LAUDERDALE COUNTY, ALABAMA
25 Sep 1866
This is the published article mentioned in D. R. Lindsey's journal, as it appeared in the Florence Journal newspaper.
Florence was the scene of a terrible conflagration on Monday night, the sight
appalled the stoutest heart, and the prospects of our flourishing town are
retarded in their onward progress. A portion of the business part of town now
smokes in the ashes of its ruins, and the red glare of the smouldering embers
tells the sad tale of a lamentable destruction. Florence but rose from the
debris of a raiding military ruin to plunge into the gulph [sic] of a
Providential calamity, and what was being repaired by the hand of a
re-invigorated industry, now lies in the ruins of an incontrollable [sic]
destiny. What a pity! How sad the thought!---That the hand of the incendiary
worked the destruction, no honest man doubts, and the tale of destruction is
none the less impressive. Fifty thousand dollars have been swept away, and
honest industry mourns the loss. The fire broke out in the stable of Mr. S.C.
Stafford, and communicating with his Store, destroyed the Dry Goods and Grocery
Store of Messrs. Miller &Crow, the private residence of Capt. C. A. Tenge, and
the Drug Store of Messrs. Smith & Burtwell, when, luckily, it was arrested,
thanks to the untiring energy of the citizens, aided by the devotion of several
Freedmen, whose names are remembered.---Mrs. Seale, Messrs. Burtwell & Lyon, A.
J. Rice & Co., Patton, Weems & Co., Hester & Wood, and Mr. Joseph Milner, who
occupied contiguous buildings, suffered in the removal of their goods, whose
losses we have estimated in the sum total of $50,000. But for the fact of the
wind being from the South, the destruction of the entire block, of which Mr.
Stafford's store formed the Northern wing, was inevitable; how far the raging
element would have traversed, is left only to conjecture. As it is, the loss is
very heavy for Florence, and awakes the sympathies of her many friends.
Messrs. Stafford, Tenge, Dr. Brock, and Mrs. Blair, who owned the buildings destroyed, and who are the heaviest losers, had no insurance on their property.
[SOURCE: The Florence Journal, Wednesday, September
27, 1866, p. 3.]
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