OHTUSCAR-L ArchivesArchiver > OHTUSCAR > 2001-02 > 0982009891
Subject: [OHTUSCAR-L] Shanesville fire New Year's Eve 1881
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2001 15:31:31 EST
I was looking thru the queries in the Tusc Co GenWeb and came across a
question about the Shanesville fire of Dec 31, 1881. This will graphically
answer a lot of questions about this terrible tragedy that ultimately killed
9 people. I obtained this article thru a series of publications that were
done to celebrate the Centennial anniversary of Shanesville in 1982.
SHANESVILLE, OHIO, JANUARY 1, 1882 - A terrible calamity befell the people of
Shanesville last night. This village of 368 residents located in western
Tuscarawas County for some time had been looking forward to a New Year's Eve
fair and festival sponsored by the Knights of Pythias to be held in Goeler's
Hall situated on the southwest corner of the square. Though the roads were
bad, the evening was bright and crisp and beside the town people turning out
largely there were great numbers from the surrounding country and some from
neighboring villages. The elite of the place was present and mirth and
pleasure reigned. The "Knights" are of the first families of the place; the
gathering included the intelligence and beauty of the neighborhood.
The festival was being held on the second story of Henry Goelor's store
building. Originally built of brick and consisting of two stories and a
cellar basement, the building a few years ago added a frame ell to the back,
the rear brick wall being removed for the purposes. The second-story lodge
room was 20 by 38 feet. Between two and three hundred persons at 8:00 p.m.
were having a grand supper and were selling fancy articles. The band had
just cesased playing when a crash was heard and the floor began ot settle
lenthwise in the center. The heavy timver support, running from one end to
the other, had slipped off the post in the rear and, settling at that end it
pulled out the brick wall in front. The center then settled rapidly and
broke lengthwise. This threw the people, tables, stove and all together in a
string through the middle. The falling floors barricaded the front doors.
Fire ensued from the stoves, exploding oil lamp and oil chandeliers.
Dead: Miss Mary Neff, age 19, skull fracture; Milton Yoder, age 7, son of
the deceasec Dr. Yoder, burned to death in his mother's arms.
Fatally burned: Mrs. Dr. Yoder, Mrs. Allen Goeler, Miss Annie Orin.
Seriously injuried: Frederick Schlarb and Lewis Kerch, legs broken; James
Walter, arm broken; Lizzie Showalter, collar bone broken; Augusta Heider and
Mrs. Drucilla Sliffe, ankles dislocated; George Groelich, Jr., feet burned;
Mrs. L. K. Shamberger, Louisa Bollmann and Frederick Weimer.
The following were painfully but not dangerously injured: Mary and Amanda
Kerch, Mrs. Henry Shutt, Henry Cratz, Mrs. Daniel Kline, Carrie Rice, Mr. and
Mrs. W.L. Wallick and son Willie, Jerome Weimer, Mrs. Augustus Goeler, Annie
and Hattie Graff, Mrs. Allen Richeson, Miss Sinderman, Harry Ream, John Roth,
Mary Kaufman, Miss Shie, Mollie Biddle, Almira Lantz, J. H. Richeson, Will
Cratz and wife, Augustus Froehlich, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Krakau, Harry Wright,
Fred Klar, Robbie Klar, Kate Lehmer, Crhist Graff, Catherine Specinger, Miss
Walter, John Groh, Henry Homan, Dan Kline, John Klahr, John Sterzbach, Libbie
Ream, Mrs. Michael Shutt and Annie Shutt.
Doctors Welty, Miller and Jones of Shanesville, Selden of Dover, Peters
of Ragersville and Mast of Berlin are doing everything possible for the
JANUARY 2, 1882 - Mrs. Dr. Yoder is still living with no changes though her
death may be looked for at any time. Miss Annie Orin is still living but
with no hope of recovery. Mr. Frederick Weimer who had his feet severly
burned is resting easier but may lose one or both. Mrs. Allen Goeler is no
better and there is no hope for recovery. Miss Mary Neff was buried at 10:00
this morning. At 2:00 this afternoon little Milton Yoder was buried.
Nearly every house is a hospital and the whole community draped in gloom,
workshops are idle; stores are deserted.
SHANESVILLE, OHIO JANUARY 6, 1882 - This Friday morning the village was
further saddened by two more deaths as a result of the New Year's Eve
calamity at the Knights of Pythias festival and fair, when the second floor
of the Goeler Building collapsed as was reported in last week's newpaper.
