Saturday, October 9, 2021

The Great Chicago Fire Day Two, 150 Years -- October 9, 2021

Rock Island Argus, 09-October-1871

150 years ago today, on 09-October-1871, the Great Chicago Fire continued to rage for a second day. It burned for three days and killed at least 300 people. (Spoiler Alert) Mrs O'Leary's cow did not start it. 



4 O'Clock P. M.

Tens of Thousands
Market Reports.

(Reported Expressly for the ARGUS.)
The following comes by way of St. Louis :
CHICAGO, Oct. 9, MONDAY Noon. -- The work of construction goes on with relentless fury. From Harrison street south to Division north, and from River, four miles long by one wide, the flames have swept everything before them. It is estimated at least 100,000 people are homeless and in a destitute condition. The streets are lined with such household goods as have been saved from destruction. Most generous offers of assistance in food are received from every city and town possible by telegraph. The Mayor has responded to several offers asking that cooked food be sent as soon as possible. Firemen are on their way here from Cincinnati, St. Louis and other cities. The water works are completely destroyed. They are blowing up buildings in the line of the fire, attempting to arrest its progress.

LATER. -- It is now believed that the spread of the fire southward has been stayed at Harrison street, but on the North Side there is no diminution. The entire division is evidently doomed to utter destruction. There are grave fears that the flames may spread to the west of the north branch of the river, and the inhabitants on the streets nearest the river are already moving to places of supposed safety.

The Western Union Telegraph Co. have now six wires working east and south, and running into a temporary office corner of State and Sixteenth streets.

The Northwestern Railroad is running trains on both its branches, which are crowded with fleeing citizens. It is now positively asserted by some that the water works are still intact, but the water has been shut off from the south and west on account of the quantity being used on the North Side.

CHICAGO, via CLINTON, Oct. 9, 8 p. m. -- The fire is reported extending south of Harrison street.

This looks as if the splendid residences on the Avenues may share the fate of the business houses of the money kings.

CHICAGO, Oct. 9, 9;30 p. m. -- The fire is still raging up as far as Lincoln Park, and reported still farther than that. The only building that could be seen between the river and lake from Harrison street on the south was the post office -- all others for six miles north have fallen to the ground. All the hotels, the Great Central Depot, and all the elevators, and the water works on the North Side, are destroyed. All the prisoners in the Court House jail were burned.

9 p. m. -- It is reported that they have about subdued the flames near Lincoln Park.

9:35 p. m. -- About two-thirds of the city is burned. Not a hotel or depot left. Everything is burned to the ground that was in the way of the fire. All the daily papers are burned out. The south and west part of the city is standing, but it is impossible to say how long it will stand. The north part of the city burnt to the ground. If the wind changes it will clean the rest, The water is played out, and the engines gone home. There is not a business house standing down town. It has burned down to the lake for four miles,, All is standing south of Twelfth street. The rest is gone.

Chicago, Midnight.

The simple facts that the great city of Chicago is destroyed, that hundreds of millions of active capital have been ruined, and that nearly one third of the inhabitants are homeless, are enough. Any attempt to embellish would be but mockery, as this awful day closes. Thousands of anxious eyes watch the dense clouds of smoke which roll over the burnt districts with such evident force that a sudden change of wind may fan the flames. There is, however, little cause for apprehension, and reinforcements of firemen from other cities are constantly arriving.

Col. J. S. Wilson, Telegraph Superintendent, is in receipt of dispatches from the leading cities, announcing that aid is being forwarded for the sufferers. The mayor of St. Louis telegraphs that $70,000 have been subscribed by the merchants there. Cincinnati promises $100,000, and Cleveland is proportionately generous. All this and a great deal more will be needed to relieve the immediate pressing wants.

About three-fourths of the United States mails were saved, and taken possession of by Col. Wood, of the post-office service.

STOCK YARDS DEPOT, Oct. 10 2 a. m. -- The fire it still burning on the North side.

Robbers, pick pockets, and villains of all descriptions are flocking to the city from all parts of the United States, and are plundering and pillaging the unfortunate citizens without mercy.

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