Fort Dodge, IA Prairie Fire, Nov 1860
Five Persons Burned To Death On The Prairies.-The Story County (Iowa) Advocate of the 1st inst. states that DANIEL SWEARENGEN, with his wife and four children, recently from Tuscasawas County, (Ohio.) while on their way from Nevada to their farm near Fort Dodge, were overtaken by fire on the prairie. It says:
“Before any measures could be taken for protection, the wagon cover was in flames. In a moment the bedding and other inflammable material in the was on fire, and before Mr. S. could make his way out of the wagon through the flames, his clothing was on fire. Unfortunately as he fell out of the wagon, he was kicked by one of the horses, and for a time was stunned beyond ability to help the others. He revived in time to see his wife fall from the wagon, burned to death, and to drag from the flames on of his children, already dead. His own clothing was burned entirely from his body, and he is severely burned, especially in the head, face and hands. He is at present sightless, but hopes are entertained of his recovery, and that his eye-sight is not destroyed. Two of the children were literly [sic] burned up in the wagon. Of one, nothing could be found but the skull; the other a charred mass, in which there was no trace of humanity left.
One of the horses was burned to death in the harness; the other succeeded in freeing himself, but is badly burned.
The dead are MARY ANN, the wife of Mr. SWEARENGEN, aged 30 years; SARAH JANE, REBECCA ELLEN, GEO. DALTON, and SABRINA, his children aged respectively. Eleven, nine, seven and two years.
The calamity occurred about seven miles Northwest of this place, on the Fort Dodge road, in a small [illegible] or commencement of a water channel.
The New York Times, New York, NY 13 Nov 1860