Arson at the Courthouse

Warsaw, Ky., March 30, 1868,

To the Editor, Carrollton Democrat

We were all excited yesterday morning by discovering that the records of the County and Circuit Court had miraculously escaped destruction by fire.  The clerk (being a bachelor) went around at his accustomed hour to make the finishing touches to his toilet, upon opening the door he was greeted by a huge puff of smoke, strongly impregnated with the odor of coal oil, and stepping inside, found papers and records scattered in wild confusion.  The window opening on the street was hoisted, and the shutters closed, and it is supposed that the incendiaries made their ingress and egress at that place.  Some eight or nine books of the Circuit Court were taken from their casing and set up on their ends, with their leaves opened out so they would burn freely.

Coal oil was sprinkled on and around them profusely.  The Equity papers now on the Docket were taken from the desk and trained along by the edge of the casings of the records of the County Clerk, the train terminating in a large pile.  Coal oil was then sprinkled over these and the casings all around the side of the room connecting with the order books referred to.  The torch was then applied to the loose papers and, strange to say, but few were burned, the fire going out of its own accord.  The villains made their escape through the open window.  It appears that one was in his sock feet, assisted by another with his boots or shoes on and the only thing left by them was a bottle like those in which lemon syrup is put up (their coal oil bottle) with a teaspoon of oil in it.

The papers in the following cases were primarily destroyed: viz, Nicholas' Heirs vs. Nicholas' Heirs; M. S. Lillard, Guardian, vs. Jos. S. Lillard's Heirs; J. H. McDanell, Trustee, vs. Geo. Glenn & Co.

This is the third attempt to get up an incendiary fire in the last three weeks, and if our Grand Jury did fail to find indictment at the last two terms, it is not because there are not criminals among us.


from the Carrollton Democrat on March 30, 1868.