Antigo, WI Fire, May 1893


The most appalling fire in the history of Antigo occurred on the afternoon of May 20, 1893, and losses to the extent of $75,000 were sustained by scores of citizens. Homes and business properties were laid bare.

A strong southwest wind swept the city during the day. The fire department was called twice to extinguish a fire in a swamp along the Weed mill rail track. The volunteers were unable to cope with the second fire and it made considerable headway. Weed's saw and planing mills were ignited. Burning cinders and shingles were blown through the air and landed on other buildings. Dwelling houses were destroyed one after another. Many families managed to save their household contents, however. Losses were sustained by the following: J. H. Weed's mill - $20,000 to $30,000. Residences destroyed with losses ranging from $200 to $3,000 were those of: A. W. Cook, James Weaver, O. H. Williams, Rufus Payne, Mrs. L. E. McCorkle, Fred Able, Jule Grant, Wm. Oldenburg, Fred McBain, Caleb Morse, E. D. Davis, T. H. Ward, Mike and Jos. Servi, L. Berner, Max Kalouner, Martin Grash, Mrs. Jos. Grignon, Rube Paint, H. Schuer, A. J. Webley and David Clements, ($2,000 worth of wood, barn and household goods). The Prosser Livery Company lost sleighs, cutters and livery apparatus.

Many had just time to flee from their homes. One old lady fled carrying a hen in each hand, all she could save from her premises. Another lady fled with a curtain pole and two pups. Sewing machines, bureaus, organs and choice pieces of furniture were carried into the streets only to be burned to ashes.

The History of Langlade County, date not provided