Thursday, October 27, 2016

On This Date in Minnesota History: October 27

October 27, 1912 – Rochester, Minn., was visited by a disastrous fire early this morning that totally destroyed a half block of business buildings and for a time threatened to wipe out the entire section of that district. The loss will reach $50,000 or more. C.D. Brown, president of the city council, was the heaviest loser, his hack and livery equipment and his auto garage were destroyed. The W.L. Bailey blacksmith shop and Barber’s paint works were burned to the ground.

Twenty-two horses were burned to death, four of which belonged to private parties and 18 to Mr. Brown, including Alphonso, a racer well known on southern Minnesota tracks.

Ed Parker, an employee of the barn, slept while the fire was raging and barely escaped with his life. The fire had gained terrific headway before being discovered, making it impossible to free the animals in the barn, where the conflagration was at its worst. As soon as it was known that the horses were doomed, many of the beasts that could be reached were shot to death.

While battling with the flames, Fire Chief John Boylhart met with serious injury when a nozzle on a hose line broke, striking him in the side. He was quickly removed to his home, where it was found three ribs were broken and he may have suffered internal injuries, which will be determined by x-rays.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “$50,000 Blaze at Rochester. Half a Block of Business Buildings Destroyed—Fire Chief Injured.”; Oct. 28, 1912; p. 1.


If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MNHS records.  Both short searches and family history reports.

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