Ostrander and Scioto Township History

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JULY 13, 1925

Semi-Weekly Gazette
July 14, 1925

The fire that destroyed Ostrander's business district on July 13, 1925 changed the face of the small village forever.  

Fire believed to have originated in the Truman Lowe restaurant from an unknown cause, wiped out the entire business block at Ostrander, Monday morning with a loss conservatively estimated at $35,000.  The fire was discovered at 5:30 o'clock and the blaze had been controlled by 7:30 o'clock and soon after the fire had burned itself out.  By nine o'clock the entire business section of the village was a smoldering ruin several brick walls alone standing in the square.

Miller Warren, who occupied a room above the Truman restaurant, first discovered the fire.  When he was awakened his room was filled with smoke and he made his way to the outside with some difficulty.  Warren gave the alarm and in a short time the entire village was engaged in fighting the flames.

The new fire apparatus recently purchased by the village had its first duty to perform, but the blaze had gained too strong a headway and the chemical tanks were powerless to check the onrushing flames.  Bucket brigades were also formed and with the fire engine managed to confine the blaze to the one square.  An old frame building, a former livery stable, and regarded as one of the worst fire traps in the village, was the only structure in the entire square to escape.  It is located at the southwest corner of the burned area, almost across from the Big Four station.

Buildings destroyed were occupied by the R.F. Long restaurant and ice cream parlor; the Crane pool room; the Drake Meat Market and the Barley grocery, located in the same room; Truman Lowe restaurant; H.T. Kyle drug store; C. Hannawalt, general store; The M.R. Hayes Hardware store; The Masonic Temple; Ralph Montgomery Barber Shop; Ed Bean, dwelling and bakery; the Robinson Blcok in which was located the post office and Robinson's Undertaking Establishment on the first floors and on the second floor The Robinson Opera House; the Lamme Farm Implement store and the Cartmell Hotel, and a frame building owned by Adolph Crane.

Merchants were able to save much of their stock, volunteers moving from one store to the next and carrying out the goods.  Yards were filled with merchandise Monday morning and one of the greatest difficulties facing the business men of the city was in finding places in which to temporarily do business.  With the burning of the block business rooms are few in the village.  Many of the merchants were moving their stock into barns and their homes for the time being.

The men of the village proved themselves, good workers and with leaders in charge of different sections they put in a busy day in removing the rescued stocks to places of safety.  The women likewise, were not unmindful of their duty in the time of disaster, and were passing coffee and sandwiches to the horde of workers.

J.C. Maugans, who owned a number of the store rooms, and Harry Robinson, owner of the Robinson building were probably the heaviest losers.  Mr. Maugans owned the rooms occupied by the Drake Meat Market, the Lower restaurant, the Kyle Drug Store, the Hannawalt store, a room to the west of the Hannawalt store, which was unoccupied, the room occupied by the Hayes Hardware Store and the Masonic Temple on the second floor over the unoccupied room and the Hayes Hardware store.  He estimated his loss at $8000, partially covered by insurance.  Robinson estimated his building  at $7000.  It was occupied by the postoffice and the Robinson Undertaking establishment on the first floor and the Robinson Opera House on the second floor.  The opera house contained 300 opera chairs and a piano, which was not removed.

The Ed Bean dwelling and baker were estimated at $2500 valuation with insurance covering less than half that amount.

Mr. Harmon Cartmell owner of the hotel suffered a loss of over $2000.  The furniture was all removed from the building.

The building occupied by the Lane Implement store was owned by Clem Liggett and was estimated at a valuation of $1500.

The frame building owned by Adolph Crane had been recently purchased by him for $500.

The building occupied by the Montgomery Barber Shop was the property of Dr. G.E. Cowels.  Its value was estimated at $1500.

The room occupied by the Long Restaurant was owned by Hamilton Brothers of Bellefontaine.  It was valued at more than $2000.

The room occupied by Adolph Crane's pool room was owned by the estate of Grover Stover.  It was valued at $1500 and there was no insurance, it was stated.

Heaviest losers among the business men were probably H.T. Kyle, the druggist, whose store adjoined the Lowe Restaurant where the fire is said to have originat3ed and C. Hannawalt, owner of the general store, adjoining Kyle's place.  Kyle estimated his loss at $3000 with $2000 insurance while Hannawalt estimated his loss at around $2500 partially covered by insurance.  All fixtures in the Truman Lowe restaurant where the fire was discovered were lost and he was...

Standing on North Street looking south.  Building at right in rear in Hutchinson Bros Store south of tracks east of Main Street.
 David Cooper.
 David Cooper Standing on 2nd Street looking east after fire.
 David Cooper
Standing on North Street looking south at railroad buildings where the large concrete elevator stands today.
 David Cooper