Forsyth, GA newspaper office fire, Sept 1883


The "Advertiser" Office Burned - A Conflagration Checked, Etc.

FORSYTH, September 11. - The old familiar sound of "fire" was again heard last night at 1 a. m., and it was found that the second story of the Advertiser building was in flames.

The alarm was sounded by Frank Bridges, who slept in a room across the hall from the Advertiser office, he being almost stifled with smoke, barely having time to seize his clothes and rush down. The fire originated in a room back of and adjoining the Advertiser, occupied as a Masonic hall. Before anybody could reach the scene the whole upper story was so filled with a dense smoke that it was found impossible to penetrate the second story. Hence everything above stairs was a total loss. The entire outfit of the Monroe Advertiser, including books and accounts, was destroyed. The loss falls severely on J. T. Waterman, the proprietor, though he had $1,800 insurance. The whole building was soon a total wreck, and the fire spread to the Thomas cotton warehouse adjoining, which was also destroyed. Most of the cotton was rolled out and saved. The walls of the warehouse stayed the progress of the flames, beyond these two buildings.

The lower story of the Advertiser was used for storage, a carload of wagons being among the effects lost therein. Captain Tom Cabaniss lost a valuable law library in his office above stairs, worth $1,500, upon which he had no insurance.

The total loss is estimated at $12,000, against which there was $5,475 insurance.

J. M. Thomas, Advertiser building........Value, $2,200, Insurance $2,000
J. M. Thomas, rock warehouse............Value, $2,000, Insurance $1,275
J. T. Waterman, newspaper.................Value, $2,700, Insurance $1,800
M. G. Turner, Sr., one-half second story Advertiser building...........Value, $750
W. C. Lockett, one-half second story Advertiser building..........Value, $750, Insurance $400
Webster Wagon Company (car of wagons).......Value, $1,800
T. B. Cabaniss, library, etc............Value, $1,500
Cotton, etc........Value, $500

Total....................Value, $12,000, Insurance, $5,475

Divided as follows: Georgia Home Insurance Company, $2,000; Liverpool, London and Globe, $2,175; Southern Mutual, $1,300.

The fire is believed to be incendiary, as it originated in a room unused for some days and up-stairs. This week's edition of the Advertiser, printed last night, was also burned, not a copy having been mailed before the fire. It is thought that editor Waterman, with his usual vim, will be on deck again in a few days with a new outfit, though he has not yet been officially heard from.

The residence of A. L. Woodward, Esq., at Culloden, in this county, was burned last night. All the furniture was saved. Loss, about $3,000. No insurance so far as known.

This, in connection with the Forsyth fire the same night, makes the curious coincidence that three sons-in-law of Dr. D. W. Hammond, of your city, were burned out the same time, and almost at the same hour - Messrs. J. M. Thomas, W. C. Lockett and A. L. Woodward.

The Telegraph and Messenger, Macon, GA 12 Sept. 1883