Mrs. Catherine Z. Yoder, age 41, died this morning of burns and will
buried tomorrow. Her husband, Dr.N. W. Yoder died March 9, 1877 at the age
of 39. They were parents of 7 children; 4 daughters survive. Dr. Yoder was
a charter member when the Shanesville Lodge No. 97, K. of P. was organized on
May 11, 1876. Other charter members were: Dr. A. T. Miller, Dr. J. A.
Mast, Dr. R. R. Lollar, G. M. Erwin, Peter Goelre, Fred Schlarb, Fred Klar,
William Koch, Jesse Winklepleck, Cornelius Winklepleck, L. C. Zollars, C.
Graf, J. W. Arnold, Daniel Wyss, John Roth, and Milton Blickensderfer.
Mrs. Allen Goeler, the former Amanda Penrod of Ragersville, age 23 died
of burns this morning at the residence of her mother-in-law, Mrs. Peter
Goeler. Amanda and Allen were married on August 9, 1879 by Rev. Moritz Noll.
Mrs. Goeler was rational almost to the last, giving minute instructions as
to her funeral and gave her 2-month-old baby to her sister-in-law, Mrs.
Spohn. She died a Christian and a heroine. Funeral services will be
conducted on Sunday by Rev. J. G. Zahner.
JANUARY 7, 1882 - Miss Annie Orin, age 17, died in Shanesville today of burns
sustained when she fell against the hot stove as it plummeted to the first
floor of the Goeler Building on New Year's Eve. Rev. J. G. Zahner will
conduct her funeral; burial will be in the Methodist Cemetery.
The funerals went on without tolling a single bell on account of other
sufferers in the village.
JANUARY 8, 1882 - George Froehlich, Jr., has developed lock jaw and death is
only a little way off. [note from nurse Kathlena: lock jaw or tetanus is an
infectious disease, usually resulting from a wound. It produces muscle
spasms, esp. of the jaw "lockjaw" and has 50% mortality today. So don't
forget to get your Tetanus booster every 10 years.]
JANUARY 10, 1882 - George Froehlich, Jr., age 27, died today as a result of
injuries sustained New Year's Eve in the Shanesville calamity. A son of
George and Mary Froehlich of Shanesville, George Jr. was a farmer and a
member of the German Reformed Congregation. The death county now stands at 6.
JANUARY 12, 1882 - Frederick Weimer has lock jaw and Miss Bollmann is much
worse. Both were seriously injured in the Shanesville accident.
SHANESVILLE, OHIO, JANUARY 20, 1882 - News of the Shanesville New Year's Eve
disaster victims continues to be grim. Amputations are to be performed on
Frederick Weimer and Frederick Schlarb this morning. Assisting Dr. Pomerene
of Berlin, Ohio will be Dr. Mast, also of Berlin, and Drs. Miller, Welty and
Jones of Shanesville. Fred Weimer, one of the amputees is a hard working man
with a large family. Another casualty, Annie Graf has symptoms of lock jaw.
JANUARY 26, 1882 - At 6:00 p.m. last evening Frederick Schlarb died of a leg
fracture and complications resulting from the New Year's Eve catastrophe.
Mr. Schlarb, age 31, was a Shanesville merchant. He was born in Germany.
His widow, the former Victoria Goeler and daughter Lilie May, age 8, survive.
At 5:00 a.m. today Frederick Weimer, Shanesville blacksmith, age 58, died
from burns sustained in the village calamity.
JANUARY 27, 1882 - Miss Anna Graf, age 18, died at 7:00 a.m. this morning of
lock jaw resulting from the New Year's Eve accident. Born in Shanesville,
Annie was a daughter of Christian and Elizabeth Zimmerman Graf and a member
of the Reformed Church. In addition to her parents, she leaves to mourn,
three sisters: Emma (Mrs. Dr. Davy), Hattie, and Mary.
Black crepe flutters from the doors of the Schlarb, Weimer and Graf
residents. The death count now stands at 9.
In National news the spectacular and revealing trial begun on Nov. 14th
continues to decide the fate of Charles Jules Guitreau, who shot and mortally
wounded President James Abram Garfield last July 2nd. On the bench of the
Supreme Court of the District of Columbia in Washington sits Justice Walter
S. Cox, counsel in 1865 to two conspirators involved in John Wilkes Booth's
plot to abduct President Abraham Lincoln. The trial is expected to end soon.
I will be checking to see if this book that I got this collection of articles
from is still available. When I find out, one way or the other, will post to