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Wester, Kevin J. (ed.) / Consumed by fire : a collection of writings about the famous Wisconsin Chair Company fire, Port Washington, Wisconsin, February 19, 1899
([1997])

Milwaukee Sentinel: Milwaukee, Wisconsin Monday, February 20, 1899,   pp. 44-48


Page 44

MIL WA UKEE SENTINEL
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 1899
FIRE LOSS OF OVER $350,000
PORT WASHINGTON SUFFERS A HEAVY BLOW.
WISCONSIN CHAIR CO.'S BIG PLANT BURNED.
SIX SQUARES ALSO WIPED OUT OF EXISTENCE.
THIRTY FAMILLIES WERE MADE HOMELESS.
The Fire Spread Rapidly and the City's Fire Apparatus Gave Out Early, Which Made It
Necessary to Call on Milwaukee and Sheboygan for Aid---Two Engines Are Sent From
Milwaukee and One From Sheboygan---Great Fright Among the People.
Port Washington, Wis., Feb. 20.---At 9:15 o'clock last evening fire broke out in
the veneering department of the Wisconsin Chair company and the entire plant is in
ashes.
At I o'clock in the morning the fire had spread toward the business center and one
block of buildings on Franklin street, the principal business thoroughfare, began to burn.
The Wilson house, the largest hotel in the city, also caught fire.
Chair Company's Loss $350,000
The loss to the chair factory will be $350,000, with about 90 per cent insurance.
The losses to the other business houses will probably reach $50,000 more.
Two companies of the Milwaukee Fire department and one company of the
Sheboygan department have arrived.
The Wisconsin Chair company is the largest manufacturing concern in the city
and furnished employment for 600 men. It was built ten years ago and comprised a series
of buildings which covered three blocks from the river to Washington street and two
blocks from Franklin street to the lake.
The Wisconsin Chair company was owned by a company made up of State
Senator F. A. Dennett, John Dennett and other Port Washington capitalists.
Surrounding the buildings were extensive lumber yards and to these the flames
extended, until an area of three squares was on fire.


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