Savannah, GA Disastrous Fire, Nov 1883


Savannah, Ga., Nov. 1. -- A conflagration which had its origin Wednesday noon in the large cotton warehouse of Garnett, Stubbs & Co., in this city, destroyed a warehouse containing three thousand bales of cotton, and three hundred houses, covering an area of half a mile square, and caused a loss of at least five lives and probably eight or ten. An accurate statement of the losses and insurance is unobtainable, but a careful estimate fixes the former at nearly $1,000,000, and the latter at not half that amount. The exact origin of the fire will probably never be known. All shipping sought safety by dropping down the river.
While the firemen were pouring streams on the still-burning ruins of the warehouse they discovered the charred remains of three persons, a partly melted watch, and a few gilt buttons belonging to J. CASH, a white clerk aged twenty-five years, one of the victims, and it has since been learned that he ran back to get a hose when the fire first broke out. CASH was well known throughout the State, having played short-stop with this season's Dixie Base Ball Club. The second corpse identified was that of MOSES COSTON, the colored assistant warehouseman.
He was President of the Colored Home Association of this city. A colored woman employed as a cotton picker also died with the men already mentioned. It is almost positive that her child and another colored man perished in the warehouse, but their remains have not been discovered yet. Several other colored persons are reported as missing at their homes, and search among the ruins will probably result in swelling the death list considerably.
The burned district presents a most desolate spectacle, and is bounded on the west by Canal Street, on the north by River Street, on the east by West Broad Street, and on the south by Faham Street. As the section bore a bad name, and it was feared that the negroes would become intoxicated and riotous, the Mayor called out the military, and a guard of one thousand strong was established. No disorders were attempted, however, and the scene, instead of being noisy and boisterous, was sad in the extreme. At one time the whole city was considered in danger, and the Mayor was urged to blow up buildings with dynamite, but did not resort to this expedient.

Waterloo Courier Iowa 1883-11-07