Arenzville's Founder

Chronology of Events

Relics from the Past

Latin Farmers

Early Citizens

Civil War Soliders

Great Fire of 1913

The Arenz Family

Genealogy Resources

Tade & Hester's Book

Nicol Sand


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In the photo shown here, Marie Peck holds a small dish that she picked up in the ruins of the fire which destroyed Shrewsbury's store.
On Christmas morning of 1913, a fire broke out in the club room in the back of Stoker's saloon, and it quickly spread to nearby buildings. At that time, Arenzville had no fire hydrants, no fire hoses, and no fire truck. They had only a chemical wagon which carried approximately 40 gallons of chemicals, far too little to combat such a big fire. Jacksonville offered to send 1,000 feet of fire hose if Arenzville could get a fire engine from Beardstown. But the water supply wasn't sufficient to be much help, so the residents were advised by the Jacksonville fire chief, J.C. Woods, to use dynamite to keep the fire from spreading.

When the fire was finally out, a large portion of the Arenzville business section had been destroyed, including Stoker's saloon, a feed barn, Hierman Brothers building, Niemann building and J.H. Wells saloon, Woods and Houston Grocery and Shoe Store, the post office, the harness shop and store of John F. Lovekamp, the Engelbach Brothers' Opera House, the grocery story of John Irving, Dr. J.M. Swope's office, the R.J. Ommen building, Brockhouse Brothers' house furnishings store, J.R. Bowling's restaurant, the Shrewsbury Notion Store, Mallicoat and Evans saloon, and H.A. Bridgeman's grocery. [information from the Jacksonville Journal news article, 1913.]

Arenzville got its first fire truck in 1922, a Ford Model T truck. In 1949, water sewers and hydrants were installed. Today, the town is protected by a well-equipped volunteer fire department, largely thanks to the dedication and leadership of the late Tim Huey.



© 2023 Molly Daniel  

This page last modified: 08/25/2023