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Hailey, ID Fatal House Fire, May 1901

Wife and Child of Rev. I.T. Osborn Burned to Death at Hailey.

Attempt To Save Child Costs Mother’s Life

Fire Destroys Minister’s Home at Hailey-Rev. Osborn away at Time-Sons Attempt to Save Mother and Could Have Done So Had She Not Returned to Rescue Babe.

Hailey, May 27.-Shortly after midnight last night fire broke out in the residence of Rev. I.T. Osborn, two miles north of Hailey, resulting in the death of Mrs. Osborn and her little son Joe.

Mrs. Osborn’s life was lost in an effort to save her boy, the burning roof crashing down upon them as she tried to escape with the child.

The older boys were sleeping in a building some distance form the dwelling and were first awakened by the cries of their mother.

Rushing to the burning building they made Herculean efforts to save the inmates, who were in an upper story, the lower part being in flames.

They could have saves Mrs. Osborn had she not gone back for her baby.

The charred remains were recovered this morning.

Mr. Osborn was in Shoshone, where he conducted services today.

The whole town is grief stricken, as Mrs. Osborn was beloved by all.

No sadder calamity has ever visited Hailey than the fire last night in which Mrs. Osborn and her little boy lost their lives and it has cast a gloom over the whole town. Mrs. Osborn was a most lovable and gifted lady, a devoted mother, always doing good deeds kind at all times and loved by every one. Little Joe was a bright happy little fellow, the pride of the family. Rev. I.T. Osborn the husband and father, arrived on today’s train from Shoshone, accompanied from Bellevue by Archdeacon Jennings, bearing up bravely but deeply stricken, almost prostrated by his terrible bereavement. He was met at the depot by his son Merton, members of the Masonic lodge, of which he is a member, and scores of sympathizing friends. The devotion of the boys, Merton, Allen, George and Herbert, to their mother amounted almost to adoration and the blow is a terrible one to them the origin of the fire is a mystery but probably was a stovepipe. Awakened by the ringing of the fire bell a number of citizens hurried to the scene but nothing could then be done but prevent the further spread of the fire. It is believed now that Mrs. Osborne and Joe died in their beds, being overcome by the smoke before the flames reached them.

Rev. Osborn well known In The Capital City

Rev. I.T. Osborn, whose wife, with her son, met death in the flames near Hailey, as related in the foregoing, is well known here. He was formerly rector of St. Michael’s Episcopal Parish in this city.

Rev. and Mrs. Osborn came to Boise from Minnesota on June 24, 1881. Mr. Osborn held the rectorship of St. Michael’s until July, 1882, when he moved with is family to the Wood River country, where he has lived since, combining farming with his ministerial duties.

Idaho Daily Statesman, Boise City, ID 28 May 1901



article | by Dr. Radut