Alton, IL Drug Store & Newspaper Office Fire, Jan 1880

Large Fire In Alton.

A Loss Of $100,000 By The Burning Of A Drugstore And Newspaper Office.

Alton, Ill., Jan. 22.-Flames were seen issuing, about 2:30 a.m. to-day, from the cellar of the wholesale drug store of ROBERT E. SMITH, on Second-street. The store was a large double brick structure. The east half and the third floor of the west half were occupied by Mr. SMITH, and the second and third stories of the west half by HOLDEN & MORTEN, proprietors of the Alton Telegraph, and BEALL & DENVERS, job printers. Owing to the oils and large amount of inflammable material stored in the building, the flames spread with great rapidity, and soon the entire interior was burning. The fire department was on the ground promptly, and after several hours’ hard work subdues the flames. The walls only are standing. Nothing of any value was saved from the stock. Mr. SMITH’S store was the handsomest and most spacious drug-house in the West.

The total loss is about $110,000. The total insurance is $89,000. R.B. SMITH is insured as follows: Imperial, of London, $5,000; London Assurance, $2,500; London and Lancashire, $5,000; Manufacturer’s, Boston, $2,000; Amazon, Cincinnati, $2,500; Farmers’, York, Penn., $1,000; North British, $2,500; Commercial Union, $2,500; Glens Falls, N. Y., $2,500; Franklin, Philadelphia, $2,500; Phoenix, Hartford, $1,000; American Central, St. Louis, $1,500; British American, Canada, $1,000; St. Paul, $1,000; German American, $1,000; North American, Philadelphia, $2,500; Hartford, $2,000; Western Assurance, Toronto, $2,000; Scottish Commercial, $1,500; National, Hartford, $2,000; Springfield, Mass., $2,000; Phoenix, Brooklyn, $5,000; Pennsylvania, $2,000; Meriden, $500. In addition Mr. SMITH had $30,500 insurance divided among the following companies: Fire Association of Philadelphia, Lamar, North German, Orient, Connecticut, La Caisse Generale, Westchester, Board of Underwriters, People’s of Trenton. Holden and Morten, of the Telegraph, had $13,000 in the Springfield, Mass., and $13,000 in the Hartford. Their loss is total and not half covered by insurance. Beall & Denvers had $10,000 insurance in the Continental, $1,000 in the North American, Philadelphia, and $1,000 in the Girard of Philadelphia, which will not cover their loss. The Telegraph appeared as usual this evening. In reduced form, printed on the type obtained at Malcolm & McIneay’s job office. The files of the Telegraph for over 25 years were destroyed.

The New York Times, New York, NY 23 Jan 1880