Cooper, TX Delta County Courthouse Fire, Mar 1899

Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Courthouse Burned.

Delta County Capitol Building Went Up in Flames Yesterday.

Cooper, Delta Co., Tex., March 9-The courthouse at this place burned this morning at 12:30 o’clock. The fire lasted about and hour and a half.

The courthouse was built of wood and had been built about eighteen years, and stood in the middle of the square.

The fire originated on the north side in the stairway leading to the cupola.

In 1889 a fireproof vault, costing $4000, had been built inside of the courthouse and adjoining the county clerk’s office, and all of the deed records and most of the county records were in this vault, and it is thought that all of the records in the vault are safe.

All papers in the sheriff’s and district clerk’s office were burned. Many important cases were pending in the district court and now new papers will have to be substituted where it can be done.

There was $3000 if insurance on the house and $4000 on the vault and records.

At 3 o’clock a.m. the fire is about extinguished and the vault seems to be in tact and it is believed the records are uninjured.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 10 Mar 1899

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Cooper Courthouse Fire.

Vaults Opened and All County Records Found to Be Safe.

Cooper, Tex., March 11.-The vault of the courthouse was opened this evening and all of the records were found to be in as good condition as before the courthouse burned.

The courthouse burned yesterday morning and it was thought that the vault could not be opened with safety for a week, but it was decided to open it this evening. A blacksmith soon cut away some of the fastenings and opened the double doors. Everything was found to be in perfect condition. All papers and the few records that were in the sheriff’s and district clerk’s offices were destroyed. Duplicates of most of the sheriff’s records are in the vault, but all papers of suits now pending in the district court were burned and will have to be substituted.

Already the people are beginning to agitate the question of a new fire-proof courthouse, and it is certain that Delta county will have a first class, up-to-date courthouse as soon as one can be built.

The officers have secured offices at various places in town and where a vacant office could be found.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 12 Mar 1899