Lawrenceburg, KY Courthouse and Main Street Fire, Apr 1915


Courthouse and Several of Business Houses Are Destroyed


Lexington and Frankfort Departments are Called On for Assistance

(Special to The Herald).

LAWRENCEBURG, Ky., April 13. -- (2:30 a.m.) - Fire which at one time threatened to destroy the entire town, broke out shortly after midnight tonight burning the Anderson Company, courthouse, Park Smith's drug store, A. L. Baxter's grocvery [sic], W. A. Bottom's saloon and other business houses on Main Street.  At. 3 o'clock this morning the fire was still burning briskly.  Frankfort and Lexington fire departments were called upon for assistance.  The loss is estimated at $100,000.

At 3 o'clock this morning the fire was sweeping Main Street and was said to be spreading.  The fire has also destroyed Miles Parker's bakery.

The conflagration is said to have originated in the courthouse.  Another report had it that it originated in the warehouse back of Smith's drug store.

The Frankfort fire department left for this place shortly before 3 o'clock.  No other help had started then.  The Lawrenceburg department was helpless against such a blaze.

The Lexington fire department had not responded at 3 o'clock.

To the list of buildings licked up by the flames earlier in the night, the Vanarsdale Drug Company building, Vilger's barber shop and Watterson Brothers' grocery store were added later.

Lexington Herald, Lexington, KY 13 Apr 1915


This court house was destroyed by fire on midnight of April 13, 1915.  The jail in rear of the court house was not destroyed.  All inside work, windows, floors, partitions, desks and tables were destroyed.  A deputy county clerk went into the county clerk's office and opened the vault door and threw all records books and official papers into the vault and locked the door.  It was believed at the time he had saved all the records, but as time has gone on it is found that a valuable record is missing and can't be found.  These losses are attributed to the fire.  The circuit court clerk's office did not fare so well.  All records in the vault of this office remained secure but order book "V", and two or three hundred suits and a number of record books in the outer office were destroyed.  All pending suits, except a few which lawyers had carried to their offices, were destroyed.  The stone walls erected in 1860, stood the test of the fire, and were not damaged except here and there over a window or door, and these were easily replaced.  The columns in front were damaged to such an extent as to be unsafe, and those that had not fallen were torn down.

- A History of Anderson County, 1780-1936, begun in 1884 by Major Lewis W. McKee, concluded in 1936 by Mrs. Lydia K. Bond.