North Enid, OK (Oklahoma Territory) Town Fire, Sep 1894



North Enid, Sept. 18. -- Fires destroyed last night almost all that has been accomplished in this town in the past year. The most substantial part of North Enid is a black, charred mass of ruins, and several business men are without a dollar in the world.
At 2 o'clock the Columbia drugstore and Kirk & Cook's big wholesale and retail grain establishment were found ablaze. A heavy wind was blowing from the northwest, and there being no fire apparatus, buckets being scarce and wells scarcer, the frantic people could but look at the devouring flames in helpless horror. The flames were fought inch by inch by buckets, till the flesh of the fighters was blistered in the work. The sudden shifting of the wind to the northwest saved the city from entire destruction.
Before the flames were under control, however, the Arlington Hotel, just completed by William Callahan, the railroad contractor, at a cost of $20,000, was a total loss, and the two score guests in it barely escaped with their lives, none of them saving anything else. F. S. Kirk & Company's wholesale and retail grain house, the Columbia drugstore, owned by Oxley & Howitt, and F. W. Havlick's large furniture house, J. S. McConnell's dry goods and grocery store, and the buildings of C. H. Thompson, Stephenson & Greer, and W. J. Brown were wiped out. There was practically no insurance.
F. S. Kirk was taken out of his building unconscious and C. N. Whitaker, editor of The Daily Tribune, fell exhausted almost in the flames, but was rescued and escaped with slight burns. That the origin of the fire was incendiary there is no doubt.

Hamilton Daily Democrat Ohio 1894-09-18