A LOOK AT BROOKVILLEMarket Street fire – 1916


BROOKVILLE — In October 1916, Mrs. Jennie Powell was disturbed by an unaccountable noise on a Sunday morning about 3:30 a.m. When she looked out of her bedroom window she saw the rear of the Hay Bros. Hardware Store in flames.

She aroused the other members of the family who gave the alarm. Soon a crowd of firefighters were on hand and the fight began. The fire had gained considerable headway and for a time it was doubtful if the neighboring buildings could be saved.

Fortunately, the wind was mild and had come from the south and blew toward the alley and did not tend to incite the flames.

No lives were lost although it took several people to rescue Mrs. Thompson of the Thompson Clothing Store, who was sleeping upstairs in the front of the building.

S. A. Thompson had just opened his store in September 1916. It was located in the C. W. Mundhenk store-rooms at 19 West Market Street. It was opposite the Sol Bowser Grocery.

Hay Bros. implement and hardware stock and the building owned by A. R. Ward were almost an entire loss, the building was located at 17 Market Street.

The adjoining building owned by C.W. Mundhenk was believed to be damaged beyond repair and the stock belonging to Mr. Thompson’s new clothing store consisted of dry goods, clothing and shoes were badly damaged by smoke and water.

The cause of the fire’s start was unknown. The Hay Brothers placed a note in the Brookville Star thanking the Fire Brigade for their remarkable work of fighting the fire.

In November 1916, Mr. Thompson announced that he was moving his stock from the traction office building into a room vacated by Sol Bowser (who had moved to the Landis Sisters building). (this store was later known as Patterson’s Bicycle Shop ).

In December 1916, Hay Bros announced that they were erecting a two story frame building at 109 Market Street to be used as a Hardware and Implement store.

All information and the photo for this Look at Brookville article were supplied by the Brookville Historical Society. Do you have a photo or historical information to share or add? Please contact the Brookville Historical Society at 937-833-0285 or email to [email protected].

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