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Home: Regional: U.S. States: California: Tuolumne County

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Major fire in Columbia 1857-Deaths: BROWN, TOOMEY, RUDOLPH, CROOKS, DRISCOLL
Posted by: Vern Dander (ID *****8132) Date: November 26, 2007 at 12:37:37
  of 191

Am not related but may be of interest to someone who is. I have no further info, but additional newspaper extracts may be found at URL:

http://www.newspaperabstracts.com/index.php

Vern D
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Transcribed by Dee Sardoch
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Stockton Daily Argus
Stockton, San Joaquin Co., CA
*********************************************8
>>Thursday, 27 Aug 1857<<

COLUMBIA IN ASHES!
Great Destruction of Property, and Loss of Life
Loss $650,000
‘Tel. Republican’
At 6 o’clock p.m. on Tuesday, in Columbia, the alarm of fire was given, and in 3 hours the town was laid in ashes. A few only of the buildings on the outskirts of the town escaped the devouring element. A large number of fire-proof buildings, with valuable contents, are a mass of moldering ruins. The large business house of H.N. BROWN & Co., on Main street, was blown to atoms by the explosion of some 50 kegs of powder.

At the time of the explosion, there were quite a number of persons in the building, and 5 are known to have been instantly killed, and quite a number dangerously wounded. The names of the killed are:
H.N. BROWN,
W.M. TOOMEY,
Capt. James RUDOLPH, a clerk of Brown & Co.,
J.M.B. CROOKS, gas man of San Francisco,
A miner named BRISCOLL,

W.O. SLEEPER & Co., bankers, Post office and Telegraph Office, Masonic Hall, Broadway Hotel, McKenty’s, McCheslips’ block and Schwarty, Leon, ‘Courier’ office and ‘Gazette’ office, are but slightly damaged. A large amount of valuable furniture, etc., was deposited in the banking house of W.O. SLEEPER & Co., and is perfectly safe, the building being among the best and most thorough fire-proof of any in the place.

The loss of property is estimated at $650,000. Many of those in fire-proof buildings were so confident of being saved, that they removed none of their effects, but received and stored what was brought to them. The territory embraced in the burnt district is as follows:-Broadway, from Smith, Morse & Co.’s lumber yard, including their office, to Masonic Hall-All east of Broadway to Jackson street, including Odd Fellows’ Hall, Main street, with the exception of those above mentioned and the Philadelphia House-On the east as far as Dr. CHARNOUX’s hospital, Washington street Hill, ruined-State and Jackson streets, as far east as Columbia street, with but 1 or 2 exceptions are destroyed. The fire originated in a Chinese brothel, on Jackson street, between Main and Broadway, and it is said was caused by an opium smoker. The wind was from the NW, and blew the flames immediately to MULLEN & WILLIAMS large livery stable; from there to Columbia street. It then veered to the SW, and swept all in its course to Main Gulch, as far as SMITH, MORSE & Co.’s lumber yard.

The dead are now in the Phoenix Hook and Ladder Co.’s building, awaiting the Coroner’s inquest. Our people are gloomy and sad; all is confusion; thousands are coming in from all the adjoining camps, who deeply sympathize with us in the loss of life and property. The Telegraph line was burned down, but is temporarily repaired to enable us to give the news of our sad calamity. There are materials being brought on the ground preparatory to putting up temporary tenements. The families are being provided for by the people of the adjacent towns.
- --------------------------------------------

Mr. H.N. BROWN, whose death is chronicled above, was highly esteemed by a large circle of friends and acquaintances in this city. He was from Baltimore, Md. Mr. RUDOLPH was also formerly a resident of this city.

>>Friday, 28 Aug 1857<<

FURTHER PARTICULARS of the FIRE in COLUMBIA -- We have received an ‘Extra’ from the office of the Tuolumne ‘Courier,’ containing further particulars of the conflagration at Columbia. The most painful incident connected with the disaster, was the explosion which took place in the store of H.N.BROWN & Co. The greatest exertions were made to save the building, and notwithstanding the heat, and the fact that a large quantity of powder was in the Building, men stood upon the roof until the explosion took place. 5 men were instantly killed, whose names are as follows:
H.N. BROWN
W. TOOMEY
J.M.B. CROOKS
Dennis DRISCOLL
Capt. James RUDOLPH

Several gentlemen are seriously injured.
-Thomas WHITE was badly hurt on the head, 1 ear was cut off.
-Edward BEASON is injured internally.
-J. KNOWLES was badly burned
-N.B. GARDINER, injured slightly
-Messrs. PASCOE, Frank BARTLETT and AIKEN were also slightly injured.

