Edna, TX Courthouse Fire, Jun 1900


Believed to Have Been Set on Fire.

Many of Jackson County's Records Destroyed.


Edna, Tex., June 15. - About 4 o'clock this morning the courthouse was destroyed by fire. The origin of the fire is supposed by many to have been incendiary. The records and furniture of the County Judge, Assessor and Justice of the Peace were entirely lost. In the Surveyor's office the county map made at a cost of $500 was burned. The other records of that office were in a large safe and until the safe cools and can be opened it can not be ascertained to what extent the contents may be damaged, if damaged at all. The contents of the Clerk's and Treasurer's offices in a separate fireproof building, about thirty feet from the courthouse were preserved intact. The same is true of the Sheriff's records, his office being in the jail about eighty feet distant. Jail inmates tested their lungs in screaming for help. Sheriff McDowell, however, was soon upon the spot and provided safety and security of his wards.

Judge Rowlett estimates the loss to the county at $12,000 or $15,000; $6,000 insurance. He also estimates his own loss in library and other personal effects at $1,200.

The County Judge had just completed his scholastic work and the Assessor had also completed his assessments and both officers were ready to make official reports. All of this work will have to be done over.

The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX, 16 Jun 1900