Bygones: 100 years ago, more than 1,000 lawsuits set to go to trial over 1918 fires


News Tribune, Aug. 7, 1920

  • More than 1,600 lawsuits totaling up to $10,000,000 for property damage, wrongful death, and personal injury relating to the October 1918 fires will go to trial in Duluth Sept. 13. The defendants are representatives of the Soo Line Railroad.
  • Members of the West Duluth Commercial Club last night approved the formation of a company of the National Guard composed entirely of West Duluth men. The West Duluth company would be one of four National Guard companies now being planned for Duluth.
  • Hank Stevens was arrested by St. Louis County authorities in Duluth yesterday and charged in connection with the June 15 lynchings. Stevens was allegedly a leader in the fight at the entrance to the jail and later broke down doors to individual cells.
  • The Duluth Commercial Club Tourist and Convention Service Bureau at the Spalding Hotel has been receiving an average of 70 calls a day. The most common questions are about places to go sightseeing and about the arrival of ships.

Bygones is researched and written by David Ouse, retired reference librarian from the Duluth Public Library. He can be contacted at

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