Digital Macksville

Macksville, Kansas

2- Macksville 1886-1986


2- Macksville 1886-1986


Macksville, Kansas -- History

Macksville, Kansas Centennial

Stafford County, Kansas


Section of the Macksville Centennial Book that deals with Macksville history 1886-1986


Macksville History Committee and The Lewis Press, Inc.


Macksville City Library, Macksville, Kansas


Macksville City Library, Macksville, Kansas











Stafford County, Kansas

Macksville History Committee and The Lewis Press, Inc., “2- Macksville 1886-1986,” Digital Macksville, accessed May 31, 2023,

MACKSVILLE 1886 — 1986
Macksville Town Company Filed September 10,1885
Articles of incorporation of the Macksville Town Company.
1st. The name of the corporation shall be the Macksville Town Company.
2nd. The purpose shall be the purchase, location and laying out of town sites and the sale and conveyance of the same in town lots and subdivisions or otherwise.
3rd. The place where its business shall be transacted shall be Macksville, Stafford County, Kansas.
4th. The corporation shall exist for and during ten years.
5th. The number of its directors shall be seven and the following persons shall be directors for and during the first year to wit.
George Mack, George E. Mack, J.L. Colyer, J.G. Land, J.B. Baldy, C.B. Weeks, Macksville; and W.R. Hoole, St. John.
6th. The Capital Stock shall be fourteen thousand dollars and divided into fourteen hundred shares of ten dollars each.
In testimony whereof we have hereunto set our hands this 8th day of September 1885.
C.B. Weeks, J.B. Baldy, W.R. Hoole, J.L. Colyer, John G. Land, George Mack, G.E. Mack.
Stafford County State of Kansas. ss.
Personally, appeared before me the undersigned a Notary Public in and for the County of Stafford and State of Kansas, J.B. Baldy, W.R. Hoole, J.L. Colyer, John G. Land, George Mack and G.E. Mack who are personally known to me to be the same persons, who signed the foregoing articles of incorporation and they duly acknowledged the execution of the same. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 8th day of September.
The year 1877 was a banner year for the establishment of postoffices and the homesteading of lands destined to become sites of embryo communities.
During the year 1875 just one postoffice was authorized (Zion Valley); in 1876, it was Lulu Valley P.O. at “Sod Town”; but the end of ’77 there were a dozen or more. Among them were Freeman, and probably, Neola
in the southeast; Leesburg, Livingston and Antrim in the south central part; Prattsburg, Emerson and the one established by Doc Dix in the far-southwest; George Mack’s P.O., Greenridge and probably one or two more in the west; Center, Rattlesnake and Kennilworth in the central part; Seward, Sandago and possibly one or two others up north; and one operated by John Child Buckle in the eastern part of the county.
Sometime during this year D.M. Young is reported to
have come to live in the vicinity of the Macksville town-site. In this locality George Mack established a postoffice. The town of Macksville was named in his honor. It is reported that Mr. Mack was the first postmaster in the two townships that were left as a remnant of Stafford County after it had been partitioned. No one seems to know just when he received the appointment and authorization or what name was given to his postoffice at first. However, judging from the dates at hand, it seems certain that mail first came to this office in 1878. As to its name it was referred to as Macksville in the latter part of 1881. However, W.R. Hoole in his description of “principal towns” (May 13,1881) makes no mention of “Macksville” but he does describe “Inman” as being in the far west part of the county. The name of Inman disappeared from the records at the same time that “Macksville” appeared, all of which leads us to believe that Macksville was first called Inman. The mail for this office came out from Larned on a star route (probably the same one that served Livingston, Antrim and Iuka, although it is not mentioned as being thus served in 1877--probably was not yet established).
The postoffice in the home of Nathaniel R. Mills at
Prattsburg was established during this same period and. actually, may have been earlier than Mack’s. In addition to the Mills home with its postoffice, Prattsburg had a store, a blacksmith shop and a mill for grinding grain. Concerning this little town, E. Lois English, in her booklet, “In the Days of Yesteryears,” quotes one of her “shadows” as saying: “We were more than a house by the side of the road. We were the community center, the blacksmith shop and the store.” Course just about all we handled was dried fruits and vegetables brought from Fort Larned. There was a helpful pioneer who established a mill so we could have our corn ground without a journey to the Fort.
