Hurley, WI Theater and Buildings Fire, Nov 1887

TEN PEOPLE DEAD

VAUDEVILLE THEATER AT HURLEY, WIS., THE SCENE OF A DISASTROUS FIRE.

HAD NO CHANCE TO ESCAPE

Victims Were All Connected With the Theater and Occupied Sleeping Rooms in the Third Story of the Building – Ironwood (Mich.) Fire Department Assists the Local Firemen in Saving the Town.

Ironwood, Mich., Nov. 6 – Ten lives were lost and four buildings destroyed by a fire which started in the Klondike theater at Hurley, Wis. The dead are: C. W. CLEVELAND, H. P. CLIFFORD, THOMAS LA CLAIRE, GEORGE BENERT, H. D. EMORY, TIMOTHY RYAN, F. L. GAY, St. Louis, THOMAS OZANNE, HARRY RAYMOND, CLARA BONNE.
The seriously injured are: JENNIE BENDER, ANNIE SCOTT, LAURA RUSSELL, “BILLY” McLAUGHLIN.
The Klondike was a vaudeville theater, and all of the dead and injured were connected with the theater as performers. Most of them lived at Hurley, and Thomas La Claire was a brother of the proprietor.
The fire started on the stage and in a few minutes the entire structure was a mass of flames. The third story was used as sleeping quarters and the fire spread so rapidly as to cut off the escape of the occupants.
The theater building was quickly consumed and spread to adjoining structures. The Ironwood fire department was called to the assistance of the Hurley firemen and only by the hardest work was the town saved from being wiped out.
The charred remains of six of the victims have been recovered and search is being made for the others.
The Klondike theater burned once before in July, 1887, when 11 women lost their lives.

Eau Claire Leader Wisconsin 1901-11-07

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THE HURLEY HORROR.

The Number of the Victims of the Fire is Ten – Rebuilding the Town – The Place to Be Purified.

HURLEY, Wis., July 19 – The citizens had a large meeting Monday and resolved to ask the town board to use their influence to prohibit gambling, houses of ill-fame, and to compel all disreputable places to be closed out in five days. The citizens are determined to purify the morals of the city and make the new Hurley better in every respect than the old.

IRONWOOD, Mich., July 13 – The bodies of all the people who perished in the flames at Hurley, ten in number, have been removed from the debris, but they are charred beyond recognition. It is thought that JOHN JARRETT, the stage carpenter, who was so badly burned, will die. JENNIE SHERIDAN, who jumped from the third-story window, escaped with slight injuries.
Almost simultaneously with MISS SHERIDAN'S leap McCABE (colored) fell from the third-story window, and when carried from the place it was supposed that he was dead. He is slowly recovering. McCABE was sitting on the window sill and SADIE McCABE and WESLEY JACKSON were on the inside. McCABE was trying to induce his wife to jump to the ground, when the floor fell in, carrying with it both MRS. McCABE and JACKSON.
Twenty or thirty frame shanties which have been rushed up can be seen in the midst of the ruins from the office of the Burton House. In many of them enterprising merchants have opened the remnants of stocks saved from the fire. These are some of the signs that have been run up: “Still On Deck;” “Never Say Die;” “Never Close Up;” “Congress Is Still In Session;” etc. Hundreds of carpenters have been at work and by night at least fifty temporary buildings will be occupied. Only a few merchants who have lost everything say they will not rebuild.

Eau Claire Daily Free Press Wisconsin 1887-07-13