La Salle County IL News
Fires and other Disasters


W. L. Perce Barn destroyed by Fire
The Illinois Free Trader, Ottawa, Ill, April 9, 1841
Just as our paper was going to press, a gentleman from Marseilles, in this county, informed us that on Tuesday night the barn of Mr. W. L. Perce, at that place, was destroyed by fire, together with about 300 bushels of grain, 4 horses, 4 double sets of harness, and a number of other articles. The whole loss is estimated at $1000. It is supposed to have been the work of an incendiary.

E. Dominy's Barn Destroyed by Fire
The Illinois Free Trader and LaSalle County Commercial Advertiser, September 17, 1841
On Thursday evening, the 9th inst., the barn of Mr. E. Dominy, about ten miles from Ottawa, on Indian Creek, was struck by lightning and entirely destroyed. Between two and three hundred bushels of wheat and oats, and two horses were in the barn and entirely consumed by the flames. The amount of damages Mr. D. has sustained we have not learnt.

 Taken From Alton Telegraph And Democratic Review (Alton, Illinois)
September 27, 1845

At Oswego last week, the machine shop of Messrs, Chapin and Metzker was struck by lightning during a heavy shower, and completed turned inside out. There were five persons in the building at that time, and not one of them killed, though all were knocked down and stunned for a time. One of the workmen had in his hand at the time of the shock, a screw plate, with which he was at work, which was struck by the fluid, and melted in two places, and wonderful to tell, he escaped and is now perfectly well. The chimneys were all torn down, and amidst lightning and falling brick they escaped truly miraculously. - Ottawa Trade

Mr. Beveridge Barn Destroyed by Fire
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, August 25, 1848
The barn of Mr. Beveridge, at Somanauk, in this county, was burnt on the night of the 18th inst., destroying $1000 worth of property. Mr. Lovejoy, the abolition candidate for Congress, on an electioneering tour for the barnburners, stopped at the house of Mr. B. on the night of the fire. His buggy, carpet bag, &c., were consumed with the barn. It was the work of an incendiary - a barnburner, doubtless.

1850 Ottawa Fire
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois February 23, 1850
Our citizens were roused from their slumbers rather unceremoniously at about one o'clock on Monday morning by the startling cry of "fire". The eastern stage had just drove up to the Mansion House, when it was discovered by the passengers that the store of Paul King, at Sterling's Exchange Place, on the north side of the Court House Square, was on fire. The alarm was immediately raised, but before sufficient assistance could arrive, the whole building was enveloped in flames, which also communicated to the buildings adjoining on both sides, - the one on the west, lately occupied as a store by Mr. Magill, and the one on the east occupied by Mr. Curtis as a shoe shop - both owned by Mr. J. Wood and with the inefficient means in our possession to extinguish fires, it was found impossible to save either. The next building east of the shoe shop, owned by A. B. Smith, Esq., and occupied by him as a tailor shop and by M. E. Hollister, Esq., as a law office, was also consumed, but here, by means of covering the next adjoining buildings with wet blankets, &c, the ravages of the elements were stayed. The losses are Mr. J. Wood, about $1,800, of which $750 are covered by insurance; Paul King, $2,500, insured $1,500; Mrs. Miltimore, $600, insured $400; and A. B. Smith, about $300, no insurance. Dr. Kirwan, Mr. Eichelberger and A. Hoes, Esq., are also considerably the losers by having their furniture moved in anticipation of the fire communicating to their buildings, which were within but a few yards of the last consumed. As is generally the case on such occasions, fine furniture, crockery, &c, that needed careful handling was jerked about with a reckless fury that was only excelled in destructiveness by the fire itself, and individuals were thus made to suffer severe losses when there was no occasion for it.
No clue has yet been discovered as to the origin of the fire. The general opinion is that it was the work of an incendiary, as there had been no fire of any kind in the building where the fire originated since Saturday evening.

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