Bloomington, IL Fire, Jun 1900 - Half the Business Section

A Terrible Fire

Half the Business Portion of Bloomington, Ills., Wiped Out by Fire

Courthouse Hotels and Dozens on the City's Finest Buildings Destroyed.

Total Loss Variously Estimated at Between $1,500,000 and $2,000,000

Bloomington, Ills., June 20.-A fire which broke out at 12:30 a.m. wiped out nearly one-half of the business portion of Bloomington, including the finest business buildings and the heaviest stocks of merchandise. The total loss is variously estimated at from $1,500,000 to $2,000,000. Two sides of the courthouse square are in ruins. The north and the east and the other two blocks cornering on the square and one-half of the block west of the square are also destroyed. The courthouse, which is standing, is gutted from dome to basement. As far as known no lives were lost or anyone seriously injured.

The fire broke out in the Model laundry on Monroe Street, in the block northeast of the courthouse. The flames soon got beyond control and spread to the 4-story brick structure belonging to the B.S. Green company.

Government Building Escapes

In an hour the entire block was destroyed excepting the government building in which is located the post office and which escaped unharmed.

The fire then leaped west across Main Street destroying the entire block. The Windsor Hotel on the west side of Center Street was next destroyed, with a loss of at least $50,000. In this building Wilcox's big dry goods establishment was located. The latter's loss will be $75,000. Griesheim's 7-story building, Main and Jefferson streets, caught fire from flying brands about 2 o'clock and with the entire block lying east of the courthouse was destroyed. The courthouse caught from Griesheim building and burned slowly, the clock in the dome running until it struck 4.

The Bloomington, Peoria and Springfield fire departments arrived about 6 a.m., and aided the local firemen in getting the fire burning in a westerly direction under control. In all 40 to 50 business houses were destroyed.

Aberdeen Daily News, Aberdeen, SD 20 Jun 1900