Lake County Past: April 29
April 25, 1918
Commercial hotel block is destroyed
Early Monday morning, the people were called out to witness the worst blaze ever seen in the history of this city when the entire Commercial Hotel block was swept by flames.
The fire department was called about 3:15 a.m. and although they responded immediately, the fire had such a good start before being discovered that the Commercial Hotel was all ablaze before help arrived.
The fire originated in the rear end of the Commercial Hotel and within a short time, had spread so rapidly that practically all the buildings in that block were burning. The guests of the hotel were unable to save anything and escaped in their night clothes. The John Marren family were living there at the time. A fierce wind from the northwest helped the flames spread more and more, and the sparks were flying furiously, endangering a number of neighboring buildings. For a time it was thought that the Burns and Christensen Hospital would be caught, too, but it was checked in time from getting that far.
Grim Reaper visits another home here
Mrs. Tilda Essen, beloved wife of Axel Essen, passed away at her home on Seventh Avenue last Friday morning, April 19, 1918, after an illness of several years' duration with cancer. Mrs. Essen had been confined to bed for the past three months, being unable to be up and around and her sufferings which began about four years ago, when she underwent an operation, have been born bravely until death called and relieved her of the pain.
Mrs. Essen was born in Roda, Wermland, Sweden, Dec. 15, 1865, and at the time of her death, had attained the age of 52 years, four months and four days. She came to America in April 1889, going first to Hayward, Wis., where she remained for two years. From there, she went to Superior, Wis., and was there for one year, then to Philip, Wis., for five years. She was united in marriage to Mr. Axel Essen at Philip June 5, 1892. They arrived in Two Harbors about 20 years ago and have made their home here ever since.
Six children have been born to bless the home of Mr. and Mrs. Essen, five sons and one daughter, namely, Paul Essen, in the Navy stationed at Brooklyn, N.Y., who arrived home for the funeral, Clarence, Leroy, Harold, Arvid and Mabel, all of this city.
Mrs. Essen was very well-known in this city and was well-liked by everybody, and her departure has caused a great deal of sorrow in the home and the loss of a loving wife and mother. She will be greatly missed by her large circle of friends in the city.