Ames, IA Iowa State College Main Building Fire, Dec 1900

The Fire at Ames

Further Particulars of the Great Loss to the Stat and the Agricultural College

Ames, Dec 10—At 9 o’clock Saturday forenoon the faculty of the Iowa State College met within sight and sound of the smouldering [sic] and crumbling walls of the main building and decided to go ahead with the work of the present term, as if the fire had not destroyed the largest building and cost the College over $50,000. Temporary recitation rooms were secured during the day and the work of the college will go ahead as if nothing had happened. At the faculty meeting committees were appointed to secure recitation rooms until a new building can be created by the state, to secure temporary rooming quarters for he [sic] homeless students, to provide them with the necessities of life and to resume business as if no holocaust had occurred.

Within four hours from the time the north wing of the main college dormitory crumbled to the ground in a smudge of burning timbers and littered brick “gave up the fire ghost,” the students of old I A C, and the present I S C gathered together on the campus, in plain sight of the fire destruction, and sitting upon half burned trunks and scorched mattresses, they gave the college yell with a [illegible] that the fire and the damage only intensified. Regardless of the fire blight [illegible] fever-scourge, the cardinal and gold of Iowa State college still wave and the good work of the school will go on unabated and unmitigated.

Fire broke out in the engine room to the rear of the central section of the main dormitory and college building, at 3:40 o’clock Saturday morning, and by 6:30 o’clock the north wing of the building lay in ruins, the central section stood upright, a charred and burned monument of the fierce work of the flames and only the south wing remained intact. Within two and a half hours $50,000 worth of college and state property had perished and the 250 students rooming in the dormitory had lost personal property to the amount of almost $5,000.