Thursday, April 9, 2009

1874 Courthouse Burns

1874 Courthouse burns Thursday, April 9, 1874

Galveston Daily News April 14, 1874 Fire at Cameron Public Records Destroyed Cameron, April 13 – Last Thursday about 1 o’clock, this quiet little village was roused by a terrible roaring of fire and cracking of burning timbers. It was soon discovered that the courthouse was wrapped in flames. The discovery was made too late to affect any good, no fire engine being in the place. When discovered, the clerks and sheriff’s offices were almost entirely gone. All records books and papers of the court; tax rolls for last year and assessment rolls for this year were entirely destroyed. Nothing was saved except the indictments found at the January term 1874. The deputy clerk, Mr. Homan, had carried this home with him to issue capiases at night. The work is supposed to be the doings of some one who was indicted and desired to destroy the papers of his case. A small jug, with a little kerosene oil in it was found under the steps to the courthouse fence. A Negro has since been arrested on suspicion. It is supposed he was instigated to the act by some white man. The loss is inestimable. Messrs. Ackerman and Smith’s store caught fire several times but was extinguished rapidly. No other house burned.

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