“We had to have a meeting place for we had to worship God. Let Him know that we couldn’t rightly get along without His help, so come Sunday we pushed aside the curtains in our one-room home and held Sunday School and church services.
“Everyone was welcome, stranger or neighbors. Sometimes wagons comin’ through stopped and travelers joined our congregation.
From the book “Story of Stafford County” by Frank L. Steele
State of Kansas,
County of Stafford, ss.
To the Honorable Board of County Commissioners of Stafford County, State of Kansas: We the undersigned electors of Macksville, Stafford county, Kansas, a town of three hundred inhabitants, respectfully petition that the territory in Township 24 Range 15 west of the sixth
Principal Meridian, Stafford County, Kansas, embraced within the following metes and bounds, to wit: Commencing at a point where the center of the A. R. & W. railroad track intersects the east line of the west half of section 15, thence sought to the southeast corner of southwest quarter of section 22, thence west to the southwest corner of the northeast quarter of section 21. Thence north to where center of railroad tract intersects the west line of east half of section 16, thence along
center of said track to the place of beginning, be incorporated as a City of the Third Class by the name and style of the City of Macksville.
ELECTORS: Chas. Campbell, J.S. Mott, A.S. Light-waiter, L.H. Baldy, Anson E. Hills, N.H. Clark, L.A. Abell, W.C. Lacoks, F.D. Woodford, Ed H. Landes, B.F. Dahlhammer, F.J. Green, J.N. Kelley, G.E. Mack, G.F. Larch, J.G. Mitchell, H. Parham, J.F. Anderson, S.B. Kieufer, Issac Burbaker, C.N. Davis, S.C. Loeser, S.H. Ward, J. Christy, J.H. McBride, A.G. English, James M. Hopley, F. Jackson, J.M. Adsit, J.M. McBride, W.R. Brown, J.W. Miller, J. Wiley, Wm. G. Fairchild, Wesley Howard, H.A. Kirtland, Martin Carpenter, Geo. Mack, Wm. Swiger, O.C. Grimes, J.E. Fenn, W.H. Noble, J.M. Miller, Jacob Secrest, F. Appleton, A. Bishop, David Mosier, B.F. Rhodes, F. Story, L.B. Seibert, Frank Mosier,
City Election
State of Kansas,
County of Stafford, ss.
Whereas a petition signed by the majority of the Electors, residents of the town of Macksville in Stafford County, Kansas, said town being situated upon the land described as follows: to wit: Commencing at a point where the center of the A.R. and W. R.R. track intersects the east line of the west half of section fifteen (15), thence south to the southeast corner of the northwest
quarter of section twenty-two (22) thence west to the southwest corner of the northeast quarter of section twenty-one (21). Thence north to where the center of R.R. track intersects the west line of the east half of section sixteen (16) thence along the center of said R.R. track to the place of beginning all being in town our (24) south of Range fifteen (15) west of the sixth (6th) P.M. Said land composing the city of Macksville is herein incorporated has been presented to this board of county commissioners of Stafford County and State of Kansas asking the incorporation of said town in land above described and protest being filed by the A.V.T. Co. and whereas it appears to us that there are over two hundred and fifty inhabitants residing upon said land and less than two thousand and where proof has been made to us of the publications of the said petition in full for three successive weeks in the “Macksville Times” a weekly newspaper published in the said town of Macksville as above described and of general circulation therein, and being satisfied that a majority of the taxable inhabitants of the town of Macksville desire to be incorporated as a city of the third class and also being satisfied that the prayer of the petitioners is reasonable. It is therefore considered ordered and adjudged that the territory as above described by metes and bounds be and the same it hereby incorporated as a city of the Third class by the name and style of the "City of Macksville” in Stafford County, Kansas as hereinbefore described by metes and bounds.
That the first election for city officers is hereby ordered to be held on Saturday the 24th day of July 1886.
Macksville's First Mayor and Council. Front row, left to right: William Storey, Mayor; F.D. Woodford, Lou Baldy, Chas. Abel, George Mack, Fred Appleton. Back
