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Courthouse
Fire
of 1898


"Another Fire"

"Lincoln County’s Court House Totally Destroyed by Flames Last Night"

Lincoln Republican, 8 December 1898

At just about midnight last night the Woodmen’s lodge, which had been in session in the Lincoln State Bank block, adjourned. When the members came down the street they noticed that the air was freighted with smoke which, from its smell, indicated that some building near by was on fire.
Investigation proved that it was the court house.
The alarm was given and the firemen and citizens generally were soon out. The fire engines were taken out and used for what they were worth, but to no effect. In an hour’s time the building was completely gutted. The walls and vaults are all that remain today of the familiar old structure.
Most of the books and records are in vaults, but the doors were so badly warped that it is feared that the contents were badly damaged, if not destroyed.
The fire started in the county treasurer’s office, in the southwest corner of the building, and must have been burning some time before discovered. Treasurer W.M. McCanles says that they left the office quite late, and all was apparently quite safe, there being but little fire in the stove.
How it originated will never be known.
The building and furniture was worth from $12,000 to $15,000. At the time of writing we could not obtain the amount of insurance, but it is probably about half its value.

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