At 2 o’clock this morning, the fire alarm was given, and Lincoln people awoke to find the business portion of the city at the mercy of what proved to be a disasterous [sic] fire. The flames originated in the Hedrick Bros. barber shop in the O.U. Hull building, first door east of the post office. From the barber shop, the flames quickly spread to E.F. Simons’ hardware and pump establishment, which occupied the remaining portion of the same building; completely destroying the building and the entire stock. Here the fire company did splendid work as long as the chemicals in the engines lasted, and for a time, it looked as though the flames would be confined to the one building; but when the engines ceased to work, the fire gained headway by leaps and bounds, and threatened the entire block. While the fire was being combatted the best possible by the bucket brigade the contents of the post office were hurriedly removed to the street and alley, as were also a large portion of H. Knoch’s bakery and many of the goods and vehicles from Troup & Robinson’s.
By strenuous labor, the postoffice building was saved and thus the spread of the fire to the west prevented, although the building and contents were considerably damaged by both water and fire.
The failure of the fire appartus [sic] allowed Troup & Robinson’s new stone building to become a victim of the conflagration together with practically all of the contents except a few vehicles. The next building owned by Henry Zinc [sic; Zink] and occupied by Mrs. Art Lemons as a millinery store, is a little frame one but was saved from the flames by the use of much water. However, the stock of millinery had been removed and well it was, as the east wall of Troup & Robinson’s building collapsed, a portion of the stone going through the roof of the Zinc building and materially damaging it.
The loss is heaviest on E.F. Simmons, who had about a $6,000 stock, uninsured, and representing about all of his possessions. Troup and Robinson were heavy losers, having about $25,000 stock as well as owning their own building worth $5,000. Their total insurance amounts to $13,500.
During the fire several explosions of gasses and oil, on the ground floor as well as in the cellar shook things from the foundation up, one of them raising the roof of the Troup & Robinson building and dropping it back into the wreck. The intense heat was beginning to cause damage across the street, when the owners of the buildings hung up comforts, curtains and canvasses to protest their plate glass, the only one of which suffered especially being a glass in George Hundertmark’s store.
The fire was a disasterious [sic] one and was a great loss to Lincoln business interests, in the destruction of one of the largest hardware and implement stocks in central Kansas.