09 Nov Fire Destroys Much of Downtown Fayetteville
June 9, 1893
Fire destroys much of Downtown Fayetteville
A devastating fire occurred in Fayetteville Friday evening, June 9, 1893. Several businesses were destroyed including the drugstore operated by Doctor N. J. Gizzard. The adjacent building, a family grocery store of G. P. Yates, in which the post office was located, was the next to burn, but most of his goods were saved. A concrete building of Silas A. Burks was engulfed; however, his inventory was rescued. A store of R. G. Kitchens and Company was also destroyed but fortunately his goods were removed before the flames could do much damage. Three of the stores were owned by Cam Bennett, who like Mr. Yates and Grizzard were uninsured. Undaunted, Mr. Bennett rebuilt four new brick stores and Mr. Burks built two. Mr. Burks owned a row of professional offices west of the jail including a barbershop, doctor and lawyer offices and a millinery shop. He also owned the elegant Burks Hotel, which ironically would fall victim to a fire in 1907. Mr. Bennett owned most of the buildings on the west side of the square, many which are still standing today.
By: John Lynch
Sources: History of Fayette County 1821 – 1971
Fayette County News (undated Varney Graves column)