Austin, PA Disastrous Fire, Dec 1890

Austin PA Circa 1910 Main Street

AN ILL FATED VILLAGE.

ANOTHER DISASTROUS CONFLAGRATION AT AUSTIN, PA.

SIX BUSINESS PLACES ON TURNER STREET WERE DESTROYED SUNDAY -- AN EXPLOSION OF AN OIL STOVE IN A DRUG STORE CAUSES A LOSS OF $10,000 OR OVER.

Advices from Austin, Pa., contain the news that another disastrous conflagration visited that little lumbering borough again Sunday night. Means of communication between this city and Austin are very meagre and full particulars are hardly attainable, but from what can be learned it is thought the loss will not fall short of $10,000, and may be much more.
The fire started from the explosion of an oil stove in GEORGE D. HELLWIGS drug store on Turner street, and before the progress of the fierce flames could be stayed, six business places, with their contents, were laid in ashes.
The buildings burned, so far as known, are HELLWIG'S drug store, MRS. C. S. WATKINS' grocery, FRANK WELCH'S drug store, J. W. YENNIE'S gents' furnishing goods store, WILLIAM WALCH'S meat market, and GEORGE OLES' cigar and fruit store.
Austin is situated in the heart of the lumber woods of Potter county, Pennsylvania, and is one of the most prosperous and thriving little boroughs in the state. It will be remembered that on the night of August 13 the main business portion of the borough was destroyed by fire, entailing a loss of between $400,000 and $500,000. In spite of this terrible setback the plucky and energetic citizens set immediately to work to rebuild, and soon neat and substantial brick blocks filled the places of the old wooden buildings which had been destroyed. This second blaze following so soon after the first one will be a severe blow to the little village, but it will probably not materially retard its growth.
The buildings destroyed were a row of old and dry wooden ones which escaped the first fire, and these also will now probably be replaced with brick structures.
Further advices from Austin, Pa., state that the loss by Sunday night's fire will not be less than $10,000 at the least. The fire started at about 11:30 o'clock, and raged fiercely for over an hour. The buildings destroyed were a row of wooden ones on the west side of Turner street. The village has a system of water works and two hose companies. The firemen did good work in saving the grocery store of MRS. C. S. WATKINS, which was in close proximity to the burning building. It is impossible as yet to give the individual losses, as the value of the stock in the stores burned is not known.
The following losers were insured with W. H. Mandeville & Company's agency of this city:
FRANK WELCH, drug store, $2,000 on stock.
J. W. YENNIE, clothing and furnishing goods store, $2,000 on stock and $100 on store furniture and fixtures.
GEORGE D. HELLWIG, drug store, $975 on stock and fixtures.
WILLIAM WALCH, meat market, $800 on building.
GEORGE L. OLES, cigar and fruit store, $150 on stock and $75 on building.
A. L. PIERCE, residing with his family over HELLWIG'S drug store, lost everything. He carried an insurance of $200 on household furniture. There was some other insurance with companies represented by a Coudersport agency.
The family of J. H. ELLIOTT, residing over YENNIE'S store, also lost everything, and they had no insurance.
DR. FLOYD'S office over HELWIG'S store, and DR. JOHNSON'S office, over WELCH'S store, were a total loss with no insurance.

Olean Democrat New York 1890-12-04