Wester, Kevin J. (ed.) / Consumed by fire : a collection of writings about the famous Wisconsin Chair Company fire, Port Washington, Wisconsin, February 19, 1899
Sheboygan Herald: Sheboygan, Wisconsin Saturday, February 25, 1899, pp. 38-39
estimated at $399,000. It was the largest manufacturing concern in that city and employed about 600 men who besides being out of employment lost their tools. The factory was built about ten years ago and covered three blocks. Besides the brick building, machinery and stock, it lost 800,000 feet of hardwood lumber, and the foundry which was destroyed was also stored with chairs for the company. The plant will probably be rebuilt. Several firemen were injured, one dying from his injuries. Pipeman M. J. Hackett of Milwaukee, had his spine broken just below the base of the head, paralyzing him completely and he was taken to a hospital in Milwaukee where he died Tuesday morning at 2:30. He was unmarried and had served the department for about a year. He was thirty-one years old. Capt. Patrick Linehan of Milwaukee had his spine injured, but it is not regarded as serious and a local volunteer fireman, W. A. Krause, had a leg broken. SHEBOYGAN HERALD SHEBOYGAN, WISCONSIN SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 1899 CAUSED A LOSS OF $300,000. Disastrous Conflagration Occurs at Port Washington, Wis. Port Washington, Wis., Feb. 21 ---Fire totally destroyed the plant of the Wisconsin Chair company, covering three blocks and laying waste three additional squares. The loss to the chair company will be about $300,000, fully covered by insurance. The loss to other property will amount to about $50,000, partially covered by insurance. The small losses were sustained by about thirty or forty individuals. The Wisconsin Chair company was the largest manufacturing concern in the town and gave employment to about 600 men. The fire started in the veneering department from some unknown cause and spread with such alarming rapidity that the big four-story building covering an area of 40 x 80 was soon reduced to ashes. The lumber yards and warehouses adjoining were well stocked and furnished good food for the flames, which soon made short work of the chair company's property covering three blocks. It is estimated that thirty families were made homeless by the fire, though most of them saved all of their effects. Outside assistance came from Sheboygan and Milwaukee, the latter city sending two of its best engines. The territory burned over includes Franklin street to the lake, a distance of two blocks, and from Pier to Wisconsin street, three blocks. The block bounded by Washington and Pier, from Franklin to the lake, was badly scorched.
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