Wester, Kevin J. (ed.) / Consumed by fire : a collection of writings about the famous Wisconsin Chair Company fire, Port Washington, Wisconsin, February 19, 1899
Milwaukee Sentinel: Milwaukee, Wisconsin Tuesday, February 21, 1899, pp. 55-61
MIL WA UKEE SENTINEL MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 1899 CHAIR FACTORY TO BE REBUILT PORT WASHINGTON'S FUTURE DEPENDS ON IT. SUNDAY NIGHT'S FIRE LOSSES AGGREGATE $400,000 PIPEMAN HACKETT WAS FATALLY INJURED. More Than a Score of Families left Homeless and the Council Takes Action to Provide Necessary Relief---Milwaukee Firemen Criticize the Local Firemen for Failure to Respond to Requests for Assistance---A List of the Losses. Port Washington, Wis., Feb. 20---"While as yet everything is in a choatic state and while we have not had a minute's time to think of the future, I think it is likely that we shall rebuild as soon as we straighten out the losses on our factory. I would not give 15 cents for what remains of the factory. It is a complete loss and the work of the fire was most thorough. I never saw a plant burned out so clean as our factory was last night." This is how State Senator F. A. Dennett, president of the Wisconsin ('hair company expressed himself this afternoon, when asked if the company will rebuild. The question of rebuilding is a vital issue to Port Washington. On it depends the future of the little city. The fire loss has been tremendous, but should the company decide not to rebuild its mammoth establishment at once, it would mean ruin to the town. Six hundred men are dependent on the works for employment and this number permanently thrown out of work would make it impossible for the town to continue to exist on a scale it has in the past. Long before the flames had been smothered this morning the question, "Will they rebuild?" was asked on all sides. Stories were circulated that the company was dissatisfied with the shipping facilities and that even if it should rebuild it might locate elsewhere. Mr. Dennett said today that it was entirely too early to say what would be done because he did not know himself, but he intimated very strongly that the company would rebuild here immediately. "But it will take time to do so. Our loss is not alone on the buildings and stock, but the inmeasurable manner in which our business suffers is to be taken into consideration. It would take at least a year to rebuild a plant like we had yesterday, and during that time our business would practically be at a standstill. That is the most serious aspect of the situation."
This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, US Code).| For information on re-use see: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright