Morgan County Democrat

FIRES! DR. ROBERTSON’S, S.C. BREwSTER’S AND E.M. STANBERY’S

BUILDINGS ON THE PUBLIC SQUARE IN ASHES – LOSS $5000.

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Friday May 9, 1879

On last Monday our village wag visited by one of the most destructive fires that has ever occurred here. About five o’clock, p. m. smoke was discovered issuing from the roof of S. C. Brewster’s brick dwelling house on the north-west side of the public square. The alarm was promptly given, but by the time the citizens had gathered in sufficient numbers to do efficient work, the strong west wind had fanned the fire until the roofs of the Robertson, Brewster and Stanbery buildings were one mass of flames. At this time the wind shifted to the north and threatened the Adams hotel, then again veered to the west, forcing the fire in the direction of the Hoffman and Spence buildings. Seeing this, ropes were procured and the burning Stanbery building pulled down, and though but three feet space separated the Stanbery and Hoffman building the latter was saved with comparatively small damage. For a while excitement was intense and all worked with a will to confine the fire to the buildings already doomed. The fire is supposed to have caught from the kitchen flue in Mr. Brewster's house. The household goods of Mr. Brewster were nearly all saved. Dr. Robertson carried on the drug business in his building, and succeeded in saving nearly all his stock. The Stanbery building was occupied by a barber and paint shop, nearly all the contents of which were saved. The total loss is variously estimated at from $3000 to $6000. And there was not a dollar of insurance on any of it. There has been considerable talk since the conflagration of fire engines, rubber buckets, hooks, ladders, &c. [sic], which has been the case after every fire we have had for years. We hope it will not all end in talk.