This Week In 1871 – Worst Fires In US History

On October 7, 1871 much of Minnesota and Wisconsin were burning.

PRAIRIES IN FLAMES. – One Hundred and Fifty Miles Swept by Fire–Men, Women and Children Fleeing for Their Lives–Immense Loss of Property of all Kinds. Several Towns Destroyed–Great Damage Occasioned–Loss of Life. – View Article – NYTimes.com

07 Oct 1871, 1 – Chicago Tribune at Newspapers.com

The following day was the worst fires in US history, with Chicago burning to the ground, and many other towns around the Great Lakes in flames.

11 Oct 1871, 1 – Chicago Tribune at Newspapers.com

There were massive fires in Wisconsin, Michigan and the Rocky Mountains.

14 Oct 1871, Page 2 – Harrisburg Telegraph at Newspapers.com

The worst of these fires occurred at Peshtigo, Wisconsin, where more than one thousand people burned to death.

The Great Midwest Wildfires of 1871

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4 Responses to This Week In 1871 – Worst Fires In US History

  1. Gator says:

    You forgot to mention that there was a republican president in office.

  2. Norilsk says:

    How does the 2018 fire season in California compare to these reports?

  3. Johansen says:

    I’ve never seen this, thanks for putting together! Sort of puts things in perspective. I don’t see any calls for worldwide Communism or the creation of new ‘Victim’ groups. Just citizens pulling together out of concern for one another, and calls for nearby ships to bring relief, and looters being dealt with immediately

  4. DCA says:

    The Peshtigo Fire has been attributed to meteors.

    With the Great Chicago Fire occurring the same night, there is some doubt that it was really Mrs. O’Leary’s cow that started it.

    BTW, the Great Chicago Fire is the reason that National Fire Prevention Week is in October.

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