Plattsburg, MO Courthouse Fire, Jun 1974

Plattsburg, MO Courthouse, 1930s


PLATTSBURG, Mo. (AP) - Fire destroyed the top floor of the 80-year-old Clinton County Courthouse here Friday, but county officials say most government records were saved.

Sheriff Ray Boyd said the fire started in his office and he called in the state fire marshal to investigate for possible arson. Boyd said he found no evidence of a break-in but knew of no other reason for the fire.

The sheriff said he lost all of his arrest records and a two-way radio system.

There were no injuries in the early morning blaze, which was fought by firemen from six nearby towns.

Damage was estimated at $300,000 and the county court said the structure may have to be replaced rather than repaired.

Glyndon Berryman, a member of the county's executive branch, said many of the county offices will be moved temporarily to the high school.

Prosecutor Lawrence Fisher said cases set for hearing in Clinton County Circuit Court Monday have been continued to July 15, adding: "Where we will have them July 15, I don't know."

County Collector Carl Joson said the county's tax records could be salvaged because they were kept in a vault, but everything in the office except his brass spittoon was destroyed.

Offices on the first floor and in the basement of the courthouse sustained water and smoke damage, but the roof of the building collapsed and the top floor was virtually destroyed.

The Daily Capital News, Jefferson City, MO 15 Jun 1974


Has been heavily speculated

Has been heavily speculated that the sheriff was responsible for the fire, which started in his office.

Plattsburg Courthouse Fire

The courthouse sustained great damage in a fire April 15, 1895, but the walls remained standing. In spite of newspaper reports that the walls would be torn down, apparently they were incorporated in the rebuilding. C. P. Schmidt drew the plans and John T. Neil contracted for $12,985 to rebuild and enclose the courthouse. Stephen Collins acted as superintendent. The appearance of the building was considerably altered after it was stuccoed and painted white in 1958. Fire again damaged the building June 14, 1974, this time beyond repair.