Wilton, IA Fire, Aug 1874


Destructive Conflagration at Wilton, Iowa--Loss, $60,000 to $70,000.

DAVENPORT, August 20--A fire broke out in Reed & Davis' elevator, at Wilton, twenty-six miles west of this city, today and destroyed it, with Lyford's elevator, each containing 6,000 bushels of grain, and some other buildings occupied as stores, saloons and boarding houses. The best buildings were Tiner's two story brick and Reed's bank. All the other buildings were frame. The German Lutheran church and parsonage, three blocks from the fire, were also destroyed. The total loss was $60,000 to $70,000; insurance not more than one-fourth. A steamer, hand engine and two hose companies went out from this city and rendered material assistance. The fire was not really so extensive as was at first supposed here.

Sioux City Journal, Sioux City, IA 21 Aug 1874



A $100,000 Fire at Wilton, Iowa--Two Elevators and Fifteen Other Buildings Destroyed.

[Special Telegram to the Inter-Ocean]

MUSCATINE, Iowa, Aug. 20--Soon after 3 o'clock this afternoon Dow and Reed's elevator, at Wilton, was found to be on fire. A brisk wind was blowing from the south, and Brown & Byford's elevator came next, and the fire crossed Railroad street and swept up the whole block. Sparks caught Dr. Williams' residence, and the Doctor fell from the roof, breaking his arm and causing a serious contusion of the head. His position is critical. His house was saved. The German Lutheran Church and parsonage caught from sparks and were consumed. The two elevators contained about 20,000 bushels of wheat. Besides some twelve dwelling houses, the following business houses were destroyed, and stocks consumed:

Ellingsworth, harness store, barber-shop; G. T. Coffey, dry goods; the Co-operative store with a general stock; N. P. Scoville, books; F. P. Huddart, dry goods; C. G. Hutchinson, drugs; A. C. Blizzard, clothing; Graff's clothing house; Opitz's wagon shop, and a number of saloons and small shops, and J. L. Reed's banking house. No. 2 engine from Davenport came down, but before their arrival the fire was under control, but they cooled off the vault and safes in Reed's bank. The loss is $100,000 with about $40,000 insurance, as near as can be ascertained. Over fifty citizens went up from here to render aid. Had it not been for the superhuman efforts of the citizens, and the cessation of the wind, one-half of the town would have been burned. The Wilton Herald got out an extra. Davenport sent a hand-engine, and a special train brought some newspaper men from Davenport. No. 2 was a steamer. The prospect today is that the hotel will be rebuilt within ninety days.

Sioux City Journal, Sioux City, IA 21 Aug 1874