Melrose, IA FIre, Jan 1908

The Albia Fire Department was summoned to fight a serious blaze at Melrose five nights later, at 4 a.m. January 10, 1908. In those days, when motor transportation was not yet general, it was necessary to ship the fire engine by train. By the time an available freight car could be located, Melrose telegraphed that the flames were under control. The offices and buildings of 12 small firms had been destroyed at an aggregate loss of $20,000. The fire started in the plant of the Melrose “Big Four” Record, where printing equipment, subscription-books and other records were all consumed. A philosophic loser was C.R. Thompson, Melrose produce dealer, whose carload of potatoes, valued at several hundred dollars, was burned in the basement of one of the buildings. Thompson salvaged a supply of the roasted spuds and “served a potato-doughnut lunch to the fire fighters down the line of action.”

Monroe County History, Iowa, page 73-74  Read this book on line at ancestry.com