Albia, IA Fire, Apr 1904

One of the worst of the fires was that discovered on the night of April 2, 1904, by Merchant Police Officer Trimble. Trimble was making his rounds when, passing the Perry block, he heard the sound of crackling glass. A window front, heated by mounting flames, had crashed to the pavement. Trimble sounded the alarm but the fire spread quickly because on fire engine was at the factory and the other in need of repairs. Before they could take refuge, two men, EDWARD DOUGHERY and RICHARD H. INGHAM, were buried in the debris of a falling brick wall. INGHAM was identified only by the church keys in his pockets. Three other men were critically injured. The Chariton Fire Department, hastily summoned, was delayed by blocking freight trains and did not reach town until 3 a.m. By then local "bucket brigades" had materially checked the flames, but the west half of the south side of the Albia square was razed with a property loss of $100,000, of which $75,000 was covered by insurance.

Ten days immediately following the fire of April 2,1904, a Dean Stream Pump was brought to Albia and set up on a concrete base in the city fire house. It was not portable, but could throw two streams of water with great force.

Monroe County History, Iowa 1940, page 72  Read this book on line at