Duluth, MN grain elevator fire, Nov 1886



DULUTH, Minn., Nov. 28. - At 8 o'clock last night the most disastrous fire in the history of this place broke out in the top of Elevator Q, in the eastern part of the town, and in spite of the efforts of the Fire Department the flames communicated to the annex to Elevator A, a new building near completion, and finally to Elevator A itself, and all were consumed, together with a row of nine frame buildings, dwellings, and stores. Of four men in Elevator Q when the fire broke out, only one escaped. Charles Moore, a watchman, after being severely burned, jumped from the cupola to the ground, a distance of 80 feet, and was killed. A man named Laroche is missing, and the foreman, Charles Lee, was killed. Elevator Q was built two years ago by the Duluth and Western Elevator Company. George H. Christian, of Minneapolis, was the lessee. It cost $80,000, and about $50,000 had been expended on the annex. The capacity of Elevator Q was 500,000 bushels, and there were in store 400,000 bushels.

Elevator A was owned by the Union Improvement and Elevator Company, Col. C. H. Graves, of Duluth, President; J. B. Chittenden, of New-York, Vice-President. The building was valued at $125,000. It contained 350,000 bushels of wheat, 112,000 bushels of corn, and 11,000 bushels of flaxseed. The total amount of grain lost was about 880,000 bushels, valued at $585,000. The salvage on grain is perhaps 10 per cent. The loss on the elevators and grain aggregates $840,000; insured for about $600,000. The elevators were insured for about three-fourths of their value and the grain generally for its full value. The losses on the dwellings, stores, and railroad property will probably bring the total up to at least $1,000,000.

It is impossible as yet to get all the insurance, as many agents claim that they cannot tell the exact amount carried by them.

The New York Times, New York, NY 29 Nov 1886