Title: Moultrie County
Newspapers: 1910

"All the news that's fit to resurrect"

Decatur Daily Review, February 19, 1910


Sullivan, Feb 19--What came very near being a wreck on the C. & E. I. railroad Friday morning about 10:30 at the Harrison street crossing, was averted by the quick action of the rear brakeman Through freight train No. 42 was pulling in on the sidetrack when a brake-beam on a flat car next to the caboose broke and one end fell to the track, but the quick action of the brakeman saved the car from going clear off the track, and no doubt saved a long delay for all trains, as it was at a point where other trains could not pass on a siding.


Attorney W. K. Whitfield and A. W. Lux filed a new case for the March term of the Moultrie county circuit court, the case being that of J. A. Elliott and Fred Harmon vs Arabelia Anderson, assumpsit and attachment in aid, and is for land which the plaintiffs claim they, made a trade for with the defendant, who it is alleged wants to back out of the trade.


The company which played "The Man on the Box" at the Titus opera house Friday evening was greeted by a full house, and also one well pleased with the play. The next attraction will be the "St Elmo" next Wednesday evening This will also be a good attraction.

[Editor's note: This review chronicled the very last performance at the Titus Opera House. The production was a 1906 Broadway play based on this book. "St Elmo", as is apparent from the news two days later (below), never opened.]


Mrs Charles E. McPheeters, who is in the hospital at Springfield is improving from the operation, and is considered out of danger.

E T Ray returned home from Springfield Friday evening, bringing his wife with him, who has been in the hospital there the past few weeks urdergoing an operation.


Presbyterian church--Sunday school at 9 30. Morning church services at 10 45. The pastor, Rev. A T. Cory, will preach his second sermon of the series on the life of Christ, "The Birth and Childhood of Jesus." Evening services at 7 pm.

Christian church--Bible class 9 30. Morning services at 10 45 Subject of sermon, "Holiness or Completeness in Christ" Junior Endeavor at 2.30 pm. Junior Endeavor at 6 pm. Evening services at 7 pm. Subject of sermon, "To Heaven and Back." (A man's thrilling experience.)

Methodist church--Sunday school at 9 30 Morning worship at 10 45. Evening services at 7 pm.

Baptist church--Sunday school at 0 80. Morning worship at 10.40. Evening services at 7 pm.


W. B. Wickersham, one of the high school teachers, left for Chicago Friday noon to spend Sunday.

Miss Ida Miller returned home from Quincy Friday, where she had been for a few days" visit.

Mr and Mrs. Fred Orr returned home Thursday night from a visit in Clay City end other points, with relatives

Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. McFerrin left Saturday morning for Tangier, Ind., for a few days' visit with the former's parents. Mr McFerrin is third trick operator at the C. & E. I. depot and works from twelve o'clock at night until eight in the morning, Mr and Mrs. W. K. Whitfield left for Mt. Vernon Friday morning, where they will attend an open meeting of the Mt. Vernon lodge of Knights of Pythias, and will also visit Grand Chancellor Watson while In that city They will return home some time Saturday.

Will A. Baker visited his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harve Baker, near Kirk station Friday. Bert Williams of Windsor transacted business here Friday, between trains.

Miss Cora Hayden was a Decatur visitor Friday afternoon.

Mrs. Dilsaver went to Decatur Friday foe a short visit with her daughter, Eta. William Batman, and family.

Lambert Craig has returned home from Kansas, where he has been for the past few weeks visiting relatives. He has decided to remain here for the summer.


John T. Caster of Mattoon arrived Friday noon to take the Royal Arch degree in Masonry. Mr. Caster was formerly an operator at the Illinois Central depot, going from here to Mattoon.

Charles H. Monroe was a business visitor at Decatur Saturday.

Era A. Caseley was a Bethany visitor Saturday.

Edward Campbell returned home from a business trip in Indiana and Ohio Friday.

James Drew returned to his home in Missouri Friday, after a short visit here with his son, Thornton Drew, and daughter, Mrs. C. Hoke.

Dr. J. H. Vadakin returned to his home in Bethany Saturday morning after attending a meeting of Sullivan chapter, No. 128 R. A. Masons Friday evening.

A. E. Foster and Amos Ross transacted business in Lovington Saturday.


The manager of "The Man on the Box" company, which played at the Titus opera house Friday evening, let out a number of his company here and will pick up some new players at his neat stop.

Will A. Caldwell transacted business in Windsor Friday.

Homer Shepherd of Lovington transacted business here Friday, going from here to Decatur.

Decatur Daily Review, February 21, 1910

Titus Opera House Fire


Opera House Burns; Loss Is $50,000 -- Will Not Re-Build Opera House.

Sullivan, Feb. 21.--One of the most disastrous fires that has ever visited our city, was discovered in the Opera House building early Sunday morning about 5:15 o'clock. This is the three story building owned by Mrs. Elizabeth Titus, mother of Joseph B. Titus. The fire department was called out, but were unable to control the blaze, until it had completely destroyed the entire building with all its contents. By good work on the part of the firemen, and the substantial wall between the Titus building and the Chapman building on the east, the entire north side of the square was saved.


The fire started in the dressing rooms of the opera house and soon spread over the entire building, causing a loss of over $50,000 on the building and contents.

The origin of the fire is unknown. Mr. Titus says he was back in the dressing room last night before he left last night, and that everything was all right then.


The building was occupied on the first floor by Baker Brothers, Clothing and Furniture, and S. W. Wright and Sons, Groceries. The former carried $12,000 worth of Insurance which does not near cover their loss. Wright and Sons carried about $9,500 on their stock of goods.


The second floor was occupied by Attorney R. M. Peadro with a law office on the west side and J. B. Titus also had his office on the east side over Wright and Sons.

The rear part of the second floor was used as an opera house, the stage and dressing rooms being in the rear on the second floors. The third floor was used as a gallery, in the front part and the wings for the stage in the rear.


Mrs. Titus carried only $8,000 worth of insurance on the building which is estimated to be worth $30,000.

Neither Mrs. Titus or Attorney Pedro carried insurance. The former's loss on law books and furniture was about $1,000 and Mr. Pedro lost about $2,600 In law books besides his furniture.

Owing to the scenery on and near the stage the fire had a good headway before help could arrive.

The fire wall between the burned building and the Chapman building, occupied as a Masonic lodge room on the third floor, is considered unsafe, from the effects of the intense heat, the wall having sprung quite a little, which may make it necessary to re-build the wall, and building. All the walls to the Titus building except the fire wail on the east and part of the one on the south fell before 7 o'clock, endangering the lives of those watching the fire.


Only one accident happened. William Fanning was struck by a falling brick while fighting the fire in the alley back of the building. He was taken to the hotel and several stitches had to be taken on his head where the brick struck.

J. B. Titus made the statement Sunday forenoon that he would not re-build an opera house on the site of the fire, but would put up a modern improved building instead with office rooms on the floors above and that If he could get up a stock company, would build an opera house on the block just north, on East Monroe street, which would make an excellent place for an opera house.


"The Man on the Box" company which played, here Friday night, and who have been waiting here until they could make up a new company of actors lost all their trunks and scenery in the tire.


Several of the safes were opened Sunday afternoon, and in most cases the contents were in good condition.

The three principal officers of the Masonic lodge held a meeting Sunday forenoon and decided that the Chapman building was unsafe, and ordered the draymen to get the contents of the lodge room out as soon as possible, fearing that the west wall would give away and ruin everything on the third floor.