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Chariton Is Visited By Another Big Blaze ~ Wiltsey's
Posted by: Deborah Brownfield - Stanley (ID *****1616) Date: May 01, 2003 at 23:25:37
  of 55

Leon Reporter, Leon, Iowa
Thursday, May l9, l904

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Chariton is Visited by Another Big Blaze Last Wednesday Night -- Lost $25,000.
Chariton was visited last Wednesday night by another destructive fire which wiped out another of the business sections of that city. The light from the fire could be plainly seen in Leon, and many who noticed it thought it was at Garden Grove. The burned section embraced a group of two story frame buildings at the southwest corner of the square, the fire starting in the rear of Jamison's Blacksmith Shop and Elliott's Paint Shop, and is thought to have been of incendiary origin. The burned district covered a half block, and at one time it was thought the flames would spread across the street to the east, and help was asked for from Albia and Creston, but before it could arrive the fire was under control after property valued at $25,000 had been destroyed.

The losses and insurance are as follows:

In the burned block, Wiltsey's Grocery on the corner and Clint Noble's Restaurant were in a double two-story frame building owned by Warren and George Noble, now of Chicago. The building was worth from $2,500 to $3,000, amount of insurance unknown.

Wiltsey's Grocery stock, worth $3,000, was one-third saved, with only $500 insurance on the whole.

Clint Noble's stock and outfit were worth from $l,500 to $l,800, with $400 insurance.

The next building was a double two-story frame also, with a large warehouse, all owned by J.F. Ekfelt. The buildings were worth perhaps $2,000, $l,300 insurance.

The furniture and undertaking stock was owned by A.A. Ekfelt, and very little of it was saved. It was worth between $3,000 and $4,000 with $2,400 insurance.

Mrs. Dewey owned the next building, a two-story frame, occupied by F.C. Elliott's Paint Shop. The building was worth $l,000, with no insurance.

Mr. Elliott lost much of his paint stock and outfit, with no insurance.

The S.D. Hickman estate owned the next building, a two-story frame, worth $800, with no insurance.

J.M. Jamison owned the next building covering two lots, and occupied it with his blacksmith shop. He had $400 insurance on his tools.

The city hall loss was perhaps $l,000, fully covered by insurance.

Mrs. Groves and her children, Georgie Hopkins and Finis Lynch, lived upstairs over Wiltsey's Grocery, and saved most of their household goods. Loss $l00 covered by insurance.

There is probably $l,000 worth of damage done to the Kubitshek block, fully covered by insurance.

Dr. Sutton's loss will be $200 or $300, fully covered.

Mr. Oppenheimer's loss will be at least $3,000, covered by insurance.

The families of Chas. Thompson, Stant Hooper, Sam Beardsley, F.M. Baker, Fred Yengel and C.B. Rhoades lived up stairs in the Kubishek block, and all suffered some loss from water and moving, although none heavily. There was very little insurance, Mr. Thompson carrying $550, and some of the others a little.

Though the old frame buildings were a constant menace, no one was ready to have them destroyed, and their destruction is a heavy loss to the owners. Their removal is a good thing, in a way, as they will be replaced in time by substantial brick structures.


Copied by Nancee(McMurtrey)Seifert
"With permission from the Leon Journal Reporter"
May l, 2003

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