Beaver Dam, WI Building Collapse, May 1854


By an extra from the Republican office, we have the following:
TREMENDOUS CRASH !! -- About one o'clock this afternoon, the large three story building, being erected by MR. WM. FARRINGTON, nearly opposite the Empire Block, in this Village, came down with a tremendous crash.
Fortunately the hands had not yet returned to their work after dinner, and none but the builder, MR. WM. GOWDY, and a hand, EZEKIEL SWARTHOUT, were in the building at the time, and, strange as it may appear, they escaped with but a few slight bruises. They were precipitated into the basement, thereby saving their lives.
The building had been raised but a few days, and nothing was done towards enclosing it except the roof boards being placed upon the rafters.
The cause of this disaster is, at this time, a fruitful source of speculation among out citizens. Some say the roof spread apart, while others contend the wall upon which it was built gave way.
At the time of the fall the wind was blowing quite fresh from the southwest, which undoubtedly was the principal cause of the disaster.
The upper story of the entire building was to have been finished off into a splendid hall, and it had already been engaged by MR. WARD to entertain his company in on the 4th of July next.
The large structure now lies in a most confused mass of broken, shivered fragments.

Milwaukee Daily Sentinel Wisconsin 1854-05-12