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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : blogsold : verde heritage September 27, 2016

Verde Heritage
By Glenda Farley, Cottonwood, AZ
Local historian Glenda Farley guides us on a journey back in time to discover fascinating moments that make up our Verde heritage and history.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

1894: JEROME BLAZE; April 23.

Verde Heritage

"ADDITIONAL PARTICULARS OF THE HOLOCAUST: Narrow Escape of Many People --- The Losses."

"G. W. Hull, the well known merchant of Jerome, arrived last night from the scene of the big fire, and gives a somewhat vivid account of the disaster which overtook that camp yesterday morning, differing in many respects from the reports first obtained. From him we learn that the first alarm was given at 4 a.m. by Mr. Golightly, a bar tender in the Combination saloon, by firing a revolver."

"This was the first intimation the people had, and served to instantly arouse everybody. When the first alarm was given Mr. Golightly said the flames were high above the Stoney building, and an examination disclosed that it was there the fire originated, but in what particular portion, it could not be discovered. In five minutes after the fire was discovered, Stoney's four buildings and the Combination were ablaze, while the fire was also creeping down the hill at a lively pace. Nothing in the above places was saved, and the sleeping inmates of the Stoney buildings barely escaped with their lives, leaving their clothing and other property behind. In less than fifteen minutes, the fire had covered a distance of over 260 feet, and completely enveloped Mr. Hull's store. Water was brought into play soon after the fire started, but the wind was blowing a gale down the hill. It was of no more service than had it not been used. An idea can be had of the scene, when it is stated that after the fire was discovered, Mr. Hull could only make three trips to the interior of his building, until the flames reached his store."

"The loss is complete, and not a dollar's worth of property was saved from the twelve buildings consumed, except $200 worth by Mr. Hull."

"So narrow, also were the escapes by men and women, that money was as readily abandoned, as other property. The losses and insurance given may be summed up as follows:"

"Stoney --- Buildings, $3,000; insurance, $2,400."

"Combination Saloon --- Buildings and property, $4,200; insurance, $2,000."

"Hobbs & McCoy, stock of liquors in Combination Saloon, $2,000; no insurance."

"G. W. Hull --- Buildings and stock of merchandise, $12,000; insurance $4,200."

"Merrill & McGuire --- Buildings and stock of goods, $8,000; insurance, $5,000."

"In addition to the above losses, all government property of the post office, including the made up mail, many money packages and all the records and books, were burned up."

"Merrill & McGuire lost over $2,000 in United Verde checks, while Mr. Hull $642 in greenbacks."

"Other personal property and various sums of money, aggregating $2,000, belonging to men staying in the burned houses, is also gone."

"Mr. Hull says further that if the alarm had not been heard when it was, and that if efforts had been made to save property, instead of arousing everybody of the existence of the fire, many lives would have been lost. As it is, it was believed some were burned up, as a few were missing when the stage left yesterday morning."

(Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; April 25, 1894; page 1.)

"Arrivals from Jerome last evening speak very highly of the actions of the fire boys of that camp during the conflagration on Monday morning, and their heroic efforts to save the buildings burned down. Had it not been for their efficiency, the loss would have been still greater and added further to the destitution of the town. The fire occurred at such an unusual hour that few people were awake, and, taking into consideration the gale that was blowing all night, these men acquitted themselves admirably under the existing conditions of the town's sudden misfortune."

"It is quite refreshing to hear once in awhile of an act of bravery. Jack Harmon, the express messenger who wouldn't be intimidated by dynamite and six-shooters, showed nerve that many men might well be proud of. He pumped hot lead into the crowd of robbers as long as he could see them. He saved the treasury for the company, and, no doubt, will receive his reward --- in heaven."

(Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; April 25, 1894; page 3, column 2.)

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