Ed Knott Barn Burned
Posted By: Volunteer
Date: 10/22/2009 at 12:30:58
From the Semi-Weekly Iowa State Reporter. Waterloo, Iowa Tuesday, May 17, 1904.
"Big Barn Burned
Ed Knott Meets With Heavy Loss in Conflagration.
Fifteen Horses Cremated
Attendant Succeeded in Saving Three at Risk of His Life
Knott Horse Importing Barn Destroyed by Fire Early Sunday Morning--Only $2,000 Insurance on the Building--Contents Well Protected
Waverly, May 16--Special to Reporter--At 1 o'clock Sunday morning occured one of the most disastrous fires that Waverly has experienced in many years. The Edward A. Knott horse importing stables, now occupied by Knott Bros. as a livery barn, with all its equipment and contents burned to the ground. In the barn were many carriages together with eighteen head of fine horses. Little of the equipment was saved and all the horses parished but three. These horses were rescued by an attendant at the peril of his own life. Among the horses burned was Julian Ruddick's splendid pacer "Freak." A valuable team belonging to two boys from Janesville was also lost.
The Knott importing barn was one of the familiar land marks of Waverly.It was situated on Bremer avenue at the west end of the bridge.It was one of the finest horse palaces in the state and was erected at a cost of $8,000.00.It was a two story structure 44x126 feet and was the property of United States Marshal E.A. Knott. Mr. Knott loses his entire investment except a margin of about $2,000.00 covered by insurance. The equipment belonged to his two sons, John and Fred. It is understood that their loss in excess of insurance will be comparatively small.
Water Pressure Failed.
Had the high winds of the past week still prevailed no power could have saved the business portion of the west-side. At the critical moment the water pressure was found so light as to render the fire boys practically helpless. Handicapped thus it was with extreme difficulty that they prevented the angry flames from eating their way into the long wooden rows which span Bremer avenue the entire distance from West Water street to Elm street.
Origin of Fire Unknown
The exact origin of the fire is as yet unknown. It was at first thought to be an electric wire, but this theory is hardly tenable. The fire began in the hay mow in the extreme back part of the building and directly in front of the horses. When discovered it had gained such headway that it had already burst through the roof.
Site for New Depot
One of the probable results of this fire will be the locating of the Rock Island depot on Bremer avenue. Several years ago this company purchased all the land intervening between its present depot grounds and this thoroughfare. All the buildings were removed therefrom at once except the Knott barn. Failing to reach an agreement with Mr. Knott they have allowed the matter to rest until the present time. The total destruction of this barn now leaves the way clear for the placing of one of the most favorably located depots in the city.
Bremer Documents maintained by Sara J. Holmes.
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