Tuesday, August 26, 2008
COURTHOUSE FIRE - 1918
Fire swept the Clark County Courthouse early on March 12, 1918. Flames destroyed the clock tower, the grand jury room, the common pleas court chamber and the court of appeals chamber. Many of the law library's 9,000 volumes were lost. Fire Chief Samuel Hunter ordered his entire force to the scene. ``Hundreds of feet into the air the flames shot as they encircled the high tower,'' The Sun newspaper said. ``Several lines of hose were used to throw water on the southwest corner in which are kept all the court records of the county ... Two lines of hose were carried to the top of the sheriff's residence and from there water was played on the building.'' Winds carried sparks ``as far down as Spring Street where a dwelling caught fire,'' according to The Sun, and Sheriff James Welch ordered the transfer of inmates from the County Jail to the City Prison as a precaution. The blaze apparently started near a lavatory on the second floor of the courthouse, which was built in 1878.