Appleton, WI Ryan High School Fire, Jan 1904

Ryan High School before the fire


APPLETON, Wis., Jan. 26. - Fire early today totally destroyed the Ryan school building. Loss $50,000.

The Duluth News Tribune, Duluth, MN 27 Jan 1904



The City of Appleton Sustains Heavy Loss by Fire This Morning - Story of Disaster.

(Special to The Northwestern.)

Appleton, Wis., Jan. 25. - Ryan High school was burned at four o'clock this morning, being completely destroyed, with a loss of $30,000 and insurance of $25,000. The library, valuable records and much property belonging to teachers and pupils were destroyed. The origin of the fire is unknown, but the blaze is supposed to be due to the heating apparatus, which was old and defective. The destruction of the building revives the agitation for a union high school system. The matter will probably be brought before the electors at the April election, and upon the result will depend plans for rebuilding. In the meantime, temporary quarters will be found and the grade school buildings of the second district crowded so as to prevent continuance of high school work for the year.

The firemen fought the blaze under difficulty. The pressure was poor and the streams reached no higher than the second story. The flames were so fierce that no one could enter the first floor. At the risk of their lives, Professor Smith, teacher ofr German at the school, Norman Frisbie, a student, and William Zuehlke, member of the board of education, entered the second story by means of ladders set against the swaying walls and saved the valuable "Miss Ruth Marshall" microscopes from destruction.

The Daily Northwestern, Oshkosh, WI 26 Jan 1904


Ryan high school burned in about an hour, beginning at 4 o'clock in the morning of Jan. 26, 1904. An overheated flue was the cause. Practically all alumni records were lost. Firemen fought the flames in bitter cold weather. Their helmets and rubber coats were covered with masses of ice and "their beards looked like silver fringes." Loss was $30,000 and insurance $25,000.

The Appleton Post Crescent, Appleton, WI 30 Apr 1932