KNAPP’s brick block was saved by the application of 2 barrels of vinegar. The fire had caught near the roof on the back part and no water could be obtained. Mr. KNAPP opened his doors, rolled out the vinegar, and by its application a whole block of brick buildings was saved. At H.N. BROWN & Co.’s store, where the explosion took place, men were engaged on Wednesday in clearing away the rubbish searching for bodies. Up to 2 o’clock the remains of 5 men were taken from the rubbish. Mr. BROWN went into the building after it was discovered to be on fire, and, on being advised to close the iron doors, had come out and locked them when the explosion took place, and the walls fell into the street. At the same time, several gentlemen were in the act of descending from the roof. Many were standing around the building at the time, who escaped. Mr. BARTLETT, who was slightly injured, was swept into the street by 1 of the iron doors. He was standing with Mr. CROOKS (one of the killed), at the time, and only escaped death by being swept away by the door.

The following comprises the principal losers by the fire, of whom many were left without a change of clothing, or means to purchase a meal:
I. SHOTWELL; $12,000
J.A. JACKSON; $7,000
NEAL & Co.; $8,000
P.G. FERGUSON; $8,000
WHITE & WING; $12,000
SOULNT; $5,000
NORTHUP & Co.; $6,500
DONNELL & PARSONS; $10,000
C. FORDHAM; $2,500
H.N. BROWN & Co.; $20,000
NORTHUP & Co.; $6000
PARROT; $800
C. CARDINEL; $6,000
J. BONNELL; $1,000
C. RASSETT; $400
B. HARRIS; $500
GANZ & ANER; $1000
D. WILLCOMB; $3,000
I. LEVY; $1,000
FARNSWORTH’s Saloon; $3000
DAEGNER; $6000
SMITH & BARTON; $600
SODERER & MARSHALL; $4000
T.C. SWAIN; $600
CAVIS; $300
Eagle Cottage; $3000
Peoples Market; $4500
Wm. O. HARRA; $3000
C.B. RENDELL; $1000
BRAINARD; $8000
D. BARKER; $500
S. SCHWARTZ; $600
Frank MYER; $1000
BUEGNERAG; $1500
Columbe Saloon; $5000
E. COLEMAN; 41,000
H. FRANKLIN; 500
ROGERS & Co.; 800
M. TOUESION; 1000
S. HUGHS; 600
Joel LEVY & Son; 3000
ABRAHAM & Co.; 2500
MIESS & LIPMAN; 2000
M. SCOFIELD; 100
Henry GOODMAN; 300
FAUBER; 1000
T. PHELON; 1000
Chas. HORNDMERS; 2600
Abbat PAWTER; 150
Jas. OWENS; 1000
Tim LEWIS; 990
Columbia ‘Gazette;’ 300
Broadway Hotel; 300
STARBARD; 1200
Dr. GIBBONS; 500
HEDDIN; 1500
CAMPBELL; 600
A.S. MILLAR; 3000
HIGGINS; 1000
Judge TRASK; 300
H.G. MASON; 1750
T. OESTRENCHER; 1000
D. McKenzie & Co.; 800
COREY; 500
M. BOYLE; 1000
Jas. DUFFEE; 800
MOESFELNER; 1000
BRUCE & Co.; 850
BRADY; 600
W. SHINE; 800
J. HORY; 1500
Harry PILEY; 1500
PATTEN; 2000
O. FALLON; 3000
SMITH, MORSE & Co.; 3000
EARLE & DAVIS; 100
G.W. SPAULDING; 200
M. MOONY; 500
Dr. McCHESNEY; 800
J.A. BENHAM; 100
H. CONLON; 1100
B. HARRISON; 6000
Dr. POWNALL; 2500
O.P. DAVIS; 6000
BRAZEE; 2500
WHEELER; 5000
Madame GAUTIER; 1000
S. LEVY & Co.; 15,000
LEAVITT & WALKER; 10,000
C. KNAPP; 2000
E.B. SHAW; 1000
R.B. BIRD; 1000
DOMINIQUE; 6000
LUDDY; 2000
CLARFF; 2000
RICHARDS; 900
G.H. ROGERS; 4500
G. TABOR; 3500
SOLOMON; 1500
MULLAN & WILLIAMS; 2000
MAGENDIE; 20,000
ALBERDING; 2500
Cap. RASPEL; 10,000
Judge PARBURT; 1000
C. HILDRETH; 600
BOURMIGNON; 1500
Madame DOUTREMONT; 2000
CLAUSME; 10,000
GUESTA; 1500
KUSHBERXER; 100
DOMINIQUE; 7000
FRANCOIS; 1000
BROUQUEF; 2000
JANIN; 500
SOURDRY; 1000
LAURAIN; 2000
CROSS; 500
CHARMAUX; 1000
D’ALEMBERT; 5000
MITCHELL; 3000
PECHARD; 3000
MAVON; 2000
CARDINELL; 600
Hotel de France; 1500
C. BRACK; 2000
G. MORGAN; 5000
SMITH Saloon; 1500
HEYNEMAN; 1500
OPPENHEIMER; 500
STWRGENCXXER [as written]; 1000
J.C. DUCHOW; 800
John LEARY; 2000
DALY & SMITH; 10,000
L. ROTH; 900
LEARY; 700



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