St. Louis, MO City and 23 Steamboats Burn, May 1849


We cannot pretend to particularize the buildings burnt, but will mention the Telegraph Office, The United States Hotel, the Reveille Office, Republican Office, the Organ Office and the New Era Office. These comprise all the English daily papers in the city, except our own; we being on the north side of Locust above Main street, have, fortunately, escaped. We can form no estimate of the loss by this fire - it may probably be put down at five millions of dollars.
In our evening edition we will give all the particulars that can possibly be had relative to this awful catastrophe. At this time, half past four the flames are nearly extinguished, and though our gallant firemen are almost exhausted yet we hope but little more damage will be done.

In our morning edition, we gave what of interest we were able to collect, relative to the conflagration which has laid in ashes a large portion of St. Louis. We also promised to give our readers, in our evening issue as detailed an account as it was possible to collect; but, to get at anything like a full and accurate statement of the amount of property destroyed, or number of lives lost, is not within the range of possibility. We can only follow the general range of the fire, without going into details. We begin by stating that the point at which the fire first started on shore, was at the corner of Locust street and the Levee - the corner house, and three buildings above it, fronting the Levee, were destroyed; the flames then crossed Locust, and swept every house (with one exception) in the blocks fronting the Levee and Main street, and extending from Locust street Southward to Chestnut street, a distance of three squares. At Chestnut street, it turned up and crossed over to the next block south, at the junction of Commercial Alley with this street; and from the alley to Main, and down to Market street, burning all except two buildings at the corner of Market street and Com. Alley. At the junction of Market and Main streets, the flames crossed diagonally to the Market Street House, and followed both sides of Market street, up to Second street. Then crossing Main street, the flames again swept every building from Locust to Market, except a row of four story fire proof brick buildings, just below Locust street.

Passing up Pine, Chestnut and Market sts., the devouring element consumed every house in the two blocks intervening between the streets mentioned, and Main and Second sts., and those on nearly half of the block north of Olive.