Flashback Friday – Fire wipes out elevator

April 6, 1907

HARTINGTON — At one o’clock Wednesday morning, fire was discovered in the Peavey Elevator and an alarm was given at once.

By the time the fire department reached the scene, the entire building was a mass of flames and the adjacent property was in danger of being destroyed.

One stream of water was turned on the livery barn, Peavey office and oil house and when it could be spared from these buildings, it was used on the doomed structure, which was one of the largest elevators in this part of the state.

In order not to cut off the water for even a few minutes, the second line of hose was laid from the hydrant near the Lutheran Church up to the Great Northern Mills when it was found that the hose was too short to work to the best advantage. To make matters worse, there was something wrong with the hydrant and the pressure was very poor. Everything possible was done to protect the mills and what water was available was turned on those buildings between the elevator and the mills. The Hamms Beer cold storage house was kept from catching on fire.

The warehouse belonging to the mills and full of flour caught fire and took a hard fight to being entirely destroyed. It was soon emptied of the flour and only the west end and side next to the railroad were badly damaged to the amount of about $100.

Next in line was the Storz Brewing Company’s cold storage building and as this was in the direct path of the flames, it was impossible to keep it from being damaged considerably.

The roof of the main building was destroyed and the three sides nearest the burning building were badly burned. The damage to the building will probably be around $500.

The contents of the cold storage house were not damaged.

Had the night not been perfectly still, except by the currents of air created by the fire, great damage would have resulted to the entire city.

All present were thankful the damage wasn’t still worse, as burning shingles were carried northwest as far as Joe Ernst’s place.