row, left to right: S.C. Losier, J.C. Brinkman, W.G. Fair-child, Charles Campbell, Charles Stoddard.
at the office of Story and Baldy on Broadway and near Main St. said office being situated upon the lands as above described. That George E. Mack, J.M. McBride and William Storey are hereby appointed as judges of said city election. That L.H. Baldy and Charles Campbell are appointed as clerks of said city election. That A.S. Lightwaiter, R.S. Grier and O.C. Grimes are appointed as a Board of Canvassers to canvass the election returns of said above city election. That this order be forthwith
spread at length upon the records and the journal of this board of commissioners of Stafford County Kansas and that it be once published in full in the “Macksville Times” one week prior to said election. In testimony whereof the board of commissioners of Stafford County Kansas, has caused this order to be signed by its chairman and attested by its clerk, this 7th day of July A.D. 1886.
C.H. WILBUR, Chairman
1986 City Council. Back row, left to right: Jerry VanArsdale. Front row, left to right: Hazel Lucas, City
Williamson, David Crockett, Jim Clark, Mayor, Jim Clerk, Ruth VanArsdale and Karen Spencer.
City Ordinances ORDINANCE No. 1
An Ordinance Regulating the Meetings of This Council as Provided in
Section 1
Be it ordained by the mayor and councilmen of the City of Macksville.
SECTION 1. That the regular meetings of this council be held on the evening of the first Monday in each month. This ordinance shall take effect and be in force from and after its publication in the Macksville Times.
Passed and approved August 10,1886.
Published in the Macksville Times August 12,1886.
S.C. Loeser, Clerk
An Ordinance Regulating Bond of the City Treasurer. Be it ordained by the mayor and councilmen of the City of Macksville.
SECTION 1. That the treasurer shall give a bond to the City of Macksville in the sum of $2,000 for the faithful performance of his duties and for the safe keeping of all moneys coming into his possession belonging to the City of Macksville, and that he will deliver over to his
successor in office all moneys and credits and other property belonging to the city. This ordinance shall be in force on and after its publication in the Macksville Times.
Passed and approved, August 10,1886.
Published in the Macksville Times August 12,1886.
S.C. Loeser, Clerk
An Ordinance Providing for the Fining of Persons Guilty of Disturbing the Peace.
Be it ordained by the mayor and councilmen of the City of Macksville.
SECTION 1. That any person or persons convicted of the offense of disturbing the peace shall be fined in any sum not less than one dollar nor more than fifty dollars. This ordinance shall take effect and be in force on and after its publication in the Macksville Times.
Passed and approved August 11,1886.
Published in the Macksville Times August 12,1886.
S.C. Loeser, Clerk
(The following editorial appeared in the Macksville Times of May 6, 1886. Vol. 1 No. 5. Editors; Lightwalter and Shaughnessy.)
This thriving new town on the A.R. & W. or Hutchinson and Kinsley short cut railroad, was chartered last September. About four buildings were put in course of erection during the fall and winter, but as soon as spring opened Macksville showed a degree of life and activity far beyond the expectations of the most sanguine, until it is now ready to be incorporated as a city of the third class.
This growth, spasmodic as it may appear, is upon a solid basis. The town is favorably situated in the center of a vast extent of the finest farm land in Kansas. This land is tolerably well settled with a thrifty class of farmers and actual tests have demonstrated this to be as fine a farming country as is in the state.
The demand for a new town here has existed for a number of years. Larned and other thriving cities receive a large share of their support from this immediate locality. No sooner was the railroad located here and a station guaranteed by the railroad Co. within a half-mile of this point, then attention was directed this way and the town was chartered and plotted. From our small beginnings only a few months ago we now number; one bank, three lumber yards, two hardware stores, one owned by Mack and Son, three hotels, The Western House, G.E. Mack prop., The Great Western, E.H. Landis prop. and the Cassidy House, one bakery, four restaurants, one general store, three grocery stores, two livery and feed barns, a brick yard that turns out 1500 bricks daily, a photograph gallery, a blacksmith shop conducted by English and English; five real estate agencies, the oldest of which is that of Becktell and Lightwalter. Contractors and builders includes: Mack and Kirtland, Patterson, McCallister, Willis Moore, Moorland and Gageby, also a number of sign painters.
