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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

Luxemburger Gazette: Dubuque, Iowa February 28, 1899,   pp. 76-77

Page 76

FEBRUARY 28, 1899
About the $400,000 fire in Port Washington, Wisconsin, we read the following
statement in the local Port Washington Zeitung which will certainly catch the interest of
wide circles:
The fire demon afflicted our city, in debris and ashes lie the big chair factory, 24
homes, the former Malleable Foundry building and more workshops.
Six hundred workers are out of work and income. On the fifth floor of the
veneering building of the chair company, flames were noticed shortly after 9:00 p.m.
which found plenty of nourishment in the dry material and greedily went after it. At
10:00 p.m., the catastrophe started.
The big pumps in the room next to the burning building were destroyed by the
wall that crashed down on them. On top of this, the city's fire engine failed so that all
possibilities to extinguish the fire came to a standstill.
Dispatches were sent to Milwaukee and Sheboygan for help, but since the cities
were 25 miles from here, it got to be after eleven o'clock before the engine from
Milwaukee arrived. Sheboygan sent an engine about the same time.
The fire north of Main street had already reached Washington Street by the time
the second fire engine arrived from Milwaukee.
The Wisconsin Chair Company, whose president is Fred A. Dennett, who owns
and operates the company, suffered the loss of $350,000. Like this property, so are other
properties that went up in flames, insured, pretty close to their values.
The other buildings:
W. J. Turner Foundry building, $15,000.00
Mrs. N. Martin's home, $2,500.00
S. Sieger, $500.00
G. W. Wehrens brick home, $2,500.00
N. Poull home and shop, $3,000.00
M. Burmesch home, $1,000.00
John Roob brick home, $1,200.00
Mrs. Jacob Lambert, $1,000.00
George Lambert paint shop, $500.00
H. Reiter barn, $100.00
Smith Bros. and Liddle fish, $500.00
Louis Mehrens carpenter shop, $500.00
Martin & Wester factory, $3,000.00
Martin & Wester home, $1,500.00
Frank Wilson barn used by Joseph Eidenberger, borrowed barn, $1,000.00
John Sievers barn, $100.00
George Kuhn barn, $200.00
Joseph Schuder bakery, $2,000.00
Katherine and Mary Pelt home and store, $2,000.00

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