Carthage News

1910: Fire destroys north side of Main Street


Prairie Lutheran Parish Church Services Dec. 13 will be at 9:30 a.m. at First Lutheran in Artesian. This will be an outdoor service with people listening to the service over their car radios. Everyone is welcome.

Lisa Hinkley of De Smet visited her mother, Harriet Hattervig, last Wednesday.

The pandemic is causing setbacks for families, towns, the state and the world.

Did you know?

Historical information from “Carthage, Gem of the Redstone” by Sally Madison.

The annual June 7 celebration in Carthage was an established tradition long before 1910. The event included band concerts by the town’s 30-piece band, horse-racing, ballgames with neighboring towns, tug-of-war and foot races, along with three-legged races, and concluded with a dance at the old opera house. During later years, carnivals were brought in.

The 1910 celebration was no different from other years until after midnight, when the night watchman discovered a fire and reported it. The ineffective firefighting equipment at the time arrived at the scene, but there was not enough water pressure to fight the fire. All anyone could do was watch as fourteen buildings on the north side of Main Street burned to the ground. By morning, all that was left was smoldering rubble. The losses were some of the finest businesses — a drugstore and stock, two hardware stores and stock, two general merchandise stores and stock, a restaurant, a millinery store and novelty store, real estate and insurance offices, one residence and a barn. There would have been a fatality had not someone checked the barn and found someone sleeping off the effects of too much celebration. A quote from The Carthage News in June of 1910 read, “Our best businesses are naught but a heap of blackened ruins. Carthage has been dealt a staggering blow, and she will rise from the ashes a rejuvenated city. It will take time and money, but the grit of our people is phenomenal and their spirit of ‘get there’ will accomplish wonders.”


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