Mr. Burger has opened a shoe shop where he makes new work and does repairing. In churches we do not expect to be behind the demands of the times and a school is now in session with marked success. A sab-both school is established and two church buildings with regular services lend grace and beauty to the place. Our village now numbers 37 business houses and about twice as many dwellings. These buildings are substantial and permanent, many of them ranking favorably with those of cities of much larger proportions. We have erected an average of one building per day for the past two months.
The possibilities here to persons of small means are almost without limit. Every dollar judiciously invested in real estate now will increase from 50 per cent to 500 per cent in the next year.
Advertisements include those of Mack & Son. Higgins Bros. and the Macksville Brick Yard, capacity 1500 bricks daily. John Busch, prop.
The Town of Cassaday
About a half mile to the north another town was being started. It was called Cassaday and do not think for a minute that Cassaday was not a formidable rival for Macksville. It boasted a bank, in 1886 as did Macksville, besides having a store, hotel, lumber yard and drug store. It was the common thing, we are told, for Cassaday to have a dance one Saturday night and Macksville the following Saturday night. They usually ended in a fight. Both towns were bidding for the railroad.
Taken from Macksville Enterprise 10-15-1936
Mayors and City Clerks of Macksville
The City of Macksville was Incorporated Aug. 1886. First Mayor Wm. Storey first budget appropriation Aug. 1886 to May 1st 1887, $300.00.
The corporate limits were extended to include the plotted town of Cassady to the north. Ordinance #14 Feb. 1888. In March 1911 Ordinance No. 86 reducing the city limits to Blocks No. 4-5-6-7-10-11-12 and 13 of the town of Cassady.
Wm. Storey, 1886, S.C. Loeser, City Clerk.
George E. Mack, 1887, A.H. Dever, City Clerk.
Jay Pinney, 1888, A.H. Dever, City Clerk
F.C. Young, 1901, Charles Stuck, City Clerk.
Creed Starke, 1902, Charles Stuck, City Clerk.
Jay Pinney, 1903, W.M. Stuck, City Clerk.
S.A. Nolder, 1905, W.M. Stuck, City Clerk.
B. F. Guizlo, 1907, Guy Vance, City Clerk.
E.J. Westgate, 1909, J.C. Hinshaw, City Clerk.
Willis Becker, 1911, J.C. Hinshaw, City Clerk.
C. H. Hoover, 1913, J.C. Hinshaw, City Clerk.
H.J. Weil, 1915, S.G. Wiles, City Clerk.
Russell Hursh, 1917, H.B. Brennenan, City Clerk.
M.M. Hart, 1921, H.B. Brennenan, City Clerk.
A.L. Muse, 1925, H.B. Brennenan, City Clerk.
J.A. DeVore, 1927, H.B. Brennenan, City Clerk.
J.F. Demain, 1929, H.B. Brennenan, City Clerk.
P.H. Zuercher, 1934, H.B. Brennenan, City Clerk.
A.J. Bock, 1935, C.E. Commons, City Clerk.
Fred W. Lamb, 1941, C.E. Commons, City Clerk and John Grant, City Clerk.
Charles Fitzsimmons, 1951, John Grant, City Clerk.
Harry Lyda, 1955 - Jan. 1965, John Grant, City Clerk.
Paul "Pinkie” Thomas, Feb. 1965 - April 1965, John Grant, City Clerk.
Vernon Kephart, 1965, John Grant, City Clerk.
Don Tillery, 1967, John Grant, City Clerk.
Paul Schnoebelen, 1969, John Grant, City Clerk.
Robert Carver, 1971, John Grant, Clerk.
Robert DeGarmo, 1973, John Grant, City Clerk.
Wayne Hardy, 1975, John Grant, Clerk.
Phillip Helwig, 5-6-1977, Lena Hogan, City Clerk.
Raymond Hemphill, 11-7-1977-1982, Hazel Lucas.
Mike Johnson, 9-13-1982, Robert Wellman, City Clerk and Sonja VanArsdale, City Clerk.
Jim Clark, May 2,1983, Hazel Lucas, City Clerk.
written by Christabel Greene
Macksville began as a dream in the mind of a man in a far away Eastern State. He had no specific name or spot in view, just the idea of going West to help develop the country and possibly to found a town. After completing his service in the U.S. Army, during the Civil War, he obtained a land grant from the government. His star led him to a spot on the broad expanse of prairie that was Kansas. He arrived in 1877 and pitched his tent in the Western half of Stafford County where he took his place by the side of a few other pioneers who had preceded him. His first thoughts were for a Church. Out of his land he donated sites for the Methodist Church and parsonage and helped build the first one called Mack’s Chapel. A site was designated for a park which is the one where the park is now located. Trees were a necessity to him and he secured cotton wood saplings and set a row on either side of what became Main Street and around his home. These were watered from a barrel on a sled drawn by the old white horse.
