The Fire That Nearly Destroyed Lawrenceburg

Pre 1900s Lawrenceburg

Pre 1900s Lawrenceburg

Early Lawrenceburg was plagued with devastating fires, oftentimes consuming large parts of the city and historic landmarks like the courthouse which burnt twice in its history.  But there was one fire that nearly completely destroyed the city, causing almost $3.7 million worth of damage in today’s dollars.

In the morning hours of a very windy day on March 15th, 1873, the nearly 400 residents of Lawrenceburg were going about their morning business.  At the corner where United Bank (formerly Farmers Bank) now stands on Main Street, stood a building that was used as a residence and a store.

A small fire broke out in the building under the roof of the structure.  A fire alarm was called, but the city didn’t have any equipment to fight the fire, not even a bucket brigade.  One lone and brave man, JE Collins, took it upon himself to be the only firefighter in town as he owned a fire extinguisher.

Running to the building with the six gallon extinguisher...

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