All About Town- Fire of '79 Devastated Carroll's Business District by <fet monahan We cannot consider this story a part of the Good Old Days Se> ries, for it was a sad *ime for <• Carroll. But we did want to share it with you. Some weeks ago AH About Town carried a ..two-part story on *he city from which we came to Carroll, in : which we spoke of a fire as the i result of an explosion in the city's gas system. Five downtown buildings were destroyed • and ten merchants lost. In this we said, "Can you imagine five of your own stores gone within minutes?" and gave an area of . downtown as an example. Ironically, Waters Dept. Store was among the ones we mentioned. Then a few evenings ago we , stood and watched *he store go as we had those in South Carolina, and it gave us a strange feeling of having been there before. That evening we were •> delving through old papers, and material in research for a Good .Old Days story, and within a few days an old book with much rich Carroll history was brought to our attention. In its yellowed 'pages, we discovered a detailed story of the Great Fire of 1879. While it was written in the flowery phrases of that day, we enjoyed it so much when we had finished we looked up, surprised to find ourselves in our own - living room in 1970. We thought you might like to go back to that tragic day- when Carroll suffered its greatest loss, and hear of the brave pioneer businessmen, who rebuilt your city. We will try to tell fit in the language of today. But before we do, let us tell you who were not p r e s e n t at the Waters Store fire, how proud we were of the local teenagers, who worked and carried the things from the Paige and Paige Studios. We wish we could give-you all their names. Three hours were all H took to destroy your city on Sept; 25, 1879. There had been very, little moisture in the summer of 1879. And Sept. 24 had passed, another day without rain. (It is difficult for a family in 1970 to imagine the fear of Hire our pioneers lived with each day of their lives. On the old plantations, the kitchen was tor removed from the house proper, and then built entirely of brick. Servants carried the hot food up well-worn paths to the formal dining rooms.) The City of Carroll was imposed of about 1,200 people, who had built for themselves a town of flimsy and compactly grouped wooden houses. Most were one story high. A perfect tinder box, each one, for a carelessly thrown match. There were no facilities for fighting fire; other than the amount of water a man could carry in a pail, if he owned one. Fourth and Fifth Streets, between Adams and Main were closely lined with these flimsy structures, packed to the sidewalk with merchandise. With a dry wind and man, careless creature that he is, fate had been kind already. Merchants dosed doors that day in late September, assured there would be another day to do better than the one just closed. The L. T. Andersons might have talked far into the night about the new baby soon due. The harness business was doing fine. They had a good life before them. At present they lived over the store, but were dreaming of the time they could have a house, no doubt. C. Mark had set out for Chicago on a business trip. He owned fche large general store and knowing the little village would grow, liked to bring the latest to the ladies' taste. A new village always draws fine attorneys and medical men, and Carroll had already fine care and attention in these areas. Dr. Lane had put up a two- story building for his office and rented the second floor to Attorney George Bo wen. All in all, 26 business and professional men went home that evening, content that when the sun came up tomorrow, their world wouM be waiting for them. One by one, lights dimmed over the tiny village. It had withstood severe winters, and death-dealing electrical storms. Between these two seasons, other than a prayer for long overdue rain. SMILE AWWLE^CASE POWER^EQUIP. CON n* BE A CASE MAN - AND TAKE THE GAMBLE OUT OF YOUR WORK the avarat* Carrollite fell aaleep, content that "God was in His heaven, And al was right with His particular world." Than Prank Craw, onglwr pulied into Carroll at approximately 4 A .m. while people ware enjoying the repeaa which hard work and a clear conscience bring- Ma saw a bright light in Henry Sehappmans saloon on Fourtfi Attest, jumped front the train, and looked in