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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Newkirk in Kay County, Oklahoma — The American South (West South Central)
 

Fire of 1901

 
 
Fire of 1901 Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 24, 2011
1. Fire of 1901 Marker
Inscription.

The entire east side of the 100 block of North Main burned to the ground November 15, 1901. Some of the citizens (obviously not the ones whose businesses were destroyed) thought this was a blessing in disguise. The block consisted of frame buildings in poor condition.

The fire started three doors from the south end of the block in the second floor of Ward Brothers Restaurant at 4:00 p.m. Most of the businesses were lighted by gasoline lamps. Frank Jennison was in charge of cleaning the lamps each day and lighting them in the evening. On this particular evening, he was filling a lamp in the Ward building when his helper lit a match near the gasoline container. The container exploded and in minutes the entire second floor was in flames. The lamp was thrown out of a window, and Carl Matthews tried to secure the container. Matthews was overcome by smoke, fell into the burning oil, and was badly burned. City Marshal Clyde Wooden rescued him. Both Jennison and his helper were also burned.

The fire moved north destroying everything in its path. Townspeople quickly rallied and placed blankets drenched with salt water over the fronts of nearby buildings. Farmers loaned their teams and wagons to help remove goods. In all, twenty-four businesses were destroyed by the blaze.
 
Erected by
Fire of 1901 Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 24, 2011
2. Fire of 1901 Marker
Looking southwest toward Post Office
Modern Woodmen of America.
 
Location. 36° 52.953′ N, 97° 3.209′ W. Marker is in Newkirk, Oklahoma, in Kay County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (U.S. 77) and 7th Street, on the right when traveling north on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Newkirk OK 74647, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cherokee Allotments (a few steps from this marker); First National Bank (within shouting distance of this marker); Newkirk Kay County Fair (within shouting distance of this marker); Oklahoma State Centennial 1907 - 2007 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Cline Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Newkirk (within shouting distance of this marker); Kay County Abstract Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Land of Hope (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newkirk.
 
Also see . . .
1. The History of Newkirk, Oklahoma. (Submitted on October 22, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Newkirk, Oklahoma. (Submitted on October 22, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. DisastersSettlements & Settlers
 
Photo of Fire of 1901 on Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, 1901
3. Photo of Fire of 1901 on Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 22, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 329 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 22, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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