Lumber was hauled from Larned for his two room house which was the first home built on the townsite. The first post office was established. Mail coming by a star route from Larned. Geo. Mack was appointed Post Master in May 26, 1879 and his home became the first post office. It also became the first store as it housed a small stock of staple groceries. According to the State Historical Records he was the first post master in Stafford County.
In 1885 the town company platted the original town-site. On August 5,1886 the first mayor and council took their oath of office. Rumors of the railroad coming through brought more people, and more business houses. The first came through on July 4th, 1886 and was an occasion for a big celebration. People came from near and far. In the nineties, due to railroad facilities, this area began to change over from cattle country to grain growing country. Elevators were being built as more grain was grown.
A blacksmith shop was the first business building to operate on the townsite and was followed by various others when the railroad had become a certainty. A windmill and water tank stood at the intersection of Main and Broadway (now Hi-way 50) and was a land mark for many years. A very necessary convenience in the horse and wagon days.
To our pioneer parents, religion was real and Churches were a necessity. The Free Methodist people received their charter on July 13, 1885. A close second was the Methodist Church, getting their charter on November 13 the same year. In 1895 the Christian Church was organized. Since those dates many changes have been made, but at present we still have these three fine Churches and very active participation in Church work and organizations.
We have had many good doctors, a few lawyers and the usual variety of men of other callings including many dedicated ministers. Macksville has been a little better than average small town. One of the pioneer doctors was Dr. J.W. Alford. Many will remember his tall hat and long-tailed coat giving him a “Lincolnesque” appearance. A picturesque figure and one who played an important part in those days when doctors were few and patients were far apart.
Many businesses have thrived and passed into oblivion in the course of our history but time does not permit a complete list of all these, but we should include some of the more important ones. The Macksville Bank was established in 1892. A previous attempt to start one had ended in failure. Geo. Burr, president of the St. John National Bank opened the bank and selected A.G. English to run it. He held this position until his death and his brother-in-law, J.H. McMorran succeeded him.
The Farmer’s & Merchants Bank was opened for business in 1907 with Wilson M. Starke at the helm and B.F. Guizlo as cashier. After the latter’s death, S.G. Wiles became cashier and head of the organization until his death in 1965. These two banks have always been sound and strong and the mainspring of the town.
The Macksville school system, under the supervision of many, loyal and efficient teachers and upstanding citizens of the community as members of the School Board, has come to its present rating as Class 1-A school. It is a far cry from the first little one room, one teacher school to the present commodious and beautiful brick building and a new grade school built in 1961.
One could hardly write of the early history of Macksville without mentioning the town of Cassady which was located north of what is now the Santa Fe railroad. Cassady had a newspaper called the “Mirage” from July 1887 to 1889. It also had a bank, a hotel, lumber yard, drug store and general store. The fight between the towns lasted for some time both bidding for the railroad. But it had to end as all fights do and Cassady was taken in as a sub-division of Macksville. Buildings were razed or removed. One large hotel was moved into Macksville and became Hotel Belt. This building later burned down and was replaced by the present brick structure. Macksville had previously had two nice hotels on the corner where the Phillips 66 station now stands but both were burned down. There were a number of other business’ buildings south of this corner that either burned out or moved as the town began to move north to its present location.