through the front to sat« blaze behind the bar. St could have been easily put out had there been water available. The engineer shouted for the townspeople to awaken and help. A hose was attached by 5. M. Town, to a hydrant but he failed to muster a stream of waiter. A dear number of persons who had thought of fire awakened easily, while others ware wondering why the coal heavers did not attend to the engine. The train whistle was Mewing steadily. In a few minutes, frightened people gathered in the streets. The fire was still confined to the saloon, but beyond control. A hand engine would have halted the fire easily, but it is well-known that Carroll had no fire apparatus whatsoever. It is amazing that no loss of life resulted from the fire! In an incredibly short time the south side of the building was wrapped in f 1 a m e s. The biasing building was situated in the south side of the business section. The wind blew steadily from the south and although it was a light wind, it proved sufficient to carry the flames directly into the heart of the village. To the north, east and west were almost two solid blocks of wooden buildings. The long drought had dried the wood to a tinder. The wells and cisterns were nearly dry in the town. There were no ladders, and few buckets. Thre was no organization, each person acted on his own. Later, it was said Carroll, Iowa had suffered a disaster almost without parallel in the history of fires. The only resource was to save as much as possible in belongings. A large number of families lived above the stores. Every man commenced to work to s a 1 v a g e as much of his own world as possible. What followed baffles description. The flames lathered flames, and together they painted a dusky hue in tints. The clouds of smoke would have denied the village, except for an occasional new cruel finger of fire. Hurrying people neither spoke nor cried, but rushed to safe ground with belonging*. L> T. Andersen meneflsel to save the trunk of baby clothes, long dreamed over, and a fine mantle clock. The public square was covered with a confused mass. Every street outside the immediate range of fire was covered with goods. Men and women seemed endowed with superhuman strength. The fire moved rapidly northward. Soon Efforts store, Jim Drees building, which had housed Anderson's, a restaurant, millinery store — and gorgeous bonnet* — went up in smoke. Kentner's grocery was gone. On the west side of the saloon buildings were going as well. A Saloon of B. H. Brees, and oh Filth, Haff's boot and shoe store, all were gone within twenty minutes. Hope had been held that the fire might be confined to the block of its origin. There were 85 feet across Fifth Street, but the wind was not on the side of hope. The awning of Mrs. White's building in the center of the north side of Fifth was the first to go. Blazing brands struck on the front of Hatton's Drug and it soon went down. The fire worked rapidly northward, east and west at once. Hoyt's two story frame on the corner of Fourth and Mein started to go. Now no hope remained for anything south of Sixth. Burke's Hettl, a large and inflammable wooden structure, on the opposite corner of Fifth was soon burning. The fire here raged at its greatest fury. The flames seemed to touch the sky, and the roaring and crackling of the flames were deafening. Men's faces were grotesque in the red glare. Could it have been but two hours ago Carroll was sleeping content, that morning would bring another day, not unlike the one they had just drifted away from in sleep! It wet a nightmare came true, and some stood all but ki shock that their city was gone! From Burke's Hotel the fire went up the west side of Mam with race horse speed. The old bank building that formerly housed a wagon shop, post office and Whitman's livery stable disappeared in smoke. The wind caught its breath, and shifted to the east. Pathetic firefighting measures were put to use. Can you imagine fighting a fire of such magnitude by putting down wet blankets on rooftops? Meager pails of water turned to steam as soon as they hit blistering boards. The northwestern portion of the town was now threatened, and remember a village of that day followed the pioneer pattern. The wagon trains attacked by Indians had instilled a need in the pioneer to stay as close as possible to his neighbor. Homes were at the very edge of the