Tyler, TX Tyler College Fire, Dec 1903

Tyler College Burned

Commercial and Shorthand School Destroyed – Building Cost $12,000, Insurance $4,206.

Special to the news.

Tyler, Tex., Dec 13 – Tyler College, a commercial and shorthand school, was burned to the ground this morning, the fire starting at 8 o’clock from a defective flue in a member of the faculty’s room. Within less than an hour the building and contents were smoldering in ashes. There was $2,700 insurance on the furniture and fixtures and $1,500 on the building.

The building was originally erected for the Texas fruit palace in 1896, at a cost of $12,000. It was a massive three-story frame structure, and being of inflammable material, burned quickly. There were many narrow escapes by the students who roomed in the building. Only a few of them saved their trunks, while others lost everything, coming from the building in a half-dressed condition. Four hundred students are in attendance at the college, coming from all over the Southern States.

This afternoon a meeting of citizens was held and the faculty was tendered the armory for school purposes, and work will be resumed tomorrow morning at 9 o’clock as usual. Nearly a hundred students who roomed in the burned building were given temporary homes with citizens of Tyler until they can make other arrangements. The fire was the largest in Tyler in years, and the fire company only by heroic efforts kept the flames from spreading to adjoining buildings. One of the heavy losses was the burning of fifty typewriters, on which there was not a cent of insurance. Hundreds of citizens viewed the smoldering ruins this afternoon.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 14 Dec 1903