Elon, NC College Building Fire, Jan 1923

Elon NC College Administration Building

ELON ADMINISTRATION BUILDING DESTROYED EARLY THIS MORNING.

FIRE BELIEVED TO HAVE CAUGHT AFTER WATCHMAN HAD RETIRED.

ESTIMATED LOSS TO COLLEGE IS THOUGHT TO BE ABOUT $125,000.

THE BURLINGTON FIRE DEPARTMENT WAS CALLED AND MADE RAPID RUN TO RESCUE.

Elon College early today suffered a fire loss estimated at more than $125,000 when a conflagration of undetermined origin gutted the three story Administration building, reducing it to a smouldering heap of ashes, above which the ragged walls rose ghost-like to greet the dawn. It is believed to have caught between 4 and 6 o'clock, after the night watchman had retired from duty. It was discovered about 6 o'clock.
According to the president, W. A. HARPER, it is possible that the loss also includes most of the records of the institution, which were in the building in safes. Ordinarily these iron cases are able to withstand fire, but in this case the heat was very intense and until the fire has cooled sufficient to allow a search and inspection of the safes it is uncertain as the the fate of these valuable papers of record.
A call to the local firemen for help came about 6:30 o'clock, and they burried to the scene, but the fire had such headway that their service was of little avail other than to protect adjoining buildings had they become endangered. The college firemen also fought valiantly, but against odds too great to conquer. The fire had too great a start, the building and fixtures were dry, and the flames swept through with speed and determination.

The Loss Includes.
All the class room fixtures, including those of the class fraternal organizations, besides the college library which was valued at $40,000. The total amount of insurance carried on the building, fixtures, etc., does not exceed $30,000.

Not To Close School.
Arrangements for the continuation of the classes was to be decided at a meeting of the faculty at 10 o'clock this morning. It is definitely stated by DR. HARPER, however, that the work will go on in some way, offering the least interference to orderly conduct of the work by the student body. Halls in the dormitories and vacant store buildings in the village will be utilized in this move.
Built in 1889 when there was little in Alamance county, the building stood for 34 years a monument to her founders, an inspiration to those whose labors haved gone into the service of teaching within her walls, and a beacon to the youth in search of higher education. Through the doors of this structure thousands have passed to gain knowledge, and going out have planted themselves in the vanguard of humanity struggling upward.
Fortunately there was no one injured in the rush that always attends a fire of this kind. A line was thrown about the burning building at a safe distance and none ventured beyond.

Burlington Daily News North Carolina 1923-01-18