Greenville, TX Business District Fire, Mar 1884

Greenville, TX Business District Fire, Mar 1884


Greenville, March 23 – (Special.) – This place has suffered again from another large and disastrous. The entire east side the square, except one brick building consisting of ten frame buildings, is now a mass of smouldering (sic) ruins. The Hunt County Bank building is the only one left. The fire started about 4 o’clock this morning in the livery stable of Malone & Matthews. The origin of the fire is not known but it is supposed to be the work of an incendiary. So rapid was the spread of the flames among the hay and other dry feed that only nine of the eighteen or twenty horses in the stable at the time escaped. They seemed to become frantic with fear. The two omnibus horses perished, for which the owners were offered only last evening $350. Of those saved several are badly singed. The fire was not checked till it reached the bank. This was subjected to a fierce heat on the north and east sides, and it is due to the fire company and others who worked heroically that it was saved at all. The courthouse in the centre of the square was several times on the point of blazing, but a well-directed stream of water prevented it. Sparks set fire to the buildings on the north side of the square, but the fire was extinguished before any damage was done. The buildings burned include the post office, express and Western Union telegraph offices, Washington hotel, Hunt county jail and engine house. The fire engine itself came near being destroyed. The engine house is just across from the stable where the fire started, and after getting the engine into the street the flames bursting through the roof of the stable made such intense heat that it had to be abandoned. About a dozen citizens and firemen however rescued it. The following is a list of the property owners and their several losses.

W. B. Wise, of Paris; stable building; valued at $1,400; insured for $1,200 in the Sun Mutual.

Malone & Mathews, horses and feed valued at $6,000; insured $2,800; in the following companies: Crescent, $500; Western of Toronto, $300; Hamburg and Bremen, $1,500.

R. M. Lore, house valued at $800, insurance for $400, in the Sun Mutual and in the Crescent for $250.

Dr. Jeff Schoonever, postmaster, house used as a post-office, express and Western Union Telegraph office, valued at $700; insurance, $500; in the Householders Mutual, of Nashville, Tennessee.

The express and telegraph companies are damaged $100; the post-office (illegible) $250.

Major A. F. Clements, who uses the above house as a store and saloon, is away and his damages cannot be ascertained. His insurance on stock with the following companies is: Western of Toronto, $612.50; in Home of New York, $500, in Germania $612.50; in Hamburg of Bremen, $500.

Mrs. John Rattan, house valued at $600; insurance $500, in Sun Mutual.

W. I. Whitman, of Paris, house valued at $1,250, insurance $1,000, in the Sun Mutual.

F. W. Knight, photograph stock valued at $1,700; insurance $600, in the Crescent.

John O’Neel, three houses, valued at $1,700; insurance $1,000, in the Sun Mutual. One of the above houses was the Washington Hotel, another the famous, or rather infamous, Red Light (illegible), which disgraced our town for such a long time.

The Hunt county bank building is damaged, but being a fine piece of work will last doubtless for years. When the jail caught fire the prisoners confined in it, some eight or ten in number, yelled most woefully to be taken out. They were taken out by Sheriff Ross and this morning conveyed to McKinney. N. B. Haney lost a horse and buggy valued at $200 in the livery stable burnt. The jail is valued at $1,000, and was a total loss, there being no insurance upon it. The engine house owned by a stock company was valued at $800; insured for $600. Firemen Mark Andrews and Munroe Gee distinguished themselves by their bravery and daring services.

Dallas Weekly Herald, Dallas, TX 27 Mar 1884