January 13, 1919
Mysterious fires ravaged buildings and equipment at the Prairie Creek and Ozark diamond-mining sites, permanently terminating the field operations of prospectors Austin and Howard Millar of the Kimberlite Company. Testing had produced averages of about eleven carats per 100 loads from the mines—figures high enough to suggest commercial potential and appeal to investors. Still, the Kimberlite Company soon lost investor support and sank into debt. After the speculative heyday had faded by 1909, diamond-mining companies continued probing their properties for about two years; but in the end, the remarkable burst of activity had produced very little except crushed expectations and growing skepticism.