Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Fire Destroys Haish Shop

Jacob Haish | Photo courtesy of Joiner History Room

Printed in the May 20, 1914, edition of the Sycamore True Republican:

Heaviest fire loss in the history of De Kalb
Nothing Remains of Extensive Factory In Which Spreaders Were Made, Located North of Northwestern Railroad, After Fierce Fire This Tuesday Morning

One of the most disastrous fires in the history of DeKalb was the destruction at about 3 o'clock this Tuesday morning of Jacob Haish's manure spreader factory, just north of the Northwestern railroad.

When the flames were discovered they had gained such headway that it was at once seen that the big factory was doomed. But the firemen did their best to subdue the fire as much as possible and save adjoining property. So rapidly did the fire extend and so intense was the heat, that the firemen were forced to abandon a lead of 750 feet of hose which was destroyed.

Nearby buildings were saved except three dwellings across the street north of the factory which were largely burned. 

All of the contents of the big shops, which included some 200 completed manure spreaders, and a great amount of other products and raw materials, were completely destroyed.

The poles and wires of the DeKalb-Sycamore electric line which run along the street for a couple of blocks opposite the factory were destroyed, and no cars were run until late in the forenoon, delaying the Sycamore morning mail, which included the Chicago papers.

Heavy loss fell on the DeKalb County Telephone company whose wires, cable and poles were destroyed for some distance. 

The loss is variously estimated, but is more generally estimated at about $100,000. It is known that Mr. Haish's policy has been for many years to carry no insurance on his many buildings, which include three other factories and about 100 other buildings in DeKalb. He has suffered from several fires in the last few years, among which was the destruction of the three-story business block known as the Beehive block.

The manufacture of manure spreaders was one of the largest and most profitable of the several manufacturing enterprises of the veteran manufacturer, and the machine produced is one of the best made, and there has been a large and sustained demand for it throughout the country.

Mr. Haish is in active charge of all of his large business affairs, although he has passed his 87th birthday. It is expected that the factory will be rebuilt.

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