Chamberlain, SD Catholic College Fire, Feb 1910

COLLEGE IS BURNED.

CATHOLIC SCHOOL AT CHAMBERLAIN, S. D., BURNS.

LOSS ON HANDSOME STRUCTURE, CONTENTS AND FURNISHINGS ESTIMATED AT $85,000 -- STUDENTS ESCAPE, BUT SAVE LITTLE WEARING APPAREL.

The main building of Columbus College, located in Chamberlain, S. D., was totally
destroyed by fire at an early hour Sunday morning, entailing a loss of $60,000 on the building and more than $25,000 on the contents and furnishings. There was not a dollar of insurance. The cause of the fire is not known, but it started apparently in the southwest corner. When discovered at 2 o'clock, by a wakeful student, such headway had already been made that there was difficulty on the part of some of the inmates to escape. Father Goulette, musical instructor, was rescued from an upper window, where he had been hanging for a few minutes.
None succeeding in saving their personal effects. The library, including $1,500 worth of books donated by Bishop O'Gorman, was destroyed with the other contents.
The college lies outside the reach of the local fire department, and it was found that the college water system hydrants were frozen so that water could not be turned on the flames. All those present could do was to watch the flames destroy the magnificent building.
This building was the principal one of a group purchased last summer from the United States by Bishop O'Gorman for a Catholic society for the establishment of a Catholic college for South Dakota. The price paid was $36,000. College courses were opened last fall, and the attendance has been growing since at a very satisfactory rate. Father Sarprenant, the president, has closed the college for one week in order to properly furnigh the other buildings of the group for the continuance of the work. While plans for the restoration of the burned building have not yet been fully developed, it is certain that the work will be carried on without interruption further than that of the coming week. Already several lodges of Knights of Columbus have telegraphed contributions to assist.

Sioux County Herald Orange City Iowa 1910-02-23