Created By: North Dakota State University
In 1882 the Keeney Block was constructed. It had the latest technology - built-in fire fighting equipment! The system was simple. Hoses on reels connected to a water works. (1) The Keeney block can bee seen in the photo as the large building, or block, on the left with white painted advertisement on the side.
The Kops owned a music store in the Keeney Block according to the 1893 Fargo City Directory, printed only weeks before the blaze. The 1895 directory does not have a listing for Kops Brother's; in fact, none of the de Bruyn Kops family is left in Fargo! For some, the fire was devestating, perhaps a way out of the wild west, or a way further into it? Some records show that Charles Kops, one of the co-owners, went on to Great Falls, MT and ran a very successful piano store there. (2) A 1914 issue of Piano Trade Magazine tells the story of C.J. Kops, successful piano salesman and accomplished player, who toured with and played for Ellen Beach Yaw, a world-famous American concert singer with an impossible range.
1. “Early Fire Department History - City of Fargo.” Accessed November 27, 2016. https://www.cityoffargo.com/CityInfo/Departments/Fire/AboutUs/History/.
2. Edgar, F.E. “Angelus.” Piano Trade Magazine. Vol. 11, 1914. www.books.google.com.
3. Building photo from NDSU Institute for Regional Studies. http://www.digitalhorizonsonline.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/uw/id/1138/rec/3
4. Fargo City Directory photos from Ancestry.com.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Fargo In Flames