From the collections at the Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum. Reprinted with permission from The Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum and the Leavenworth Times. Donated by Debra Graden.
The Anthony Letters
30 Stores and Contents Burn; Fire Threatened Whole Town
Leavenworth Times, 1956-7
Editors note: This is another in a series of letters written by Col. D. R. Anthony to his family in the east almost 100 years ago when Leavenworth was a new town and Kansas was still a territory. The letters give a clear picture of Leavenworth in its early period. The Times is publishing the letters each Sunday and Thursday.
Leavenworth, K. T.
July 16, 1858
Have just time to say we have had a terrible fire, burning 30 stores and contents and at one time threatening the whole town.
Total loss $125,000 -- insurance $37,000 as follows: Aetna $15,000; Home $10,000; Charter Oak $7,000; Western Valley (Hurd agt.) Chicago $5,000.
The general agent of the Phoenix of Hartford was here during the fire. I heard of him next day and saw him. He asked me what I could do for them. I told him he could see what I had done for the Aetna, Home, and Charter Oak and he gave me the agency of the Phoenix Company.
The agency of the Safeguard was sent me a few days ago. In all, I have taken premiums of about $8,000.
Water higher than anytime here-to-fore this season. Rain last night and tonight. It doesn't rain in any part of the world as hard as here.
D. R. Anthony
Your letter dated the day after our long-to-be-remembered fire came to hand in due season but has not been answered because my time has been wholly occupied in settling and paying losses to the amount of $27,000.
Well, most of them have been paid already and I am afloat again with the same craft, colors flying, and a better reputation than ever. But I can't say that I want many such advertisements.
The Lecompton swindle I guess is settled--our town was wide awake.
F. C. Bennett, brother of General Bennett was here to settle losses. He remained nine days and paid all up.
He is a gentlemanly A No. 1 man. Seemed to be well pleased with my business notwithstanding the heavy losses. He says that companies that grumble when they lose are only showing that they do not understand their business. Write soon.
Dan'l R. Anthony