Clarksville, TN "The Great Fire of 1878", Apr 1878 - $500,000 Loss

Great Fire at Clarksville, Tenn.

LOSS $500,000

NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 14. There was a destructive fire at Clarksville last night. The best judges estimate the loss at half a million dollars. The burnt district covers fifteen acres. The Gracy warehouse covered over an acre. 57 houses were destroyed by the fire, including the best dwellings in the city. The insurance is estimated at $150,000. The fire is regarded as the work of an incendiary, with which the blacks seemed to deeply sympathize, refusing aid in suppressing the flames.

Policeman Phillips Saturday afternoon shot and killed a negro named Scat, while resisting him with stones. This aroused a feeling among the blacks who threatened to mob Phillips, who was placed in jail for safety. It is supposed that the fire was a result of the recent lynching of a negro for attempting to rape a white girl, and Scat’s death.

Fifty special policemen are patrolling the streets. Nine hundred hogsheads of tobacco were destroyed by the fire and rain. The list of houses embraces all kinds of business, and among them are the newspaper office, Court House, bank, Central Hotel, hook and ladder houses, two jewelry stores, two dry goods stores, eight groceries, two public halls and ten residences.

Caledonian, St. Johnsbury, VT 19 Apr 1878