Batesville, AR Business Section Fire, July 1897


Batesville, Ark., July 4. -- The most disastrous fire that ever occurred in this city swept over the principal business portion of Batesville today, entailing a property loss of upwards of $50,000, and may result in the loss of several lives.
The origin of the fire is not known, but is supposed to have been started by the explosion of firecrackers. The weather was intensely hot, the mercury registering 98 degrees, which, added to the intense heat of the burning buildings and the inadequate apparatus, made it impossible to control the flames until the three principal business corners has been totally destroyed. Three corners at Main and Church Streets are in ruins except Williams' storehouse, a stone building, which stopped the spread of the flames on that side of the street.
The fire was started in MRS. COOPER'S residence and destroyed twelve buildings, including the telephone exchange, the White house and the HENDREN and WILLIAMS residences, as well as eight business houses.
Several men were prostrated by the intense heat and at least six are in a critical condition. It is impossible to give a correct list of the property loss at this time or the names of the most seriously afflicted men, as they were all removed to their homes by friends and are scattered all over the city.

Galveston Daily News Texas 1897-07-05