Athens Visited Sunday by Disastrous Fire
Several Thousand Dollars’ Goes Up In Flames --- Partially Protected By Insurance
The town of Athens was visited by a disastrous fire last Sunday morning about two o’clock. The fire originated in the Odd Fellows Hall, either in the part used by the State for the Normal School or in the room used for the meetings of that order. School had been in session, and it was known that there was a little fire in the stove of the school room. The Odd Fellows had held a meeting until a late hour the evening before, and they, too, had had a fire.
From this building the fire spread rapidly, and in a little while the Osborne building, the F. A. Bolin store house and the office of Drs. Holroyd & Holroyd were in flames. The buildings were all frame, and it was impossible to save much of the contents for the reason that the heat was so severe.
Of the loss to the owners the following is the estimate given us:
Drs. Holroyd & Holroyd, house furniture, drugs, etc., $1,500.00. About $1,000.00 insurance.
Osborne building, including store room and goods, dwelling, photo gallery, loss between $4,500.00 and $5,000.00, about $4,000 insurance. In this building was located the city lockup, Squire C. W. Gore’s office, the Mayor’s office, Athens telephone office, and two families.
The Odd Fellows Hall, the ground floor, was used for the office of the principal of the Normal School. The State lost considerable property here, and Prof. Bemis lost about $100.00, while Prof. Fred A. Forster sustained a heavy loss in the same building in the shape of valuable books.
The F. A. Bolin property was occupied by J. M. Cook, who carried a good stock of goods, while he carried $3,600.00 insurance. There was but $500.00 on the house.
G. W. B. P. T. Scott lost about $100.00 in his meat market.
Kelly Woods, who lived in a portion of the Osborne building lost everything, getting out only a feather bed and two pillows. He is a poor man, with a wife and six children to care for. The good people of Athens are helping him.
The Athens Telephone Company sustained about $50.00 loss.
The M. E. Church, south, building was injured by the heat and some of the glass broken from the windows.
The R. G. Meador store house was injured, several of the front windows being cracked.
The Mrs. W. H. Holroyd property was injured, and at one time it was thought that the building could not be saved.
The Appling Hotel was considerably injured and much of the household goods were damaged as many of them were moved from the premises.
Athens has suffered a great deal by fires within the last few years. We regret this very much. The town is without fire protection and it is hard to fight the flames on a night like that of Saturday last.
We visited Athens Monday evening and viewed the ruins of the fire. The houses destroyed were familiar ones to the writer, and we sympathize with those who have sustained the losses, but trust that on the ruins of these buildings others will spring up to grace the town.
Source: Transcribed from the Mercer Republican, Issue Friday, January 19, 1912