From 1886 to 1904 the town had six newspapers operating about two to four years each. “The Times,” "The Independant,” “The Telephone,” “The Sun,” “The Argus” and “The Index.” In 1904 John Lill and Jeff Burt of St. John, took over and consolidated the name of “The Macksville Enterprise” as it is at the present time.
Names of pioneers: Frick, Becktell, Lamb, Mills, Waddle, Smith, Frack, Wolf, Beck, Hopley, Stambaugh, Waters, McKibben, English, Seibert, Young, Carpenter, Satterlee, Starke, Askew and many others. The site for the cemetery was given to the city by Evan H. Young, father of O.M. Young. It was brought to its present state of beauty by the untiring efforts of the now extinct Flower Club. There work and support has been taken by the Cemetery Association.
Another beauty spot of our town is the City Park and its extensions, the modern swimming pool, Boy Scout cabin and grounds. The band shell, shelter house and cabin are finished with rocks from nearly every state of the Union.
Christabel Mack Greene compiled this report partly from memory in 1936, the records of the State Historical Society of Topeka, and the 50th Anniversary edition of the Macksville Enterprise. Christabel was a granddaughter of the founder George Mack.
One of the most eventful years in the history of Stafford County was 1886. We have written, in foregoing chapters, about the incorporation of Macksville, the organization of several churches, the founding of the Farmers National Bank at Stafford and the purchase of St. John’s first fire-fighting equipment-all events of 1886. In addition to these, this was the year of the great blizzard, the coming of two railroads, the erection of the brick courthouse and the arrival of such stalwarts as Ed O’Connor, Robert M. Wallace and his wife, the doctor, and George V. Akers and his son, Art.
On the first day of January a severe storm swept the plains of Kansas with rain turning to ice and snow. It was one of a series of storms known as the great “Blizzard of ’86”. The precipitation was accompanied by high winds and sub-zero temperatures. Many settlers living in temporary houses were frozen to death. Many cowboys and travelers suffered the same fate, when landmarks and trails were obliterated and they became lost. Some estimates placed the number of deaths at near one hundred. Rabbits, prairie chicken, quail and antelope died. Railroads and business traffic were paralyzed. Hundreds of men with picks and shovels worked to clear the tracks. Railroads spent several hundred dollars a day to feed snow-bound passengers. Food and fuel shortages were serious. Farmers burned corn to keep warm. Many of the great cattle companies were ruined. It was estimated that 80 per cent of the cattle in the storm’s path died. Those that survived were walking skeletons.
In connection with this blizzard there are many stories that exist in Stafford County. Some have been preserved
in print while others exist only in the memory of the people who lived through the storm or others to whom they have told them. One man became lost as he was attempting to go from his house to his barn. When he did not return his little daughter went out and found him and guided him back safely. At another farm a young woman became lost and her father went out to find her. She heard him running and panting but she couldn’t see him and she thought it was a coyote or a panther so she kept running away from him. However her uncle stayed at the house and fired a gun every few minutes. The young woman ran toward the sound of the gun while the father followed her tracks and both arrived home safely. In the southern part of the county Bill Campbell had no barn for his cows and had been keeping them in the shelter of a blowout (hollow place in the sand blown out by the wind). But he saw that the blow out would be insufficient protection against the storm so he hurriedly moved his family and their possessions into one room of his large sod house and sheltered the cows in the other room and all came safely through the storm.
You couldn’t see from the house to the stable so some people fastened a rope to the house before setting out for the barn and thus made sure of finding their way back. Will McCandless fed his father’s cattle and found it difficult to keep the ice from covering their eyes and noses.
*From “The Story of Stafford County” by Frank L. Steele
