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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

A brief history of the Wisconsin Chair Company Port Washington, Wisconsin,   pp. 1-10

Page 8

The days following the fire were filled with anxiety for the entire city of Port
Washington. Not only were there homeless families and destroyed businesses to deal
with, but the question quickly arose: "Would the Wisconsin Chair Company rebuild in
the city or would they relocate elsewhere?" The future of Port Washington hinged on this
Looking northwest at the skeletal ruins of the Wisconsin Chair
Company. Notice St. Mary's Church and rectory in the upper right
hand corner.
Another source of anxiety for the city was the fact that a battle began to rage
between the cities of Milwaukee and Port Washington. The reason being that Milwaukee
firemen complained of being abused and maltreated by some of the volunteer firemen and
citizens of Port Washington. The Milwaukeeans stated that when they arrived in Port
Washington they found a number of the volunteer firemen drunk in saloons. Other
volunteer firemen and even certain citizens refused to assist them in fighting the fire.
Some Milwaukee firemen complained of verbal assaults that they endured throughout the
night. The Mayor and Fire Chief of Milwaukee publicly condemned the residents of Port
Washington. Mayor Mueller and the Port Washington Common Council quickly
responded to their concerns with written resolutions sent to both the Milwaukee and
Sheboygan Fire Departments thanking them for their prompt and imperative assistance.

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