A fire rocked the Skidmore business community on this date in 1917:
Elevator, Feed Stable and Coal Sheds Burn
Tuesday evening a little after 4 o’clock the elevator and seed house of the Kellogg Seed Store on the east side of the railroad a little north of the depot took fire and burned down.
The coal sheds south of the elevator belonging to J. C. Spahr were burned and most all the coal which they contained. The coal sheds were a complete loss and but very little coal was saved.
The feed barn of Wayman McGinness standing a short distance southeast of the elevator was also burned. It was a new building recently built and was a total loss.
The Kellogg Seed Store’s loss on the building, machine and stock, was about $4000, although there may be considerable salvage of 1500 bushels of corn and 500 bushels of wheat. They carried insurance of $750 on building and $500 on stock.
J. C. Spahr’s loss will reach $1000, with no insurance.
Wayman McGinness had $500 insurance on the building and $200 on stock and feed, but his loss will probably be $1000.
The origin of the fire is not known but supposed to have been caused from the exhaust of the gasoline engine in the basement.
Several persons were working in the elevator at the time and J. F. Kellogg had quite a narrow escape. He was working in the third story and thinking there was something wrong below, started to go down stairs and the smoke was coming up so thick he was almost strangled. He then opened the window on the south side and jumped to an adjoining roof. He was somewhat dazed and blinded by the smoke and walked off the roof he had alighted on falling 10 or 12 feet to the ground.
The burning of the elevator building removes forever one of the old landmarks of the town as well we might say watermark of this vicinity.
It was originally built down by the river, a short distance below the bridge west of town, where there is a slight riffle in the river where there was once a good dam by a mill site, as well as a good mill by a dam site, but now there is only a slightly dammed place in the river almost out of sight.
The elevator was built as a mill in 1871 by Hawley H. Nash who then lived at Quitman and Samuel T. Ware who lived in a house down in the southeast corner of the cemetery, but dead people did not live there then.
A few years later, Geo. M. Nash who was living in the first house on the south side of the road across the river from Braddyville, Iowa, purchased Mr. Ware’s interest and moved down here. Not long after the Nash brothers built and occupied the house where Robert Barrett lives.
A few years before the town started, Geo. M. Nash sold his interest in the mill and after the town started Hawley Nash sold to A. P. Dyke. The next owner was J. W. Haines, now of Omaha, Neb., who moved the mill up town about 1890 and since that time has changed ownership several different times.
The milling machinery was taken out about twenty years ago by Frank Danner and moved to Blanchard, Iowa. Since that time the building has been used for storing grain and feed and elevator work in handling grain.
After all those long years of service it went up in heat and smoke in less time than it takes to write about it.