Destructive Fire in Plano in 1866
Published in the Kendall County Record, August 2, 1866
Edited and compiled by Elmer Dickson
Steward's flouring mill and Gardiner's tannery were destroyed by fire in Plano on Sunday morning last.
The fire was discovered about three o'clock in the morning in the tannery, where it originated, by a woman living in the vicinity. At the time of the discovery the mill was not burning. The fire from the tannery was so hot it ignited the mill almost spontaneously and it was instantly enveloped in flames. So rapid was the progress of the fire upon the mill that before the alarm could be given all efforts to save it were unavailing. The sawmill standing near, also belonging to Mr. Steward came near sharing the same fate. It was finally saved with the loss only of the shingles from one side of the roof.
The fire broke out in the tannery at the end where the bark mill and elevator were situated, and as they had been running until one o'clock that night, it is supposed the fire may have originated from friction in the elevator, setting the ground tan-bark on fire. The fire did not break out until the building had been closed. The loss is especially hard on Mr. Gardiner, as he was just getting established in business, and had a large lot of manufactured leather and hides on hand. His loss is about $5,000.
The total loss is estimated at $15,000. There was no insurance on any of the property.
We understand the buildings are to be rebuilt as soon as possible.