This Week in History: Damaged Haberdashery Burned, Books Destroyed | News, Sports, Jobs
120 years ago in 1902
Taken directly from the Youngstown Vindicator:
“Massive fire destroys Board of Education books, valued at $1,000 (nearly $33,000 in 2022 dollars). Started by a gas stove. Fordyce’s Store has been threatened but Mr Fordyce says he won’t have a clearance sale.
“The fire alarm at 12:50 p.m. city time Monday afternoon was sent from the Board of Education rooms above the haberdashery of George L. Fordyce & Co.
“It is presumed that the fire started from a gas stove. The rubber hose connecting it has either torn off or been burned. The worst damage to the building was done near where the stove was and the fire is believed to have started there, although it was only discovered when the area filled with smoke and the fire grew to a considerable extent.
“Damages to the building will be approximately $100 and to the city school board, supplies, etc., damages will be approximately $1,000, fully covered by insurance.
“The central department responded to the alarm in record time, and a visit to the scene of the fire demonstrated how well they worked. Only the chemical was used, and in doing so the store of Mr. Fordyce’s dry goods were not flooded in. Some of the contents of the chemical passed through the floor, but Mr. Fordyce had protected his stock with an oilcloth table.
“He said he wouldn’t have a clearance sale. His damage is minimal and fully covered by insurance.
“The fire was limited to the Board of Education supply room, which is located at the rear of the building at the southeast corner of Federal and Phelps streets. He burned or damaged almost all the books and other supplies in the room. They were placed on the floor-to-ceiling shelves and included all sorts of supplies used in public schools.
“Mr. Ashbaugh, Secretary to the Board, advised a Vindicator reporter that the loss would be approximately $1,000 for supplies alone. The woodwork in the room was burned, but the fire was confined to the apartment in which he started.
100 years ago in 1922
A wanted criminal has been arrested after robbing nearly a dozen banks across the country.
Youngstown Police Detective Jacobs and Chief Clerk Jacob Johnson arrested a man named JB Hause. Hause used multiple aliases in his bank robbery spree and was eventually caught when he made a long distance call to Mahoning National Bank from the Ohio Hotel in downtown Youngstown.
Hause posed as a representative of First National Bank in Pittsburgh to authorize a deposit of nearly $8,400. Mahoning National Bank authorities suspected the call was fraudulent and contacted the Pittsburgh bank for confirmation.
The police were called and Hause was arrested at the hotel. He was accused of stealing more than $100,000 (nearly $1.7 million in 2022 dollars) from banks in the United States and Canada.
After his arrest in Youngstown, Hause was transferred to Cleveland.
• Compiled from the archives of The Vindicator by Traci Manning, curator of education for the Mahoning Valley Historical Society.