Albia, IA Fire, Jan 1908

Albians were again awakened by the fire sire at 2 a. m. January 5, 1908, when a fire originating in the storeroom of the Hocking Supply Company consumed the building in a mass of flames. One hundred me at Hocking immediately volunteered to start moving boxcars, one containing dynamite, out of reach of the fire. Warned of their danger, they scattered like quail and had barely reached safety when the car exploded. Forty boxes, each containing 25 sticks of dynamite, had blow up, driving the trucks of the cars four feet into the ground. Iron rails were bet ad twisted, pieces of the car wheels were thrown hundreds of feet, and 15 railroad cars were demolished or burned. Fifty houses at Hocking were damaged and members of more than 30 families were injured, although no one was killed. Losses were estimated at a total of $75,000. The stock of the explosion was heard 30 miles away. At Albia, stated the Republican, "the ringing of the fire bell and the blowing of the whistle denoted that something had happened, and then the lurid sky in the direction of Hocking told the complete story. Buggies went to Hocking that night by the hundreds."

Monroe County History, Iowa 1940, page 73