This is a list of a few of the fires that destroyed much of Caddo between 1872-1930. I have more complete stories of the major ones.
The Caddo Herald
May 18, 1900
Fire: The worst fire by far that Caddo has had in ten years occurred Monday night at 9 o’clock. The damage as near as can be estimated being $40,000. Only the heroic efforts of our citizens and a very hard rain prevented the entire business portion of town from being destroyed…
November 23, 1900
Monday Night’s Fire Burned the First Block Built in Caddo
Caddo was visited by a fire Monday night which burned almost the entire block of buildings on the north side of East Buffalo street, and directly across the street from the Nail Hotel and W. H. Ainsworth’s dry goods store…
The Miami Weekly Herald
August 16, 1901
Caddo, I. T. – August 7- At 11 o’clock tonight fire started in the post office building on the north side of Buffalo Street and spread to the new building of G. B. Green, then spread east to the corner occupied by Arnold & Attaway, then north to the residence of Mrs. P. L. Russell. In all, eighteen buildings are gone, with over $100,000 loss.
1902- The “cotton house and gin” burned. (Name not given.)
January 9, 1903
Fire destroyed the residence of W. W. White on Buffalo street Wednesday morning about 3 o’clock. The house was owned by J. H. Sims of Durant. The fire was far advanced when first discovered and none of the effects were saved. The photo tent and contents were saved. There was some insurance but we failed to learn how much. It was a narrow escape for the building of Smith, Cobb & Pace, as they were next east of the residence. Buffalo Street being 100 feet wide lessened the danger to buildings on the south side, though a strong north wind was blowing.
Dallas Morning News, Dallas,
May 17, 1903
FIRE AT CADDO.
Three Buildings Destroyed--Loss Is About $30,000.
Denison, Tex., May 16.--Thursday morning at Caddo, I. T., fire started on the inside of the store of W. H. Ainsworth. A light northwest wind prevailed, which carried the flames from there to the I. O. O. F. Hall, thence to the frame building formerly occupied by the Caddo Herald, owned by C. A. Hancock, where the progress of the fire was stayed.
Durant Weekly News
December 8, 1905
Wednesday night at 9 o’clock a fire broke out in Hill’s dry goods store at Caddo and spread to buildings adjoining: Hill’s dry goods house, Pinson’s hardware store, Heath’s meat market. All of these houses, with their contents, were a complete loss.
The Daily Ardmoreite
February 4, 1907
Bad Fire at Caddo
Five Business Buildings with Their Contents Destroyed
Caddo, I. T. Feb. 3- Fire this morning at 4 o’clock destroyed five business buildings, four of which were one-story bricks, being the first brick buildings erected in the town and were built in the summer of 1895.
The frame building was owned by Mrs. Mattie Lynch, valued at $1,000 and partly insured; occupied by a meat market and restaurant. One brick was owned by W. D. Harrison and valued at $3,200, with insurance of $1,700; one by Mrs. McKee Robinson, occupied by W. E. Thedin; insurance on stock, $1,000, value, $1,600. The Harrison building was occupied by Allmon and Henry, grocers; value of stock and fixtures, $3,500, insurance $1,800. One building owned by Siegel & Hudspeth, value $3,200, some insurance, occupied by a restaurant. One building owned by Walters & Mugler, value, $3,200, partly insured.
It is believed that the buildings were set afire and United States Marshall Maytubby is on the ground working on the case. No arrests have been made.
The Daily Ardmoreite
March 20, 1907
Bad Fire at Caddo- March 19- Fire broke out at 11:30 last night in the store of Abney & Vincent and by 12 o’clock an entire block of business houses had been burned. Among the firms whose stores were destroyed were W. T. Smith, P. W. Arnold, and Abney & Vincent. A high south wind threatened the north side.
1909- The Katy cotton platform burned.
January 21, 1921
Caddo High School Building Burned
Last Friday morning at eight o’clock the Caddo High School building burned. Nothing but the walls and iron work was left. School began again Monday morning in the Club house, Woodman Hall, and Odd Fellow Hall.
February 4, 1921
Fire Friday Morning
Friday morning about 1 o’clock the old Masonic building on Main Street burned. It, with all contents was a total loss. It was occupied by Simmons & Cain as a corn mill. There was some insurance on the building, but none on the contents we understand. No one seems to know how the fire originated.
The building was one of the old landmarks of Caddo, having been erected some thirty years ago, had been used upstairs as a Masonic Hall, with other lodges meeting with them; was used as one of our public school buildings, as a store building in early days, and lately as a feed and meal store and mill. Much history is wrapped in that old building; many lessons have been taught there; many events occurred within its walls. Now all is ashes.
November 11, 1921
Fire Guts Building Sunday Morning
About 6 o’clock Sunday morning fire was discovered in the building occupied by Hodges & Roach barber shop and A. T. Hatcher, butcher. The alarm was sounded and telephones used so that soon the fire company appeared and proceeded to put out the blaze.
By this means the fire was confined to the building, though the contents were so badly damaged as to be worthless.
January 7, 1927
Rice Store burns Monday Morning
Monday morning at 6:30 o’clock the store of C. H. Rice was destroyed by fire. Nothing was saved of the stock of groceries. Loss on store and building was about $6,000. Insurance $2,000.
There have been many, many house fires. These are just a few:
1894- A. C. Risner home
1903- Sims home on Buffalo
1921- Amos K. Bass home
1923- F. R. Grayson home, once a hotel, built in 1883
1925- J. D. Maytubby home
1926- Lawrence home on Buffalo, built by Manning family in 1893
1927- W. T. Craighead home, one block north of Catholic Church
1930- Semple home, believed to be the first home built in Caddo, 1870, by Rev. Ebenezer Hotchkins