COMPLETELY DESTROYED Flames Discovered at One O'clock A. M. To-day -- But Little saved. Building Sixty Year Old
This morning at about one-o'clock the Chester Academy burst into flames, and, in a comparatively short time, was in ashes. Richard Miller, first discovered the fire on his return trip, a drive to Goshen. He whip up his horse and hurried to W.A. Lawrence's Creamery, wlhere the sireen fire whlstIe is located. This soon speedily woke the village. He then went on to the hose house, hitched his horse the cart and helped drag it to the fire. It started in or about the sixth grade room, above the furnace, from which it is supposed to have originated. A fresh wind was blowing and attempts were made in vain to put out the fast devouring flames. Some of the high school students went into the laboratory and took out some acids and other combustibles, when the fire was first seen, but it was of no use, as the flames were already under strong headway. Clifford Miller and Harry Murray, seventh grade students, rescued many books from their room, which was farthest removed from the source of the fire. Martin Stewart was slightly injured by jumping because the stairs were burning beneath him. Charles S. Murray and William Van Etten were quite badIy scorched about the face. The old bell, moulded in 1844. and which first hung in the house recently vacated by Clarence Roe, the jeweler was saved. It is understood that the State will repay the scholars who have lost books by the fire. The library hail just been completely reaganged and many new books had been registered. The laboratory hall very recently been cleaned and the physical apparatus was not more than a year old. School will he held in a short time in Murray's Hall, Ryan's Hall and in the office and store vacated by Mr. Perrott, undertaker and furniture repairer, pending the building of a new school edifice. The Chester Academy was built In 1846, at a cost of $10,000, and was repaired in 1875, the expenses there-at amounting to $5,000. It was a frame building 50 by 75 feet, with an L 25 feet long. It accommodated 275 scholars. There were eight class rooms and a music room, besides the laboratory. The principal was Prof. M. L. Dann; teacher of English and languages, Maude Smith; science and history, Cornelia H. Rice; eighth grade, Eliza B. Howk; seventh grade, Lila D. Smith; sixth grade, Hylah Hasbrouck; fifth grade, Lillian Sager; fourth grade, Anna D. Kysar; first, second and third grades, Estelle Van Gordon, of Middletown. The Board of Education is composed of Charles W. Kerner, president;. Ezra T. Jackson, Dr. Charles P. Smith, Bradford C. Durland and Wicks S. Board. An insurance of $5,000 was on the building through the agency of Wood & Edsall, and $3,000 on the contents, through the agency of A. V. D. Wallace, of Gosben. A meeting will be held this afternoon and some decision arrived at as to rebuilding. From the old Chester Academy in years gone by have gone out men who have attained eminence in various walks of life–minisiters, lawyers, educators, etc.–-among whom were ex-Lieutenant Governor William Bross, of Illinois; Prot. Orton, State geologist, of Ohio; Frank M. Rites, prominent in the engineering world, and many others, to whom will come a feeling of genuine regret as they learn of the destruction of theIr old school home. Immediately after the fire the Presbyterian, Methodist and Episcopalian societies offered the use ot their chapels for school rooms until such time as should be needed.
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