Janesville, WI Hyatt House Destroyed, Jan 1867
TERRIBLE CONFLAGRATION !!!
THE HYATT HOUSE IN TOTAL RUINS !!
A YOUNG WOMAN BURNED TO DEATH !
HER REMAINS NOT RECOVERED
NARROW ESCAPE OF THE OCCUPANTS OF THE BUILDING !
LOSS OF PROPERTY $150,000 !
Our city was the scene this morning of the most disastrous fire that ever visited it. Soon after 3 o'clock the Hyatt House was discovered to be on fire in the kitchen. The flames spread with surprising rapidity, so much so that it was with the utmost difficulty that the occupants of the building escaped, nearly all of them with nothing on save their night clothes; and a young woman named MAGGIE EMERSON, an employee in the house, less fortunate than the others, was cut off from retreat and perished in the flames. She was last seen at a window in the fifth story, where she called for help; but no help could reach her. Soon after her entreaty for assistance, two garments were thrown out of a window, it was supposed by her.
Quite a number of the inmates of the hotel made their escape by crawling out on their hands and knees, while others nearly suffocated with smoke, threw themselves with frantic energy against a partition, which separated the hotel from the building occupied as offices, and tore it down, thus effecting their escape dwont the stairway farthest removed from the fire. One man let himself down to the balcony from an upper story by tying the bed clothing together. It is truly wonderful that no more lives were lost, when the extent of the building is considered, and the quick work which the flames made is taken into account.
The Hyatt House was built in 1856 and 1857 by MR. A. HYALL SMITH, the citizens contributing liberally toward the enterprise. It cost not far from $130,000. The property was now owned by MR. O. B. MATTESON, and is believed to be insured for $15,000.
The hotel was kept by SOL. HUTSON, by whom it was furnished, save some $6,000 worth, which belonged to MRS. A. H. SMITH, and on which there was no insurance. MR. HUTSON had an insurance of $2,000 with Dimock & Lawrence on furniture and piano, and $25,000 with Whataker, on stock. JOHN HUTSON had an insurance of $500 on furniture and wearing apparel with Dimock & Lawrence. All the above insurance is a total loss. The loss of MR. H. beyond his insurance is estimated by him at something like $5,000.
E. L. WRIGHT, who occupied one of the stores, for the sale of music, musical instruments and sewing machines, removed the most of his stock, but in a somewhat damaged condition. His loss he estimates at from $500 to $1,000. No insurance.
G. G. CAMPBELL, flour and food store lost $2,100. Insured $1,000 with H. Hart.
N. GRISWOLD & Co., loose $2,000; insurance $1,500 with Dimock & Lawrence.
V. JOUANEAULT, fancy goods and toys, lost $6,000; insurance $2,000.
The library and furniture of MR. A. A. JACKSON in the second story was almost entirely saved, by the strenuous exertions of the citizens, to whom MR. J. wishes to return thanks.
WILLIAMS & SALE were not so fortunate, for although the bulk of the library and fixtures were removed, they suffered damage to the extent of about $800.