Quitman Fire

As printed in the April 7, 1903 Skidmore Standard:

Quitman Fire

Several Buildings and Stocks of Goods are Destroyed
Loss is Supposed to Aggregate $45,000 and Only Partially Covered by Insurance

The following is from a special correspondent to the St. Joseph Daily News of Saturday:

Quitman, Mo., April 4. — A fire wiped out one block of the principal part of town early this morning, causing a loss estimated at $45,000, partially covered by insurance.

The fire started in a small barn owned by William Kraft and gained such headway before discovery that it gradually crept to the principal buildings fronting on Main street, all of which burned to the ground.

Ed E. Johnston is probably the heaviest loser, his loss amounting to $25,000, including building and contents, the entire property only being covered by about $7,500 insurance.

H. L. Givins’ brick store building was the next heavy loss, amounting to $6,000.  The stock was worth $1,200, the entire property only being partially covered by insurance.

William Scruby & Co. stand a loss of $5,000, fully insured.

R. H. Smith’s brick building and blacksmith shop was destroyed; loss about $2,000, no insurance.

The fire started about 1 a.m. and burned till early day, being fanned by a northwest wind.

The paper went on to report that Ross Carson was arrested and charged with “incendiarism.”  Carson, said the report, “boards at the Branson hotel in Quitman, was seen at the hotel door just before the fire broke out Saturday morning and was heard calling to the landlord to ‘Let him in, quick.'”  The paper went on to say, “Carson has not a very good reputation.  He was sent to the penitentiary several years ago for having helped to rob Dr. J. M. Hutt’s drug store at Skidmore.”

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