Jasper County, Illinois
Genealogy and History

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Newspaper Stories
of Fires, Accidents, Train Wrecks
and other Calamities


Three men were lately overcome by foul air in a well at Newton, Illinois, and died before they could be rescued. [Idaho Semi-Weekly World. (Idaho City, Idaho Territory), 21 Sept. 1877]

Thursday night of last week at Hunt City the drugstore and contents, owned by Winslow Carter, and the postoffice building adjoining it, the property of the Israel Jarred estate, were burned. The postal records, stamps etc., were saved, but Uncle John Leffler's J.P. docket was scorched. Loss: Carter $1,000, with $500 insurance; Jarred, $200, no insurance.
The fire is supposed to have been the work of an incendiary. But for the heroic efforts of the people the damages would have been much greater.  [Newton Press, July 12, 1893]

Hidalgo, Ill., Swept by Fire.
Newton, Ill: Hidalgo, a village in this county, 12 miles north of Newton on the Illinois Central, was nearly wiped out by fire between 12 and 1 o'clock Wednesday morning. The fire, which is thought to have been of incendiary origin, started in Bowers & Vanetti's wareroom, near the oil tanks. The buildings burned include Bowers & Stam's two hardware stores, Bowers & Vanetti's general store and wareroom, J. W. Elder's saloon, Dr. Kuechler's poultry house and the Odd Fellows' hall. The town hall was torn down to stop the progress of the flames. By hard work the Illinois Central depot was saved. Only two store buildings are left in the town.
["Mexico Missouri Message".(Mexico, Audrain County, Mo.) , August 13, 1903]

Chicken Thief Fires Home
Newton, Illinois - An unidentified person, probably a chicken thief who became the target for revolver shots one night last week, entered Lee Thompson's residence and saturated the place with oil and fired it.  [Iron County Register. (Ironton, Iron County, Mo.), 07 April 1910]

Light Plant Blows Up
Explosion Injures Proprietor. Fire Extinguished. $200 Damages
Escaping gas from the light plant in Theo. Hartrich's saloon and pool room caused an explosion Saturday evening about 5:30 that wrecked the whole interior of the pool room and came near costing the life of the proprietor, Theo. Hartrich.
In the saloon at the time besides Mr. Hartrich, were Andrew Sheridan, the bartender, George Brown, Henry Stifle and a Mr. Turnipseed from Oblong. No one was in the pool room. It seems that there were two explosions, time enough elapsing to allow Mr. Hartrich to enter the pool room through the inside door when in an attempt to take hold of the tank to throw it outside, the second explosion occurred. Simultaneously the whole room was aflame as was also Mr. Hartrich who rushed to the front door, help reaching in time to put out the fire on him, although he was seriously burned about the face and hands. The men in the adjoining room were not injured, with the exception of Andy Sheridan who was knocked down by the force of the explosion.
The fire in the building was easily extinguished by the prompt arrival of the fire engine.
The explosion was terrific, the gasoline tank going through the ceiling and making a large hole in the tin roof. Every glass in the windows or doors was broken to thousands of pieces. A panel of the inside door, broke some glassware on the bar in the adjoining room. The report was so loud that citizens two blocks distant heard it.
The explosion is thought to have been caused by a leak in the tank, the gas escaping and accumulating in the room, the gas being ignited by the plant's own ??ts. The plant was the ho?? wire or pressure light.
The damage to the ?m and contents is near $200, with insurance. Mr. Hartrich is still confined to his room, nursing his injuries. [Ste. Marie Tribune, Friday, December 19, 1913]


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