MOMENTS IN TIME: 1919 Grantsville Fire Recalled 1966

Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 2/24/1966.  (Note:  The source of the following article places the date of the fire as 1918.  Newspaper accounts appearing in the Chronicle following the fire are dated 1919.  Therefore, the article has been changed to reflect the correct date. - NKS)

Fire of 1919 is Recalled

Buckets and wash tubs were used to fight the big Grantsville fire of 1919, according to Roy T. Geho of Pleasant Hill, who recalled some of the experiences of that time when he helped to fight a fire that destroyed almost an entire block.

He said that he had been called by Lenna Proudfoot, the telephone operator, and asked to come to town to help fight the blaze.  The fire destroyed just about everything along Main street in a one block area from Court street to the river.  One house, located near the present Consolidated Supply building (Pursley's in 2002), was all that was left in the block, and even that was somewhat damaged.

Water was secured from several wells in the vicinity, and one dug well seemed to have supplied most of what water was used.

Mr. Geho seemed to think that lightning caused the 1919 fire.  The buildings were nearly all of frame construction, and were gone in a few minutes after igniting, and other blocks of the same wood construction were saved only because there was very little wind.

The telephone office was located in a building which was, in recent years - until a few weeks ago, the Walter Ward pool room.  This was one of the buildings destroyed in the 1966 Grantsville fire.  Mr. Geho said that the operator, Miss Proudfoot, made many calls around the area to secure help, and declared that she would stay at her post until the fire reached her.  Fortunately the fire did not spread to that block.

Several of the old timers of the area have recalled the 1919 fire - and even disputing among themselves about the date.  This was the big Grantsville fire until the fire of 1966.