Sunday, March 3, 2013

1859 Fire Consumes 5 Newspaper Offices in Memphis

When you read articles like the following, it becomes clear why there are no complete runs of certain newspapers.  It makes one wonder how much of history was lost in the flames.  Estimates placed the damage at $150,000.

EXTENSIVE CONFLAGRATION!
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Eagle and Enquirer Building Destroyed!
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One Block Consumed!
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The Fire Still Raging!
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At half-past one o'clock this morning, a fire commenced in the printing house occupied by the Eagle and Enquirer and Avalanche newspapers, which spread to adjoining buildings and consumed the whole block, destroying the warehouses and offices occupied by the following firms, viz.:  Saffarrans & Stratton, stove and tin warehouse; W.N.Hunt, wholesale china establishment; Eagle and Enquirer and Avalanche printing offices; N. Stillman & Col., millinery and fancy goods; ----Henriech, confectionery; Gilkey & Warren, jewellers and goldsmiths; Hutton & Clark, job printing house; the Methodist Christian Advocate, and the Presbyterian Sentinel; Jos. Teufel, wine and lager beer saloon; J.W. Watson & Co., gas fitters, plumbers and bell hangers.  The wind drifted to the West and the Front Row block across the Bank Avenue was in great danger at the time of writing, and the fire was raging with great fury. The fire is supposed to be the work of an incendiary, as several attempts have been made to fire this block within the past three or four months.

It is impossible to tell how far this conflagration may extend, as (strange to say) the water is very scarce in the public cisterns, in the vicinity of the fire, and the devouring element seems to have the complete mastery, though our gallant firemen are working hard and faithfully.

Posted in the Memphis Daily Appeal
March 2 1859

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