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Best Place at Farnam Burns

The Best Place at Farnam was entirely destroyed by fire last Sunday morning, the fire being discovered about 1:30.

The building and all the contents were entirely destroyed, nothing being saved

The Best Place building was 50x140 feet, with a basement, and a 25x100 feet hall above. The Best Place Mercantile Co. was a stock concern of which Elwood Clark had the controlling interest. W. G. Parker was probably the next heaviest stockholder.

It is reported here that after the insurance money is collected both Mr. Parker and Mr. Clark will re-engage in business, each for himself.

Editor Berger of the Farnam Echo mailed us the following in regard to the fire:

“Sunday morning at about 1:30 a fire was discovered in the Best Place Mercantile company’s store which destroyed the entire stock and building, including the A.O.U.W. hall and its paraphernalia.

“Immediately after the alarm was sounded the volunteers began work in earnest, but the blaze had gained so rapidly that it was impossible to extinguish it and the firemen’s efforts were diverted to saving the other buildings in the immediate vicinity. Owing to the fact that the building was covered with asbestos-lined sheet metal it was a difficult matter to fight the flame effectively, but had it not been for this covering, other buildings doubtless would have been burned as it would have been impossible to keep the flames and sparks from spreading.

“The buildings across the street, on both the west and south sides, became very hot and it was necessary to play the hose on them continually to keep them from burning. The barn in the rear of C. G. Larson’s residence was in grave danger up to the last. This structure had been recently filled with hay and if the fire had started there, it is said practically the whole portion of the town south would have been destroyed. The residence property of M. J. Tuft north of the store was in constant danger, there being a light breeze blowing in that direction making it necessary to keep a careful watch and also to keep the building thoroughly drenched.

“The boys of the fire department and the citizens who helped, deserve much credit for the heroic manner in which they fought the treacherous conflagration, and although every effort on their parts were exerted to save the building and stock the fire had gained so rapidly that any rescue work was impossible.

“The origin of the fire is, and probably always will be, a mystery. As near as can be learned it started in the back part of the building where there were no fires, matches or anything of that nature.

The damage done to the mercantile company is estimated as follows: Stock, $35,000, building $12,000 and fixtures at $3,500, which was practically covered by insurance. The property in the A.O.U.W. hall was valued at $1,800, $1,200 of which was covered by insurance; Degree of Honor, $400, insured for $200, M.W.A., $100, no insurance.

“The contents of the safe belonging to the Best Place was more or less damaged by the intense heat.”

The Faber 30(16):1, Thursday, 22 January 1914

 



Published: 6/22/2024 - http://www.historicfarnam.us
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