.
   Thomas Gibbs, drug store, loss $125
   John McBride, Justice office, loss $300; no insurance. Moved over Fowler & Hendryx.
   Parley Brown, loss $1,000; no insurance. Moved into Bartlett & Benedict's office.
   A. Wells, justice office, small loss; fully insured. Moved over Seely & Buck's store, back room.
   P. Sanborn & Co., boot maker, loss $25. Will resume.
   W. H. Matthews, harness shop, loss $100; insured.
   W. B. Lutz, building and machinery, $1,000. Will rebuild.
   Ira Crane, building $2,000; insurance $1,000.
   H. C. Whitcher, building $1,200
   Beck & Betz, building $3,000.
   S. E. Dilley, building $800, no insurance
   P. R. Hardt, building $800, no insurance
   J. A. McBride, grocery stock, $2,500; insurance $1,000. Undecided.
The following are the lists of the companies represented by the different agencies and the amounts of insurance in each:
J. C. Stout's Agency
Total Partial
Liverpool $5,000 $4,000
North British 6,200 4,000
Western 3,450 5,500
Phoenix 3,300 1,200
Continental 1,900 2,500
Royal 8,000 1,300
Etna 2,500 2,000
St. Paul 3,450 2,000
Franklin 1,500
Niagra 2,500 2,000
Merchant 2,000
Hamburg 500 2,000
Home 14,000
Underwriter 9,500
C. A Hubbard's Agency
Total and Partial
Manhattan $9,800
London Assurance 9,000
British America 2,500
Lancashire 1,800
Martin & Greer's Agency
Traders Chicago $1,000
Hamburg Magdeburg 1,000
Rhode Island Associative 2,500
Queen 1,400
A. Well's Agency
Hartford 9,500
Connecticut 3,800
German American 1,100
Commercial 700
North American 10,500
Watertown 3,800
F. H. Stauff's Agency
German Freeport, Ill 9,000

Dr. J. H. Harris severely burned his face in carrying an armful of goods from his office to the street.
The Red Wing engine came down early Saturday morning on a special train. It was not their fault they were not here earlier. They did noble work while here.
The first adjustment was on A. T. Guernsey's stock, by Otto E. Greeley, of the American Central company. The second wason the Sherman House loss, by the Rhode Island company.
The first check was paid by J. C. Hassinger by the Springfield of Mass. It was for $500.
A large and enthusiastic board of trade meeting was held in Ingrahm hall Monday evening. The enterprise is not all gone yet.
G. F. Benson on this Tuesday morning purchased Adam Sigler's land on Center streety on private terms. The reported price however is between $8,000 and $10,000.
The city council at the two meetings held on Saturday and Monday evenings refused to allow frame buildings to be erected in the fire limits for any time whatever and resolved to extend the fire limits down to the lake shore.
At the beginning of the fire, postmaster Seely left his household goods and worked in the post office to save the mails. He saved every letter and paper and all the records of the office, but lost several hundred dollars on his household good effects.
The underwriters of New Your, J. C. Stout, agent and the American of Philadelphia, P. Brown agent, have already adjusted in full, the loss sustained by H. D. Brown, who returned to St. Paul this morning.
The Lake City Bank moved into the reading room until their banking room is dry enough to be occupied. They will rebuild their block immediately. The first business this bank did was to take a deposit of $300 from A. P. Merrell of Maiden Rock.
The total loss of valuable museum of Dr. D. C. Estes cannot be estimated in dollars. It is irreparable and contained the work of years. Many of the curiosities were of great value and cannot be duplicated. The doctor is nearly heart broken over the loss.
The furniture of the Masonic fraternity was a total loss. Most of the working tools of the order and a goodly share of the robes and jewels together with the silver-ware of the Commandery were totally lost. The loss will figure up $3000 and the insurance $700. The order will either rent new quarters or build.
The first building erected was by the First National Bank on Adam Sigler's lot and the first rebuilding to be commenced is by the same concern. They are now working a large force of men under the supervision of C. F. Rogers, one of the directors. The new building will have no basement and will be ready for occupying in sixty days.
C.C. Stauff & Son removed 20 show cases and contents during the fire without breaking a glass or doing a particle of damage.

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