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A Destructive Prairie Fire

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The Fort Dodge Democrat, Nov. 2, 1861

A Destructive Prairie Fire

The most destructive Prairie Fire ever witnessed in North-Western Iowa, occured (sic) on the 28th, near Dayton, but supposed to have originated near Jefferson, on Coon River, the greatest damages, however, occured (sic) at the former place, burning Timber, Fences, Hay, Grain, &c., to an unlimited extent, compelling farmers either to sell their stock for merely nothing or leave them to famish with the cold and hunger. – The scamp who perpetrated the crime, should be severely punished.

The Prairie Fires illuminate the atmosphere nightly. It (is) to be deplored that the laws are not more strictly enforced with regard to setting out fire. Unprincipled persons thus save their own property suffering the conflagration thus raised to destroy the property of persons unprepared to extinguish it. In this manner a large amount of property has been consumed at Dayton on the 28th inst. Some person near Jefferson, Greene Co., are said to have occasioned this disaster.