business district. Byond all question the credit went to G. W. Watties of Glidden as he stood atop the Beaftty building, for saving the brick building housing the Carroll County Bank, Herald and post office. Facing into the heat he used and economized every drop of the scanty supply of water Times Herald, C«rr*ll, l«. f Thursday, Nov. 12, 1970 # available to him. Another flying board carried by the wind struck the tall spire of the First Presbyterian Church. It was beyond reach. The pastor, Rev. T. S. Bailey, was waiting with a pitiful supply of waiter, and the church's stately spire, a Carroll landmark, was blazing and within minutes the chapel was in ruins. The Rev. Bailey, left with but one arm as a result of the Civil War, pulled the pulpit from the burning building. Many sad hearts were heavy as the spire went down. Self-denial, labor sacred and happy associations were represented. (It is interesting to note that from the first pioneer names of Carroll, and while many German immigrants, directly from the old country and by way of the new German settlement at Cascade, Iowa near Dubuque, helped settle Carroll, the pioneer village was largely made up of men of southern background and Protestant faith.) At six in the morning, the fire was over. In less than three hours dreams, labors and hopes had gone up in flames. The sun rose upon a scene of complete desolation where a few hours before had stood the business portion of one of the most thriving lisble towns in the state; there was nothing but blackened and distorted debris of the fire. The public square was covered with law books, tables, furniture, bedding, clothing; everything man needs to exist. Soon merchants and others appeared with teams and began claiming their goods. How could we not admire the cheerfulness which is recorded, prevailed among the townspeople? Few if any, gave up and everywhere one went, he heard, "Let us not waste our time on vain regrets; let's rebuild our city." Twentysix places of business were gone. It is amusing in this day of building costs that some Hosses on buildings read "not to exceed $20." The most costly building was valued at $1,000. The bank building belonging to Culbertson's Bank was listed as uninsured! Unheard of in our day, but remember this was a village in its infancy. After the fire, a meeting was held by the city council, an ordinance passed. Fire laws were set up regarding use of brick and mortar, iron or stone. And metal or slate roofs. Never again would Carroll suffer such a loss. The insurance companies were generous and prompt in aiding. The C & NW undertook to transport brick and stone at half price from Boone (where a brick and tile factory flourished in that day) for rebuilding the city. Within seven weeks, after nine- tenths of the City of Carroll had been destroyed, much of the WE'LL GIVE YOU A FAIR SHAKE TRACTORS: 1. Waiver of finance charges to April 1, 1971. 2. Free—check to purchaser ($500) redeemable in certain new Case implements. 3. Plus—a sharp dollar deal. COMBINES: 1. Waiver of finance charge* to September 1, 1971. 2. Plus—$400 bonus check to purchaser ha may do with as ha pleases; Put in the bank, ga an a vacation, or invest it. FOLLOW; THE CROWD C A * E pyTpowERg, EQUIPMENT ^« P/U ^.792-9294 • CARROLL ' h^ t / i •> Does Lange's Milk really male you feel 10 years younger? ...ask any 9 year old! city had been rebuilt! It is difficult to imagine any city rebuilt that quickly, except through sheer hard work and pioneer spirit. We hope you, too, have been lost in yesteryear, as you read today's column, and we hope we have given you still another reason to appreciate your city, and its pioneer history. We only regret the men of that day did not have the foresight to store ev- ry now-antique in three old weathered barns, behind 50 tall trees, hidden for all time until now. And then your scribe could find the keys in some second hand store. See what happens to people who stay up until all hours reading old history books? They develop wild imaginations. You do not know of any old bams, do you? And speaking of antiques, one day soon, we will lead you into the world of antique-mad people. They are a breed all their own, dangerous only at auctions. Next week, we visit a rehearsal of "The Prime of Miss Jean B r o d i e", Drama Coach Jim Knot t's soon-to-be-presented production at Carroll High School. And on