Articles submitted by Janet Turnbull




New York Times, July 11, 1892, page 4

Explosion in a Grocery

Two of the Victims in Danger of Losing their Lives.

Peoria, Ill. July 10—The grocery store of George Williams, at the corner of Adams and South Streets, was the scene of a terrific explosion last night, in which a dozen persons were inured, two of whom may die.

The building was well filled with customers, when, without warning, there was an explosion of several barrels of gasoline stored in the cellar. Every one in the store at the time was thrown down and some of them were rendered unconscious. Joseph Rising was hurled through a glass door and his throat and breast are cut in a shocking manner. Mrs. Davis, who was standing in the centre [sic] of the place, was thrown out of the front door, and her injuries are considered fatal. Two of the clerks were rendered unconscious and were rescued from the burning building by the firemen.

The flames spread with great rapidity and there was the utmost difficulty in getting all the inured ones from the building in time to save their lives. The financial loss is small. What caused the explosion has not be ascertained.


New York Times, March 31, 1894, page 1

Crushed by a Falling Standpipe

A Boy Killed and Ten Men, a Woman, and A Child Hurt in Peoria, Ill.

Peoria, Ill., March 30—While workmen were engaged in making some repairs on the standpipe at Boarland and College Streets shortly after 10 o’clock this morning the great structure gave a lurch, broke squarely off at the base, and fell to the ground. It was 120 feet high and 20 feet in diameter and contained 1,000,000 gallons of water. A boy was killed and ten men, a woman and child injured:

ANDERSON, HOWARD; shoulder bone broken.

CALDWELL, FRANK C., leg badly fractured and sprained.

GROSS, ALBERT, slightly injured.

HOGAN, FRANK, fifteen years old, instantly killed.

HUBER, JOHN, employe [sic] of the water company, bruised about the head.

ISOM, HAZEL, six years old, bruised and cut.

KENNEDY, WILLIAM, bruised and cut severely.

KING, ROLLA, slightly injured.

LITTLEFIELD, CHARLES, slightly injured.

NORRIS, W. B., serious injuries about the head and shoulders.

POWELL, CLYDE, leg broken.

SWING, N. S., slightly injured.

TRAPP, Mrs. John B., bruised about the head and shoulders.

The damage to property was considerable, as a number of houses were carried from their foundations by the rush of water. Every cellar in the neighborhood was filled with water, and in many instances carpets and other furniture on the first floors of residences were badly damaged, the flood taking full possession. Traffic had to be abandoned until the flood subsided.



New York Times, November 2, 1890, page 1

A Big Fire in Chillicothe

The Business Portion of the Town Almost Entirely Destroyed

PEORIA, Ill., Nov. 1—The business portion of the town of Chillicothe was almost entirely destroyed by fire last night. The fire originated in Hancock’s livery stable and spread rapidly in all directions. The Mayor of this city [Peoria] was appealed to for help, and in response a special train with fire engines was dispatched to the scene, but as there were no means of unloading the machines they could not be utilized. The telegraph and telephone offices were burned and all communication is cut off, so that it is impossible to obtain details as yet. The following buildings are destroyed:

Mary Garr’s millinery, Jack Storry’s tailor shop, G. O. Fredrick’s butcher’s shop, Dan Dougherty’s saloon, King Brothers’ saloon, William Storry’s wagon and blacksmith shop, D.P. Smith’s shoe shop, Dr. C. John’s drug store, Fred Smith’s bakery, the residence of Mrs. Riddlecorn, Ely Mitchell’s jewelry store, William Miller’s house, the Cottage Hotel, N. H. Bailey furniture; F. W. Bailey Chillicothe Bulletin office, Wolf Brothers Saloon and billiard hall, Messensee’s saloon, George P. Pugh’s machinery warehouse, Mrs. Callahan’s millinery, H. Greenhood barber shop; R. Scott’s barber shop; John Storry’s tailor shop; W.M. Kahn’s tailor shop; Dan Kelly’s grocery; P. P. Matthew’s dry goods, store not burned but gutted causing a heavy loss; Elias Entz’s harness shop; Mooney & Mooney’s groceries; H.A. Mead, groceries; Richard Hughes saloon; Walker’s shoes; Charles Mathias’s barber shop; Mary Booze’s millinery, the Post Office (probably much mail destroyed;) Nelson Bros’ billiard hall; Rube Ingersoll’s saloon; William Kreig’s restaurant; Carter and Beebe’s butcher shop.

