Bio: Nichols, Mrs.
M. L. (21 Aug. 1883)
Contact: Crystal Wendt
----Sources: Neillsville Times (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) 21 Aug. 1883
On Monday morning, Aug. 13, Mrs. M. L. Nichols and family, who reside on the west side of the river in the town of Weston, were aroused about 2 o’clock by the presence of fire in the house. It was discovered that the fire was burning between the siding and wall. By chopping away a portion of the inside wall the fire was extinguished by the liberal use of water, which fortunately was handy by. It was found that a hole had been cut in the siding, probably with a clasp knife, and the fragments used in kindling the fire. The fire was extinguished before any considerable damage was done, but was sufficient to give all parties a bad scare.
On the next morning, Tuesday, about 1 o’clock, the hay barn was discovered to be on fire. The fire, when discovered, had gained such headway as to make it impossible for the family to extinguish it. The barn contained about twenty-five tons of hay which, as a matter of course, was consumed. There were some other property in the barn, but the hay was the main loss.
Some time since Mrs. Nicholas obtained a divorce from her husband and owing to threats made by him had for some time, until lately, been in such terror of him that she was afraid to live on her farm in the town of Weston. When the fire in the house was discovered, it was thought that he was the incendiary. On that morning, very early, he was seen to leave a hay stack near where the barn stood, he having undoubtedly slept in it during the night. When discovered, he was retreating rapidly across the field toward the woods. There is probably scarcely a doubt but that the man is insane, he having once been brought before the county judge under that charge.
*Surname Nichols/Nicholas is spelled the way it was in the original write up.
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