On Sunday, hearing flying reports of danger north, we took the Saginaw for the purpose of securing reliable information as to the threatened districts, and the facts and figures we furnish may be relied upon.
A hurricane swept over Peshtigo about eight o'clock, P.M., Sunday, in a moment roofs and housetops were swept in every direction, and the fiery elements followed after. In a short time, the village was in flames, and every house therein burned.
About nine o'clock Sunday evening the wind blew a perfect hurricane, carrying fire in every direction. The fires in the woods south of Minnekaunee swept across the fields on the south of the village with wonderful rapidity, and in a few minutes from the time the alarm was given the whole village was ablaze. The New York Mill, Pioneer Manufacturing Company, Sash and Blind Factory, McCutny's Mill, Exchange Hotel, the post office, J. J. Stevens' Drug Store, and all the business houses are consumed. In fact, only three small frame houses remain.
Upon hearing of the heart-rending suffering at Peshtigo, Mayor Smith and a number of citizens took immediate measures to reach the sufferers. The livery stables turned out in force. Mr. High, Mr. Dunton and Mr. McClellan had their teams and wagons in readiness to assist in the general good work. About two o'clock, P. M., on Tuesday, all the charitably inclined were in readiness and proceeded to Peshtigo.
Medical attendance and other necessaries were forwarded to Sugar Bush, northwest of Peshtigo.
Mrs. Goodrich, Mrs. D. Wright and Mrs. G. Smith left our city early
morning to the relief of the sufferers.
We have been a little relieved from the terrible smoke of last week. The fires are yet, however, in the woods. All day Friday, Mr. N. Richards was engaged on his farm attempting to save his fences and cord wood. He has suffered some loss in fences.
On Saturday the breeze started freshly from the south, and it looked for a while as if we were to have a perfect hurricane. It was apparent that the smouldering fires in the woods would soon again become lively, and towards evening the city was enshrouded in a thick volume of smoke. The wind had veered to the west, and cinders and smoke were again in good profusion.
The whole day Sunday men fought the fire near Hart and Snover's mill, the fire coming in a regular stream from the south. At eleven o'clock, P. M., the boarding house and barn of the company were destroyed. Superhuman efforts saved the mill. Mr. Snover is reported as sufferirq from severe burns.
The marshes northeast of the city were also engulfed in flames. Messrs.William Klaas, S.Butler and T. McFarland, who collectively owned over 80 tons of hay, spent all day Saturday and Sunday in attempting to save their property. Today (Sunday) ,they are yet fighting the fire. There is also a large quantity of property east of the McFarland tract owned by Murphy and P Rolock, yet in imminent danger, the marshes being anre all around.
All day Sunday it was evident that danger may yet be apprehended, the wind seeming Inclined to rise. Towards evening, a lively southwester freshened up and flames were visible in the southern end of the city. About eight or nine o'clock there was thunder and in the southwest great flashes of lightening. About ten o'clock a well-developed fire appeared in the south and southwest, forming a semi-circle of flame. At eleven o'clock the plowed ground of Sim Butler, to the northeast of Mr. Knapp's, broke out in a solid volume of smoke, followed by dangerous flames. Mr. Wiseman, immediately north, procured at once teams and men and during the night fought most successfully the destroying element. LaPensee and his family and some others in the neighborhood give good and valuable assistance.
About seven o'clock Monday morning the fire advanced in the rear of the
Lindsey place and threatened the hay marsh of Holt and Balcom.
Back to Oconto County Home Page