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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

Sheboygan Telegram: Sheboygan, Wisconsin Monday, February 20, 1899,   pp. 25-27

Page 26

Six square blocks have been wiped out. The territory includes that portion
bounded by Franklin street to the lake, a distance of two blocks, and from Pier street to
Wisconsin street, a distance of three blocks. Every business house in the east side of
Franklin street, between Main and Wisconsin streets, is in ashes, but the large tannery of
Mayor Mueller on Wisconsin and Franklin streets was saved. The fire did not reach the
west side of Franklin street, though all the buildings had a close call.
The block bounded by Washington and Pier from Franklin to the lake has been
badly scorched, among the houses burned being the oilhouse of the chair company,
Joseph Ubbink's carpenter shop, Martin & Wester's Plow works, valued at $10,000;
Mehren's carpenter shop, Nic. Poull's blacksmith shop, Nic. Raesser's residence, Silas
Sizer's residence, Michael Burmish's dwelling, Lambert's paint shop, John Roob's
boarding house and William Reuter's dwelling.
It is estimated that thirty families have been made homeless, though most of them
saved their household goods.
The loss of the chair factory will be $350,000, with about 90 per cent insurance.
The losses to the other business houses will probably reach $100,000 more.
The Wisconsin Chair company is the largest manufacturing concern in the city
and furnished employment to 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 factory was owned by a company made up of State Senator
Dennett of Sheboygan, John Dennett and other Port Washington capitalists.
The following is a list of the losses as far as can be obtained at this time: Joseph
Eidenberg, livery stable, Main st. $1,000. Schuder's bakery, 123 Franklin st. $500. Pelt's
millinery store, 121 Franklin st. $1,000. N. S. Bode, saloon, 119 Franklin st. $500. N.
Schreider, cigar factory, 115 Franklin st. $500. Maj. Schroeling, 113 Franklin st.,
residence $500. L. C. Wambold, 111 Franklin st., residence $500. George Hauk, barber,
$200. H. Butzine, 106 Franklin st., jewelry, $300. P. Sturm, boots and shoe, 107
Franklin st., $300. Jos. Eidenberger, residence, 105 Franklin st. $500. Hugo Neuendorf,
harness, 103 Franklin st., $300.
It is not known whether the chair factory will be rebuilt at Port Washington. At
the depot this morning Senator Dennett said to a reporter for THE TELEGRAM that he
could not speak definitely yet of what would be done in the way of rebuilding.

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