This photo, looking east from Lewis Street, was taken the year before the fire of Sept. 16, 1901, which wiped out all the buildings visible on the right. This was the only complete block of businesses in Monroe at that time—the south side of the first block of East Main Street.
The fire was discovered at 1:10 a.m. when Dr. Ball returned from Wallace (now Startup) and found the two-story Odd Fellows Hall burning (third building from the right). B.L Monck’s Hardware store was next door and burned. Also burned was T.F. Welborn’s furniture store; Henry Dennis’ barbershop and living quarters; E.A. Roberts’ Drug Store; the Royal Restaurant and E.A. Pearsall’s Tobacco and Confectionary, which were both in G.W. Mack’s building; H.M Treadwell’s building and J.E. Dolloff and Company. J.A. Vanasdlen’s building across Ferry Street also caught fire and burned. For a short time it was feared the businesses on the north side of Main Street would also catch fire, but they were saved. The Monroe Cash Store is at far left on the north side of Main Street near its intersection with Lewis Street.