Lowry and Akaska, SD fires, Aug 1908


Aberdeen, S. D., Aug. 24 - A telephone message to-day states that the towns of Lowry and Alaska [sic], on the river extension of the Minneapolis and St. Louis railroad were destroyed by fire inst last night as a result of a raid by six night riders. The message says the State bank, general merchandise store and pool-hall at Lowry were among the buildings burned. No further details are available.

The Manitoba Morning Free Press, Winnipeg, MB, 25 Aug 1908


Former Town Loses Three Buildings, Including a Bank and General Store and Akaska Loses Six - Loss at Lowry Is Placed at $8,000 and at Akaska $16,000 - J. H. Holmes of This City Interested in Lowry Bank.

The towns of Lowry and Akaska, in the southern part of Walworth county, on the M. & St. L. railroad, were partially wiped off the map late Sunday night and early Monday morning by two destrictice [sic] fires of undoubtedly incendiary origin.

In Akaska six buildings were destroyed that of the old bank building which was vacant at the time; the Akaska News plant, owned by Fred Griffin of Selby; the pool room, the butcher shop, the saloon and the hardware store. All these buildings were in a row and of frame structive. The fire started in the pool hall and before the flames could be stopped the buildings which constituted nearly all one side of the main street, were a mass of ruins. The loss in Akaska is estimated to be $16,000.

At Lowry the Farmers state bank of which J. H. Holmes of this city is president and G. H. Baker, formerly of this city, cashier, was destroyed as was the general store of J. P. Herman and a pool hall. The total loss there is said to be $8,000, fully covered by insurance.

The origin of the fires is beyond a doubt of incediary origin. A sensational story was circulated yesterday to the effect that a band of horsemen were seen to leave Lowry just as the fire broke out and the impression was given out that the men were nightriders, who proceeded then to Akaska. This story is not believed by persons who are acquainted with the conditions there, as there is no motive that can be offered. There is a possible clue to the starting of the Akaska fire, but Sheriff Hoven, who has been investigating the affair, has not yet taken any step to arrest anyone or given out any statement.

Both towns are new ones, springing into being two years ago, when the Minneapolis & St. Louis road built its track to Le Beau.

The Aberdeen Daily American, Aberdeen, SD, 25 Aug 1908
Later Report From Lowry

Lowry, S. D., Aug. 24. - The First State bank, John F. Herman's general store, and Oxner's pool hall were burned Sunday night. The fire was discovered at 11:30 o'clock. The buildings and contents were destroyed. The loss is about $10,000 with insurance as follows: Bank, $1,500; Herman store, $1,300; stock, $3,000; pool hall, none.

The origin is undoubtedly incendiary as the fire was burning on the southeast corner of the bank and the west side of Herman's store from the start. The two buildings are side by side and there was no fire on the north or south sides.

It is not known who set it. The contents of the vaults in the bank, it is expected, are safe, but it has not been opened and will not be until the insurance adjusters arrive.

The Aberdeen Daily American, Aberdeen, SD, 25 Aug 1908

Total Loss of $24,000 Caused in Lowry and Alaska [sic] by Incendiary Fires.

Aberdeen, S. D., Aug. 24. - Lowry and Akaska, two new towns on the M. and St. L. road in southern Walworth county, were partially destroyed by fire of incendiary origin late Sunday night and early Monday morning. The buildings burned in Lowry were the Farmer's State bank, the general store of J. F. Herman and a pool hall, a total loss of $8,000, mostly covered by insurance.

At Akaska, the building lately occupied by a bank, the plant of the Akaska News, a pool room, butcher shop, saloon and ahrdware store were destroyed. The total loss is $16,000, partly covered by insurance.

Great excitement is shown owing to the report of a Lowry resident, who arrived early on the scene of the fire, to the effect that he saw six horsemen just leaving the town. It was believed that the same gang went to Akaska and started the fire there.

Sheriff Hoven yesterday investigated and he reports that he will be able to apprehend the guilty in a short time. It is slow work to get accurate reports, as telephone connections are entirely those of farmers' lines, and messages to this city have to be relayed.

The Grand Forks Daily Herald, Grand Forks, ND, 25 Aug 1908