Altman, CO Fire, May 1903


Denver, May 24. – A Republican special from Altman last night says:

The entire business portion of this city is in ruins after this morning’s fire, and five persons are still in jail, held for further investigation on the suspicion that they are the ones who started the configuration. Six arrests are known to have been made and other persons were sought by the police. Some are said to have been apprehended, but the police refuse to divulge their names. One prisoner was released after a “sweating” in Cripple Creek to-night.

Mrs. Ollie Davisson, proprietor of the Altman hotel in which the fire originated; Mrs. Lowe, who lives in the hotel and is a friend of Mrs. Davisson; John Lyons, a miner living in the hotel; Neal Osborne, ex-marshal of Altman; Jesse Deaton and J. W. Dunfee, the latter formerly a collector for Altman Water Company, are the suspects arrested early today. Dunfee is now awaiting trial on a charge of embezzlement from the water company.

The principal buildings destroyed, together with the losses and insurance are as follows:
Miner’s Union hall, loss $6,000; insurance $4,000.
Mrs. Ollie Davisson, Altman hotel, loss $4,000. The building was fully insured, but when the building took fire about two weeks ago under suspicious conditions, the underwriters cut down the policy to $2,000.
Dr. W. H. Leavenworth, drug store building and two houses, loss $4,500, partly insured.
Krueger Grocery Company and postoffice [sic], H. C. Krueger, postmaster; loss on building and contents $4,000, insurance $3,000. About $50 in money orders was destroyed, but the mail was saved.
Business house owned by Mark Ketting, loss $4,000, partly insured.
Jordan Mercantile Company, occupying the ground floor of the Miners Union hall; loss on stock and fixtures $2,5000, partly insured.
Mike McCreedy, saloon building and residence, loss $2,500, insurance $800.
City hall, totally destroyed; loss $2,400, insurance $2,000.
Rooming house, owned and conducted by Mrs. Griffin; loss $1,500, partly insured.
Lodging house, owned by Mrs. McBreen; loss $1,500, insurance is any not known.
J. C. Fitzgerald, residence, loss $800, fully insured.
Charles Johnson, business house and contents, loss $1,000, partly insured.
Joe Bloomgreen, store building, loss $700, insured.
Thomas Coll, dwelling house, loss $1,000; saloon $500, partly insured.
Mrs. Kate Cahill, residence and contents, loss $800, no insurance.
William Lewis, residence and contents, loss $300.
William Pollock, residence, loss $500, partly insured.

In addition, about twelve of fifteen cabins and “shacks” were either totally destroyed or suffered damage. The loss in these instances will aggregate to $5,000.

Aspen Weekly Times, Aspen, CO 29 May 1903