Local History and Genealogy

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Destructive Fire

On last Monday night occurred on of the moat destructive fires that ever befallen this place.  The property destroyed will, we are assured, not fall short of eight or nine thousand dollars.  The Eureka building and the greater portion of all the property contained in it was entirely consumed.  (Located where former First National Bank Building and Masonic Building is on the southeast corner of the square)  The fire originated in that part of the building occupied by Wm. Roades as a grocery and saloon, and when discovered the inside of the room was a bed of coals, the flames darting out of the windows and siding above the door.  Any attempt to stay the progress of the devouring element being useless, the citizens went to work with a will to clear the building of its contents.  A large amount of furniture was saved, but a still larger amount was destroyed.  Fortunately there was little or no air stirring, or the loss would necessarily have been much greater.Even with the air so still it was only through the united efforts of the citizens that the Dry Goods store of Hendry and Merriman, the Angola House, and Woodhull and Croxton's Law Office was saved.  The last named building sustained considerable damage.  The Drug Store of L. E. Carver, and Harness Shop of Israel Kemery were stripped of their contents, and the archives of the county removed from the County Offices, but through the superhuman efforts of the citizens the further progress of the fire was arrested at Woodhull and Croxton's office and the danger in that direction averted.

The loss sustained by the destruction of the Eureka is estimated about as follows : L.A. Russel & Co, proprietors of the building, loss $6,000, insured for $2,000 ; Myron Hord, Billiard Saloon in same building, loss $1,200, insured for $500 ; Jacob Stealy, Marble Shop in same building, loss $200, no insurance ; William Rhoades, Grocery Store, in same building, loss $1,200, insured for $600.

It is not known how the fire originated, but it is supposed to have been the work of an incendiary, as there is evidence to confirm this belief. 

Steuben Republican July 12, 1866