Grandview, TX Fire, Mar 1920

Grandview, Texas early 1900s, photo from familyoldphotos.com Grandview, Texas Depot early 1900s, photo from familyoldphotos.com

Texas Town Burns Almost Entirely
Grandview Destroyed by Fire Loss Two Millions Last Sunday.

Over 15,000 Are Homeless

Hundreds of Costly Homes and Business District Swept by Flames - High Wind One Cause 1500 People Homeless

Fort Worth, Texas.- Fire causing a loss estimated at more than $2,000,000 and making 1500 people homeless started Sunday afternoon at Grandview at 2 o'clock. The business section and residential portion of the city have been destroyed.

Three men were injured when a building collapsed

Fire department from Cleburne, Itasca and Alverado responded, but the water in the standpines gave out and the firemen thereafter could do nothing except watch the town burn.

Automobiles, trucks, wagons and other vehicles were pressed into service to carry the homeless people to Alverdo and Itasca.

More than 200 homes in the best residential section have been destroyed.

Under Mayer Williams' direction a committee of safety is patrolling the town
The fire has destroyed virtually every business building and residence in the once beautiful city of Grandview.

All vehicles were pressed into service to carry the homeless people to Alvarado and Itasca. Merchandise valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars was piled in the streets.

In V-shape the fire swept the city destroying more than 200 of the finest homes.

Mayor Williams of Grandview called a massmeeting of all citizens in the city park. A safety committee was organized to patrol the fire-stricken section and save property.

The wind blew at such a velocity that blazing brands were carried for miles. a farm house three miles from Grandview caught fire and was destroyed.

The Genesee News, Genesee, ID 19 Mar 1920


Grandview Almost Destroyed By Fire
Damage About Million and Half Dollars, With 900 Persons Homeless.

Special to The News.
Grandview Johnson Co., Texas. March 14.- About 900 persons were rendered homeless this afternoon by a fire which started in the south part of town and swept a section three blocks wide and twelve blocks long, causing a loss estimated at $1,500.000. The best parts of the business and residence sections were wiped out and virtually nothing was left of the portion occupied by the negroes, 350 or 400 of whom are homeless tonight.

The fire originated at 1:20 o'clock in the residence of W. D. Davis when an oil stove incubator exploded. The fire continued until after 3 o'clock tonight when it had burned a path completely to the northern limits of the town.

In the business district the heaviest losses were suffered by the Texas Power and Light Company. Farmers and Merchants Bank, O. L. Wile__son Lumber Company, Grandview Lumber Company, the postoffice, the Masonic Lodge, P. W. Crouch, merchandise; George Crownover, dry goods; the Gay Company, general merchandise; H. D. Monroe, dry goods; Rootes Bros. Company; furniture; and several other business concerns.

All the churches and school buildings of the town were destroyed.

Virtually all the heavier property losses were well covered by insurance, agents of the insurance companies announced. Many citizens removed their furniture from their homes into the streets when they saw the flames approaching before the hard south wind, but the household goods were burned in the streets. Several hundred bales of cotton were destroyed in the cotton yard, residences, as well as three-fourths of the residences, as well as three-fourths of the business houses, were burned.

Other Towns Assist.
The fire departments of Itasca, Hillsboro, Cleburne and Alvarado were effective in preventing the complete destruction of the town. Several persons were burned while fighting the fire, but none was seriously injured.

Only on grocery store remains in the town, and the supply of water has been seriously depleted, owing to the mains bursting from the heat. The food and water situation, therefore, is regarded as the most serious problem the people have to fare, but it is thought that the water situation can be helped, inasmuch as the Texas Power and Light Company has a line with which to operate the pump that fills the city standpipe. The population of Grandview is about 1,800. Half of this number are homeless, but it is thought they will be taken care of by persons living the country and towns adjacent to Grandview.

Mayor Williams called a mass meeting of all male citizens and under his direction a committee of safety was named. This committee patrolled the fire-stricken section and salvaged goods from stores and residences wherever possible.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 15 Mar 1920

Work of Rebuilding Begun at Grandview

Fifteen Carloads of Lumber Diverted There From Fort Worth by Dealer.

Special to The News.
Grandview, Johnson Co., Texas, March 16.- People of the fire-swept town of Grandview have entered enthusiastically upon the work of rebuilding the town and rapid progress is being made in clearing away the debris and in preparing for new construction. Insurance adjustors are beginning to arrive and quick action in the adjustment of claims arising out of the fire is expected.

Committees representing the Methodist and Baptist Churches and the School Board have formed plans for the immediate construction of permanent tabernacles on the property of each denomination, to be used for school purposes and also for church and Sunday school services till plans can be completed for the erection of a modern school building and also for church buildings. The tabernacles are expected to be ready for occupancy within ten days.

A large lumber dealer of Fort Worth today offered to divert fifteen carloads of lumber now on tracks at Fort Worth to Grandview to be used in construction. A representative of a large life insurance company in Texas also will b e here tomorrow, fully prepared to make loans and assist in rebuilding the fire district.

The Farmers and Mechanics Bank opened its vault today and found everything intact. The bank has opened temporary quarters in the store of Hutchins Bros. O. L. Wil___son, president of the bank and owner of the bank building, announces he will begin the erection of a new building for the bank next Monday and that it will be ready for occupancy within thirty days.

The Texas Power and Light Company has fully restored its service to all parts of the town, The telephone company is making rapid progress in restoring service.

Investigation discloses that reports that the fire was cause by the explosion of an oil stove that was used to warn an incubator are erroneous. The fire, when discovered in the home of W. D. Davis, had enveloped the entire second story, and it is evident that the fire started on the second floor. No incubator had been in use there recently. Mr. Davis said.

Special to The News.
Austin, Texas, March 16.-That conditions at Grandview, which was destroyed by fire Sunday night, are serious, is the information contained in a message received by Mrs. Ethel Parsons, director of the bureau of child hygiene and public health nursing of the State Health Department, from Miss Grace T. Stewart, public health nurse of Johnson County. Miss Stewart was ordered to report to Grandview by Mrs. Parsons when news of the disaster reached Austin.

Special to The News.
Cleburne, Texas, March 16.-Committees were busy here today collection money, food and clothing for the fire sufferers at Grandview and Relief Secretary Smith said tonight that the $13,000 raised yesterday would be increased several thousand dollars when all reports were in.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 17 Mar 1920


Shopmen Contribute $600. For Grandview Relief.

Special to The News.
Cleburne, Texas, March 19,--The Santa Fe shopmen today subscribed a total of $600 for the Grandview fire sufferers.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 20 Mar 1920


State Fire Marshal Praises Spirit of Grandview People.

Special to The News.
Fort Worth, Texas, March 20,--State Fire Marshal W. S. Inglish of Austin, who was in Fort Worth today after a visit to Grandview, said that the city was making rapid strides in its work and plans for rebuilding the part recently destroyed by fire.

"The people there have shown a remarkable spirit and there appears not doubt but that the city will be rebuilt." he said. "I believe the insurance claims will be quickly paid so as to not retard construction."

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 21 Mar 1920


Cause of Grandview Fire


AUSTIN, April 3. -- The fire at Grandview originated in a two-story shingle roof residence at the extreme southern part of the town and was caused by defective wiring, according to a report of an investigation made by the State Fire Marshal. The fire burned down practically all of the residence section of the town.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, TX 3 Apr 1920