Thursday we go back through the years with Ellerbroek's to help celebrate their grand opening in tlheir grand new store. Won't that be grand! Manning Scouts Complete Posters (Times Herald New* Service) MANNING - On Nov. 3, the Junior Girl Scouts met at the American Legion Hall, and completed posters for the Community Chest drive. These were distributed on Nov. 4 by Mrs. Ivan Opperman, the junior leader. Junior Girl Scouts had a Halloween masquerade on Oct. 27 in the basement of the Presbyterian church and observed the birthday of Juliet Lowe. Girl Scout Founder, which was Oct. 31. Boy Scouts served approximately 200 at their chili supper alt the American Legion Hall on Saturday evening, Nov. 7. Proceeds from the supper will be used for various projects. Carried Away It takes two to tango with this teddy bear. The youngsters got a bit carried away as they viewed a pre- Christmas display of new British toys in London. GET II DATE WITH GUS! Here's a really big idea from Gus Glaser Meats* they're dated! The first number is the month, the second number is the day and just by looking, anyone can tell the last day the meat is guaranteed fresh. You and your butcher knew that Gus Glaser Wieners, Smorgasbord Pak, Gourmet Pak, Ham Slices, all of the new vacuum packaged sliced luncheon meats are fresh because you can see the date stamped on every package. GUS GLASER MEATS, INC. FORT DODGE, IOWA Land Auction Sale Saturday, November 21 1 P.M. SHARP At the farm located 1 mile east, V/i miles north and 1 mile east of Auburn, Iowa; 4 miles west on Highway 175, IV2 miles north, V2 mile west, '/i mile north and Vz mile west of Lake City, Iowa; 2Vi miles south of Yetter, Iowa. To be sold to the highest bidder the following real estate: 284 acre stock farm, 173 acres tillable, 111 acres in timber and creek pasture (Camp Creek runs through the timber pasture); 84 acre corn bast with county average corn yield of 99 bushels per acre. LEGAL DESCRIPTION The South 52.64 acres of the West Half of the Southeast Quarter (WVfeSE^4); the North Half of the Southwest Quarter (NVfeSW%). All that part of the Southwest Quarter of the Southwest Quarter (SW^SWV4) lying west of Camp Creek. The Southeast Quarter of the Southwest Quarter (SE^SWU) in Section 5. The East Half of the Southeast Quarter (EV&SE%) of Section 6, all in township 86N, range 34W of 5th P.M., Calhoun County, Iowa. Inspection of land and outbuildings can be done anytime prior to sale day. In* spection of dwelling by appointment with the Warren Kruse family, the present tenants. BUILDINGS ARE AS FOLLOWS Large basement barn; corn crib with 16x32 lean-to machine shed, 3000 bushel ear corn capacity, 2000 bushel small grain capacity; Cattle shod, 24x84. Chicken house; three-car garage with tool shed attached; Dwelling, 9-room modern house (6 rooms downstairs, three upstairs), built-in cabinets. Good well, complete with pressure systems. Also a good spring that has never gone dry. TERMS OF SALE 20% down with contract on day of Sale. Balanace due and payable on or before March 1, 1971 at the discretion of the buyer when abstract of title with warranty deed is furnished to the buyer. This farm can and will be offered for sale in various traets to suit the buyer or in one complete unit, whichever is best for all concerned. Auctioneer's Note Thie farm has been in the Kruse family since 1931; has always been farmed by soma IMID* ban af the famly; has been well eared for; in a high state of production; well tiled; line and crass fences fair to good This is a very good stock farm—always a good money-maker—would make an ideal family farm for young folks. This is sure one you will want to cheek out in every detail before Sale Day. For further information on this farm contact the executors or auctioneer any time. SELLERS WILL PAY $2.00 PER ACRE COMMISSION TO ANY LICENSED REAL ESTATE BROKER THAT REGISTERS A BONAFIDE BUYER WITH AUCTIONEER BEFORE SALE TIME. This sale is being held to settle the Estate of Mrs. Frank (Alvina) Kruse. PAUL F. KRUSE, Lake City, Iowa WARREN C. KRUSE, Auburn, Iowa Executors of Said Estate Swanson A Swanson, Attorneys for Estate and Clerk of Sale Jeff Staton, Auet.
What members have found on this page
Get access to Newspapers.com
- The largest online newspaper archive
- 11,100+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
- Millions of additional pages added every month