Annapolis, MD Fire, Oct 1883



ANNAPOLIS, Md., Oct. 22. - By the bursting of a lighted coal-oil lamp in the store of Louis S. Clayton, on Market-space here, about 4 o'clock this morning, a fire was started which caused the destruction of over $60,000 worth of property, the loss of two lives, and the injury of several other persons. Three loud explosions, which shook the houses for two squares on either side of Clayton's establishment, aroused the sleeping citizens of that portion of the city, and was the first intimation of the fire. The next instant flames leaped from the windows of the building. It was either a keg of powder or a barrel of coal-oil that caused the loud explosive reports. Although Annapolis is a large town, with the State-house and other valuable buildings in it, there is only one hand fire-engine in the town, and that was no good. The fire-engine from the United States Naval Academy did good service, and an engine was sent from Baltimore, but arrived too late to render service. A block of the best stone houses in the city was destroyed. All the marines and sailors at the Naval Academy worked with the citizens in subduing the fire.

So rapidly did the flames spread that the people in the burning houses had to leave in their nightclothes. One young woman leaped from a second-story window, but was caught in the arms of a stalwart sailor. Mr. Charles Legg tried to save Miss Lizzie Watkins, his aged aunt. Her house was on fire when he entered, and five minutes later the floor fell in. Nothing has been seen since of the young man or his maiden aunt, and it is supposed that they perished in the flames. James Brown was caught under a falling roof and seriously injured. James Sands and Charles Golden were also hurt. Several times the State-house and naval buildings were in danger, but they were closely watched. Ten houses were burned to the ground and others damaged. The heaviest losers are Joseph S. Basil, $20,000, and Louis Clayton, John G. Taylor, Julius Hall, William T. Inglehart, the Misses Sands, Lewis H. Rehn, and John Linderborn each lose from $3,000 to $6,000. There is but $20,000 insurance on the whole lot of property.

The New York Times, New York, NY 23 Oct 1883

ANNAPOLIS, Md., Oct. 23. - The charred remains of Miss Lizzie Watkins and Mr. Charles Legg, who were burned here yesterday, were found this morning. From the position of the remains it is surmised that Mr. Legg had reached his aunt in the third story and was on his way out of the house with her when overcome by smoke or fire.

The New York Times, New York, NY 24 Oct 1883
Funeral of Victims of the Annapolis Fire.

[Special Dispatch to the Baltimore Sun.]

Mr. Charles C. Legg and his aunt, Miss Elizabeth Watkins, victims of the late fire in Annapolis, took place today from the residence of Weston Hyde, a relative. The remains of both victims were in the same coffin. Hundreds of people gathered in the vicinity of the house, among the rest several naval officers. Rev. W. R. Edwards, of the Methodist Church, officiated. He made a touching address. The pall-bearers were F. Weston Hyde, James Legg Hyde, Thomas Basil, Geo. Jewell, J. F. Kramer and George W. Watkins. The funeral was very largely attended. Mr. Henry Legg, of the firm of Webb & Co., soap manufacturers, Baltimore, is an uncle of Charles C. Legg. Messrs. Charles Webb and Wm. Webb were expected to be of the pall-bearers, but they were unable to be present. The interment was in the Annapolis cemetery.

The Maryland Steamboat Company's premises here have been tendered to the merchants and others burned out by the late fire to store away their goods and furniture for the present. Citizens are responding liberally to sufferers by the fire, and a movement is on foot to erect a monument by subscription over the grave of Charles C. Legg, for herioic conduct in attempting the rescue of his aged aunt, who, with Legg, perished in the flames.

The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD 25 Oct. 1883