Chicago, IL Central Warehouse Fire, Mar 1889

A Big Warehouse Burned.

The Losses Will Aggregate Over One Million Dollars.

Chicago, March 26.-The Central warehouse at the corner of Rush and North Water Streets, took fire at about 4 o’clock this morning and with its valuable store of teas and coffee, was burned to the ground, entailing an estimated loss of $1,250,000.

The walls of the warehouse fell upon the engine room of the elevator, crushing it like an eggshell. Alderman W.R. Manniere grimly remarked as he looked at the ruins of the warehouse, of which he is a manager, that it was his tea-party and that everybody was invited. In point of fact, as the water from dozens of engine nozzles soaked down the contents of the building the basement was soon filled with water, and when the 40,000 cases of tea began to brew, streams of tea gushed from the windows and doors.

The building was a six-story brick structure, which cost when built, in 1872, $50,000. Alderman Manniere is satisfied that the fire was incendiary origin, because there was nothing in that portion of the building in which it originated to cause it, and because this is the third fire in the structure within a year which cane be accounted for on no other hypothesis.

About 90 per cent, in value of the contents as tea in bond, as it was a Government warehouse. Besides this there were a few thousand packages of coffee and other miscellaneous articles. The tea was owned by firms in various large cities in all parts of the country, which makes it extremely difficult to accurately estimate individual losses, as insurance was doubtless places elsewhere in some cases.

At the store of Messrs. Firth & Howland, who are among the heaviest losers, it was stated the there were in the warehouse 35,000 and 40,000 cases of tea. The following losses are known:

Katherine De Kay Bronson on building, $50,000; insurance, $30,000; W.R. Manniere, Chicago, loss, $80,000; insurance, $75,000; Fitch & Howland, Chicago, loss, $180,000; insurance, $142,500; C.D. Lathrop, loss, $130,000; insurance, $60,000; Hillier & Co., Chicago, loss, $70,000; insurance, $60,000; Robert Jeffrey & Co., Chicago, loss, $180,000; insurance, $173,000.

The following are estimated losses:

Falker & Stern, Chicago, $3,000; Wineman, Conant & Co., Boston, $65,000; W.E. Peel & Co., Indianapolis, $5,000; Union National Bank, Chicago, $14,000; Hyde & Southworth, Boston, $8,000; E.S. Conant & Co., Boston, $6,000; Siegfried & Brondenstein, San Francisco, $12,000; Epper, Smith, Wineman & Co., New York, $2,000; Carter, Hawley & Co., New York, $2,000; Albasdine & Co., New York, $11,000; George W. Lane & Co., New York, $7,000; W.R. Roome & Co., New York, $1,000.

The following is a detailed list of the insurance as far as obtainable here:

Katherine De Kay Bronson, on building, total, $80,000.
Robert Jeffrey & Co.-total, $173,000.
Fitch & Howland.-total, $142,500.
W.R. Manierre.-total, $75,000.
Hellyer & Co.-total, $62,000.
Otis S. Favor, Sapolio-total, $2,200.
Reid, Murdoch & Co.-total, $14,500.
Falkner & Stern, Crockery-total $6,000.
C.D. Lathrop & Co.-total, $60,000.
George Upton, Boston, Sandpaper and Isinglass-total, $4,500.
W.M. Thacher & Co., Merchandise-Commercial Union, $1,000.
C.D. Marsh & Co.-Fire Association, Philadelphia, $8,000.
Wineman, Crain & Co., Dry Goods.-total, $8,500.
Siegfried & Brandenstein, Merchandise, total.-$23,000.
Munger, Wheeler & Co., on Engine House, total, $12,000.

The New York Times, New York, NY 27 Mar 1889