Many people living in Stafford County today do not know that it came very near being obliterated from the map in 1875. But those who had that thought in mind overlooked Farmington and Clear Creek townships. When the boundary lines were first established it included three townships north of Farmington which are now a part of Pawnee County.
From an old history of Kansas published in 1886, in which the counties are written up we find the following about Stafford County:
“The boundary lines of Stafford County were defined by the Legislature in 1870 and for several years the county was unorganized. The Legislature of 1875, with the intention of obliterating the county from the map partitioned the territory embraced in Stafford County and added that portion included in townships 21, 22 and 23, Range 15 west to Pawnee County and that portion included in ranges 11, 12, 13 and 14, of said townships was annexed to Barton County, while the south half of the county excepting that portion embraced in range 15, townships 24 and 25, was added to Pratt County. By this division, it was thought that Stafford County was wiped out; but after each of the counties named had taken its apportioned part, two congressional townships remained, being townships 24 and 25, Range 15, so that while Stafford County did not lose its identity, its dimensions were cut down to a strip of territory six
miles east and west, by twelve north and south. This was the condition of the county until 1879, when, by a decision of the Supreme Court, the act of the Legislature, dividing the county was declared unconstitutional and the county was restored to its original boundaries.”
The townships named by this description were Farmington and Clear Creek and we always think of them as being the townships that saved the county from oblivion.
Big Fire In Macksville
Estimated loss about $75,000.00.
The biggest fire in the history of Macksville occurred Thursday morning Nov. 9, 1911. Practically the whole west side of Main Street was burned out. All that was left standing was, Sinclair and Barnum merchants, The Farmers & Merchants Bank and Demain-Powell Pharmacy all brick buildings. The ones burned were frame buildings and were the Woodman Hall, Wiley’s Hardware and Furniture Store, Starks Merchandise, Seibert’s Meat Market, Seal’s Restaurant and rooming house, Sagerty’s Barber Shop, The Macksville State Bank and the Purity Grocery.
The estimated loss will not fall below $75,000.00. The buildings were pretty well covered with insurance, having about all the owners could get on them.
This has always been regarded as a fire trap and the people of Macksville have expected it long before this.
The fire started in Seal’s Restaurant about 4 o’clock and by five the whole string was in ashes having such a
start before discovered and with no efficient fire fighting apparatus to control it, although it is doubtful if the equipment of a large city could have saved it.
Mr. Stark said that he would probably build at once, a good brick building. Mr. A.G. English said that the Macksville State Bank would rebuild at once with a good modern brick building. Wiley’s, are almost sure to rebuild soon with a good brick building.
The stores were heavily stocked with holiday goods and were probably more goods on their shelves and in their warerooms than at any other time of year. Lots of the holiday goods were unopened.
Just about a year ago several other buildings on the side of the street were burned out and the fire didn’t leave a single frame building.
The Macksville State Bank opened for business in the Poultry House just across the street and The Wiley’s Co. had their office in Becktell’s office, and the Purity Grocery did open in Burgers Shop in a few days.
One of the sights of the fire was to witness and hear the explosion of the shells and powder in Wiley’s Hardware store. Several of the old soldiers said that it sounded more like a fight in the war than anything they had heard in a long time.
No one was hurt although one young man, Jim Dougan, came near getting caught in the rooming house but escaped by jumping from the second story.
The cans in the two grocery stores kept up a continual explosion all day that still further sounded like a bombardment by some army.
The entire burned district was rebuilt that winter.
Taken from the Nov. 10, 1911 Macksville Enterprise

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