The Current Wave
May 7, 1891




The Business Portion of Winona Swept By Fire:

Between Thirty and Forty Thousand Dollars Worth of Property Destroyed.


At 5:40 p.m. on Friday last, Mrs. Lewis' Hotel on Front Street was discovered to be on fire, when the whole town was immediately aroused and all hands rushed to the rescue, but the fire had caught near the centre of the roof and was beyond control before it was discovered, and all under the circumstances that could be done was to save the contents, and endeavor to save the buildings on the East and West side of the fire. A small force was placed at the Millinery Shop owned by Mrs. Randolph, the first building East of the hotel, which, by hard and energetic work succeeded in stopping the fire in that direction, but as the wind was coming from the East it was soon found to be a matter of impossibility to keep the fire from destroying the buildings on the West, so the whole force went to work removing their goods as the only hopes of saving anything from the ravaging element. The second  house that went down was the Winona Hotel, owned by Mrs. J. G. Pettitt and occupied by Mrs. McMullen, then followed Sills' Drugstore, Robertson's Saloon and Hall, Gabe Matlock's Barber Shop, the Post Office, Miss Kate Sullivan's Millinery Shop, the Grand Central Hotel owned by Crandel Robertson and operated by James Huntly, J. M. Huggins' Grocery and Confectionary Store, Mige & Berkley's Saloon, James Robinson's Restaurant, Joseph Marie's Butcher Shop, the Commercial Hotel owned and operated by D. C. Reed. At this point the fire crossed the street and consumed George W. Brown's residence, a dwelling owned by Mrs. J. G. Pettitt, the Star Drugstore, Buffington & Reary's Livery Stable, L. W. Keen's large business building, V. Anderson's Feed and Provision Store, Dr. Hasler's Drugstore and dwelling, and all the outbuildings on that side of the street. The fire was finally checked at the residence of Mrs. Rice, in the West end of town, Mr. J. B. Wilkinson's in the Northwest, and at George W. Hoover's and Easton Ealy's in the North. The whole forces concentrating their work at these points, and by almost superhuman efforts succeeded in staying its further destruction. Only one building, Robertson's Icehouse, was burned on the North side of Pike Creek, but there was not a single building of any description left standing on Front Street from U. M. Randolph's as far North as the creek bed and West to the residence of Mrs. Rice. G. W. Brown carried a small policy of $300 on his residence, but none of hte rest of the property, as far as we have been able to ascertain, had any insurance upon it whatever. The fire lasted seventy-five minutes and in that time consumed 31 business and dwelling houses, several dogs, 2 calves, 3 hogs, and a large number of turkeys and chickens. Many men and women in this city, names too numerous to mention, came to the rescue and worked with a willingness, courage and energy which showed a high type of character, and in this particular we almost forgot to mention Superintendent Hardwick and the Fishertown boys; Mr. Hardwick closed down the mill and came with all his force of hands when he fire was discovered and did not cease their efforts until the flames were subdued. There were other buildings burned and goods destroyed and stolen which will probably raise the grand total of losses to between thirty and forty thousand dollars, and many people think the loss will exceed our last mentioned figures.
After the fire many things were stolen, and the losses in that direction alone will probably exceed $1,000. Taking it all-in-all it is the most disastrous calamity that ever befell the people of this community, and it will take several years to recover the losses. Several business men are preparing to rebuild, and we hope to see a much improved condition of affairs in a short time.
The fire caught from a defective flue which is only another evidence of carelessness.

                    The following are the individual losses as far as we have been able to ascertain:
                    Mrs. Lewis: House and household goods, $1,000.
                    Mrs. Pettit: Two buildings, $1,500.
                    Mrs. McMullen: Household goods, $300.
                    W. R. Sills: Household goods and drugs, $800.
                    L. C. Cochran: 2 Buildings, $1,000.
                    ___ Roberts:  Ozark Saloon building, $1,000.
                    Parties in Springfield:  Houses, valued at $3,000.
                    Robertson Brothers: Grand Central Hotel, Icehouse and liquors, $2,000.
                    D. C. Reed:  $6,000.
                    G. W. Brown:  Residence, $900.
                    T. W. McCandless:  $900.
                    Buffington & Reary:  Feed and Barn, $1,000.
                    L. W. Keen:  Store Building, $1,000.
                    Vince Anderson: Building and Provisions, $1,000.
                    Dr. Hasler: Residence, Drugstore and contents, $1,000.








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