Groesbeck, TX Courthouse Fire, Feb 1891
note: Groesbeck is misspelled throughout the article.
Limestone County's Temple of Justice Destroyed by Fire.
GROESBEECK, Tex., Feb. 1. - At 3:30 this morning cries of fire and rapid discharge of pistol shots called the inhabitants to the rescue. The Limestone county courthouse was in flames. The fire was first discovered in the northwest corner of the building. The fire spread rapidly and soon the splendid building was one seething mass of flames, beyond the control of human power.
The building was first built about thirteen years ago, but was remodeled and almost built anew about two years ago, at which time there was a spirited contest between Mexia and Groesbeeck for the county seat, Groesbeeck coming out victorious by a small majority. The present building cost about $25,000 and the furniture and building were insured for about $15,000, the loss on the furniture and building being about $30,000. The names of the companies which held policies and the amounts cannot be ascertained at this writing on account of most of the agencies holding the policies being in Mexia.
All of the records are in the vaults and are supposed to be safe. No attempt has been made to open the vaults to-day.
County Clerk Brown had a large number of his private papers and notes destroyed which were in his office. County Judge Rucker had his fine private and law libraries both destroyed. County Treasurer Wiley left about $200 in his safe yesterday evening which it is presumed is all right.
In about 45 minutes after the fire was discovered there was nothing left of the building but the bare walls, which are still standing.
Groesbeeck turned out en masse to-day to view the ruins. The origin of the fire is supposed to have been the act of an incendiary. An investigation into the matter is being held before County Judge Rucker.
The January term of the district court had not finished its business for the term, and the first buisiness to-morrow will be to secure a place to hold court.
The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX, 2 Feb 1891
Transcribed by Tim Taugher. Thanks, Tim!