Milwaukee, WI Holocaust At Newhall Hotel, Jan 1883

Newhall House Drawing of Hotel Ablaze Newhall Hotel Monument Photo of the Newhall House

HOTEL HOLOCAUST !!

THE MILWAUKEE NEWHALL HOTEL AND ITS INMATES ENVELOPED IN FLAMES.

FRIGHTENED GUESTS AND SERVANTS LEAP FROM THE BUILDING INTO ETERNITY.

SOME FIFTY OR SIXTY PERSONS LITERALLY ROASTED IN THE DEATH TRAP.

THE TOM THUMB, MINNIE PALMER AND MADISON SQUARE COMPANY IN THE FIRE.

The Frightful Fire.
Milwaukee, Jan. 10. -- The Newhall house, a six-story brick building, corner of Michigan street and Broadway, burned to the ground this morning. The fire was discovered at 4 a.m., and in less than half an hour the whole building, long designated as a death trap, was enveloped in flames. Scenes of the utmost terror prevailed, the inmates of the doomed building jumping by dozens from the upper stories, covering stone sidewalks with lifeless bodies.
The shrieks of the unfortunates filled the air in a heatrending manner. THe people below were unable to render any assistance. A number of terrified guests and employes of the hotel appeared at the windows and seeing the distance to the ground fell back to perish in the flames.
The employes of the hotel, which accommodated 800 guests, numbered eighty-six, most of whom lodged in the sixth story. Exit by way of the roof was cut off by the fire and the two stand pipes with fire ladders were not available for the same reason, very few were saved.
All the stores and offices on the ground floor, with contents, were destroyed. They were on the Michigan street side.
The cashier of the Manufacturers' bank carried the cash box of the institution, containing money and papers to the amount of six hundred thousand out of the flames. Insurance agencies and general offices on the first floor scarcely saved any papers. Insurance on the hotel is stated by C. D. NASH, president of the Newhall House association at $125,000, all held by Cincinnati agencies. The loss is scarcely to be estimated at this hour, but will reach $50,000.
Telegraphic communications will be interrupted for the north as about fifty wires are down.
There were comparatively few guests in the hotel, the register burned and the exact loss of life can not be determined but will reach from fifty to sixty dead and twenty to thirty wounded. So far twenty-three bodies are in the morgue and nine more in places near the ruins. Identification comes in slowly. Among those known to have been in the hotel are:
C. W. BRIGGS, Grand Rapids.
N. MILLER, Ripon.
GEORGE YOUNG, Chicago.
P. N. BAKER, New York.
J. V. MAHONEY, Rock Island, Ill.
V. J. HILL, Syracuse, N. Y.
A. D. HENDREY, New Haven, Conn.
A. J. CASE, New York.
O. P. HOBLE, Chicago.
S. J. CRAIG, Des Moines, Iowa.
CHARLES A. HANDY, Milwaukee.
THE TOM THUMB party.
ORANGE WILLIAMS.
J. A. PRINZEN and wife, Sheboygan Falls.
JOHN O. CLARKE, Wausau.
G. M. ROWELL, of Sanford & Rowell, Medford.
BEN TICE, chief clerk.
JOHN H. ANTISDEL, clerk.
JOHN F. ANTISDEL, proprietor.
BENJAMIN MASON, teacher, Milwaukee.

List Of The Dead:
So far as is known the following persons are dead:
ALLEN JOHNSON, commission merchant, Milwaukee, and wife.
KITTY BAILEY and MARY REAMS, servants.
W. A. HALL, miller, Laporte.
BENJAMIN VAN HAAG, fireman, struck by falling telegraph pole.
LIZZIE KELLEY.
MAGGIE OWENS.
ANNA and BESSIE BROWN.
KATE STANCHON.
MAGGIE SULLIVAN.
AUGUSTA GIESE.
MARY McDADE, all servants.
THOMAS E. VAN HORNE and MRS. J. J. HAUGH, Marco, Ill.
D. D. POWERS.
MRS. BROWN.
MARY BURK.
MARY ANDERSON.
MARY MILLER.
MARY McMAHAN.
MARY CONROY, all servants.
W. T. DURAND, insurance agent.
GEORGE G. SMITH, passenger agent of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern railway.
MRS. L. W. BROWN.
MISS CHELLIE, dress maker.
WALTER and WILLIAM GILLETT.
The seriously injured are:
ORANGE WILLIAMS, residence unknown.
BENJAMIN RICE, clerk of house.
L. A. BROWN, train master Northwestern road.
T. B. ELLIOTT, lawyer, fatally.
W. B. BASENBACH, general western passenger agent Michigan Central road.
ROBERT BURNS.
MARY OWENS.
NANNIE LAUGHLIN.
KITTIE CONNORS, Doylestown, servant.
It can safely be said that sixty people are dead and thirty seriously wounded. The mayor called a meeting of the chamber of commerce to organize a corps to search the ruins. About a week ago the secretary of the local board of Underwriters applied to make a rate on the building, that local agencies might take risks. The building was considered a death trap, and risks refused. The TOM THUMB party and Madison Square company were all saved so far as is known. MRS. JOHN GILBERT, of the MINNIE PALMER troupe, married only two days ago, was burned to death in sight of the multitude.
The following guests are known to be saved or only slightly injured:
EDWARD POLLOCK, Lancaster, Wis.
RAWELL SANFORD and ROWELL, Medford, Wis.
CARL BRIGGS, Grand Rapids, Mich.
JOE. C. CLARK, Wausau.
J. E. DEWAL, agent of the Great Western Despatch and South Shore lines.
GEORGE F. LEE, northwestern traveling passenger agent of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific.
J. W. MAXWELL, Cincinnati.
K. COHN, New York.
M. WEBER, Laporte.
JAMES S. WORDRABE, New York.
The scenes at the morgue, where now thirty-two bodies are lying in a ghastly heap on the floor of the small room, are heart-rending beyong human power of description. A strong police force is necessary to keep anxious enquirers in line. Nineteen bodies are identified. Eight bodies are beyond recognition. MRS. JNO. GILBERT'S body is positively identified, and it is a touching scene to see the bride of a night upon the cold marble charred and bruises and anguish depicted in her delicate features. It is said she was MISS SUTTON, of Chicago, previous to her marrying GILBERT, who is maddened beyond control.
The fire department called for assistance from the Soldiers' Home, but General SHARPE refused to send a steamer, at which indignation is very great. Chicago and Racine relief steamers are now on the way, but the fire is under control. The firemen made a superhuman effort. Waiter girls were brought safely across frail ladders stretched over the alley from the sixth story of the hotel to the roof of the adjoining bank building. The jumping cloth did little service. About a dozen unfortunates attempted to jump, but rebounded on the telegraph wires, a perfect mass of which surrounded the two fronts of building.
The appeals for aid were piteous, but little could be done. Shortly before the Newhall house alarm a part of the department was called to a small fire about three miles distant, and before the department was in working order the house was one massive blaze. TOM THUMB got out at the front entrance and his wife was taken down the fire escape by friends. S. W. CROMPTON, MISSES HERBERT and DUNLAP, and W. A. LOVELL, of the Madison Square company arrived on the midnight express. The whole party was saved by the fire escape, only partly dressed.
The hotel was built by DANIEL NEWHALL and associate, in 1857, and originally cost $155,000; total loss, including furniture, $277,000; total amount of insurance by the Cincinnati companies, $93,000, of which $75,000 is on the building and $18,000 on the furniture. Nearly all the companies in Cincinnati have risks.

Fort Wayne Daily Sentinel Indiana 1883-01-10