Howe, IN Military Institute Dining Hall Fire, July 1911

Howe IND Military School Dining Fire 7-4-1911.jpg


Howe, Ind., July 4. -- Fire, of unknown origin, completely destroyed McKenzie hall, the dining hall of Howe Military institute, shortly after noon today, entailing a loss of $20,000.
The loss was partially covered by insurance on the building and contents amounting to $14,000.
Scarcely had the embers cooled until the announcement was made that the dining hall would be rebuilt at once. It is expected that the work of rebuilding will be completed by the middle of the next school term.
Only the hardest kind of work on the part of the volunteer fire brigade saved the adjoining buildings, valued at close to $150,000.
Five of the volunteers were overcome during the afternoon by the fierce heat and one of them, JAMES A. LARGE, is in a dangerous condition tonight.
The volunteers were led by DR. J. H. McKENZIE, head of the institution and his heroic efforts are largely responsible for saving the adjoining property.
At the time the fire was discovered DR. McKENZIE and forty of the students, who had not left for their summer vacation, were at dinner in the club house with their instructors, and the big dining hall, which had only recently been erected at a cost of $15,000, was empty. When first seen, the blaze had gained great headway and was shooting through the roof of the building.
While the volunteer brigade was called out, calls for help were sent to Lagrange and Sturgis, Mich., and the fire departments from those towns responded, but arrived too late to be of service.
Adjoining the dining hall and connected with it is the chapel, a building worth $85,000, on another is the dormitory, valued at $20,000 and the residence of DR. McKENZIE occupies a third side. None of those buildings was damaged in the least and the work done by the volunteer fire fighters is remarkable for its success.
Howe Military institute is a school maintained by the North Indiana diocese of the Episcopal church and has a wide reputation as an institute of learning exclusively for boys. During term time the enrollment averages 240, but now, owing to vacation having begun, the attendance was limited to about 40.

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette Indiana 1911-07-05