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Title: Insurance On Court House
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Not Yet Adjusted, the Companies' Representatives Offereing 95 per cent. of the $25,000

Claimed the Salvage was Too Great

To Allow the Full Amount of Insurance. Commissioners Refused to Accept the Discount. County Officials at Work in Their Temporary Quarters.

The adjustors for the insurance companies came in Wednesday afternoon and looked over the ruins of the court house, put their heads together and decided that the commissioners would probably be willing to accept something less than the full amount of the $25,000 insurance carried on the building and its contents, and then offered to settle for 95 per cent. of the total claim. This would be a saving to the companies of $1,250. The commissioners were called by telephone and came Wednesday evening. When the proposition was made known to them they turned it down, and the adjustors left town on the evening trains without making a settlement. The adjustors claim the salvage is too great to justify a payment in full-that there was not $25,000 worth of insured property destroyed by fire.

The officers have begun to get their affairs in such shape that they can do the business of the county, even if they are hampered up, and lack the orderly arrangement that prevailed in the Court-house.

Auditor Winks on west side of the street is provided with tables enough on which to spread out his seal brown and edge-scorched books, over which he pours as of old, while Treasurer Stephens, in the same room is receiving taxes as urbanely as if fire never had attacked the Court-house.

On the ground floor of the Boston Store, Recorder Wilson is making the proper entries of legal papers and he was the first to get to business after the fire. Clerk Grey is in the same toom and is getting his papers and books arranged for the restoration of business in his line. Several classes have already been filed, but he has not issued any marriage licenses, though he has been in possession of a seal all this week. Upstairs over the Clerk's office, the old carpet room is being put in shape for Jedge Saunderson when he comes to hold the next term of Court. In the rooms over Recorder Wilson, Sheriff Tague and Surveyor Gregory are housed in the suite of rooms while Superintendent Bader in the front room, is holding communion with himself and trying to make a new set of records from his memory of what he had written before the fire.

The testimony of those who have been in from the country the past week is that the building is not as badly damaged as they had expected to find it.

There have been a half dozen or more experts here the past week amking estimates of the salvage, and these estimates range from $26,000 to $36,000-an average of about $30,000-as the value of the building as it stands. The estimated loss to the building by the fire is about he same figure-probably a little less. The total insurance on building and contents will probably cover the amount of loss to the building.

There is still much talk about, and some action in reference to the removal of the county seat from Williamsport. to remove the county-seat requires three steps, anoyone which would seem to preclude its removal except to the most sanguine partisan of some other site. The first is the securing of more than 1000 names of qualified voters to a petition requesting the Commissioners to call an election. The second is that the property should be valued at less than $20,000 by a commission appointed by the Govenor, and the third is that in case of an election almost three-fourths-70 per cent.-of the votes cast shall be for removal. In case the proceeding get so far as an election, and it goes against removal, the original peitioners are held for the costs accruing.

If the Court-house is removed it means that entailed expense of something like $60,000 for building alone, while the present one can be repaired for half of that. The cost of replacement furniture, library and auditor's books will be practically the same whether the county seat goes or stays.

The only explanation that seems really to account for the fire, that can be improbable, is that of incendiarism. It is easy to say that it caught from the cob-room, but not so easy to make out a case when the premises are examined. It is easy to say that it started from some overheated woodwork, but the condition of the furnace fire for many hours previous would make it impossible. It is easy of course, to say that it was set on fire, and this would be, probably, as hard to establish as any of the other theories of the cause, but when the others all fails, that is the last resort, and it seems to be the case in this instance, though it is hard to see what anyone would expect to gain by firing the court house, or why anyone would want to do so.

The firemen were out Tuesday forenoon testing the pressure. The test was satisfactory. The lack of pressure on the morning of the court house fire still remains a mystery except under one hypothesis, and that is lack of water in the standpipe. And this hypothesis must be assumed in the face of the figures on the dial at the power plant showing plenty of water. There was either plenty of water in the pipe or the indicator lied about the pressure-a thing it has never done before nor since.

Date: 1/31/1907
Origin: The Warren Review
Record ID: 00002433
Type: Periodical
Source Archive: Warren County Historical Society
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Collection: Court House
Entered By: Amber M Knipe

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