The loss will not fall short of $200,000, on which there is only partial insurance.



Huge Fire in downtown ChillicotheNew York Times, July 31, 1881, page 2

A Still-Tub Explodes

One Man Killed and Thirteen Injured—Most of the Injured Likely to Die

PEORIA, Ill.—July 30—At 6 o’clock this evening a terrible explosion occurred at Woolner’s Distillery in Lower Peoria. Max Woolner, son of Abrahm Woolner, was instantly killed, and 13 others were scalded and bruised. The following are the names of the wounded: Ignatius Woolner, son of the proprietor, badly burned, and will probably die before morning; John Kirkland, Henry Williams, William Rice and two sons, Henry Goetz, Charles Hoffner, August Stetter, Tom Lawless, Sinclair, of York [sic]; Freeman, Henry Cashing, William Fehl and two sons, and August Riefner, all of whom are badly burned, and some will, no doubt, die before morning.

The distillery was burned on June 6, and the proprietors were engaged in trying to save a tub of beer that had been saved from the fire. Through some defect in the machinery or in the pipes the still-tub exploded with fearful results. It is believed that of the 13 wounded are hurt fatally.


New York Times, August 1, 1881, page 5

The Peoria Disaster

PEORIA, Ill., July 31—Instead of 14 men, 18 were injured by the explosion of Woalner [sic] Brothers’ distillery last night, nine of whom have died and three more will not live till morning. The remainder will probably recover. Sinclaire, the New –York [sic] man, is not fatally hurt.

New York Times, August 5, 1881, page 1

Victims of a Bursted Still

CHICAGO, Ill, Aug. 4—A special to the Times from Peoria says: “William Voehl, the third of his family, and August Stetler, two more victims of Saturday’s distillery disaster, died this morning, making 13 deaths out of the 18 injured. The remaining five will probably recover. With two exceptions, those killed were Germans, almost all of whom leave families in destitute circumstances.”



New York Times, March 7, 1881, page 5

Losses by Fire

At 5 o’clock Saturday morning St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Peoria, Ill., which was erected two years ago at a cost of $50,000, was destroyed by fire. The fire is supposed to have originated from the candles on the altar or from the furnace. The church was insured in the Aetna, London and Liverpool and Globe, and Hartford Insurance Companies for $2,500 each; in the Fireman’s Fund, $1.500; in the German Insurance Company of Peoria, for $2,000; in the Home of New York for $700; and in the Girard of Pennsylvania for $1,500.



New York Times, March 4, 1868, page 8

Fire at Peoria, Ill—Loss $100,000

CHICAGO, Ill., Tuesday, March 3—A fire at Peoria, Ill., on Sunday morning, destroyed the Metropolitan Hotel and an adjoining building, occupied as a restaurant. The hotel was valued at $75,000; the total loss will amount to near $100,000.

The insurance on the hotel and contents is $45,000, the Hartford, Phenix, North American, Home, Corn Exchange, Putnam, Manhattan, Enterprise, Merchants’, International, Lorillard, Etna, having $2,500 each. The balance was in Illinois Companies.



New York Times, September 24, 1868, page 1

Destruction of the Peoria, Ill., Pottery Works by Fire

PEORIA, Ill., Wednesday, Sept. 23—A fire broke out in the Peoria Pottery Works this morning. The whole building was burned to the ground. It was the largest establishment of the kind in the State. Loss $125,000; insured for $40,000 or $50,000.



New York Times, June 17, 1861, page 9

Large Fire at Peoria

PEORIA, Ill., Saturday, June 15—A fire, this morning, destroyed the dwelling-house of James Miller and spread to the adjoining lumber-yard. The principal losses are: Jas. Miller, $10,000; Bennett & Harrison, lumber, $3,500; C. J. Specks, hotel, $10,000. Other smaller losses making a total of $35,000 to $40,000. Insurance, $22,000.



New York Times, September 5, 1910, page 1

Iron Plant Dynamited

Night Watchman Insured—Other Buildings Destroyed

PEORIA, Ill, Sept. 4—Dynamite tonight demolished the Lucas Bridge and Iron Company’s plant. Night Watchman Robert Gebhardt was seriously injured. Four near-by buildings were damaged.




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