Tuesday February 8th, 1916 Wea. Snow, slight wind Ther. -22, 8, -9
For the first time in many days the weather was such, that we could risk the attempt to go to the post-office. I had just six letters to mail, and we needed some groceries. But there was not the faintest trace of a trail, and we were perilously close to getting stuck at times. But we just managed it, without having to resort to the shovel.
I got a letter from Ban, telling me of a serious fire at the Sem. on Jan 24th. The entire north wing of the good old coop has been destroyed. I naturally felt a little bum about this, since I have grown to love the place. 65(Jahn later inserted: “This was a story cooked up by the boys at the seminary).”
Rev. Hilgendorf notified me of some Lutherans around Mary, ND, who wished me to look them up. Since that is about 50 mi. from here, I decided to wait till spring. Harry Howard was here to-day and stayed for supper.
65 Ban Johnson’s letter of Jan. 25 survives. Johnson spun a longer yarn about the fire than RCJ indicates. This seven-page letter described the boys having “opened the door and nearly being choked by the clouds of smoke.” He went into such detail as to include, “The nearby stores, businesses, and houses were given over to us for the night to store what belongings were retrieved from the building.”