Researched & Submitted by Dick Palmer - Transcribed by Ron Taylor
Cuba Patriot - February 4, 1886
Clarksville Center perfected its claim as an oil town last Friday night, when it had its first fire.
The fire started in the rear room of John Cullen's saloon about 12 o'clock. There was a sheet iron stove in that room which probably had something to do with its origin, though just how is not known. The proprietor with three or four others had closed the place about fifteen minutes before its discovery and was some half a mile away when the alarm was given. The building with all its contents was destroyed. The building was erected last summer by Wasson and Cullen, but the latter had purchased his partner's interest in it. It was valued at $700 and was insured for $400. Cullen had two billiard tables in the place which with other fixtures and stock, were valued at $700. On these he held an insurance of $300.
The rooms over the saloon were occupied by Thos. Platner and family. He and his daughter were away at a dance, at the time, and Mrs. Platner had a narrow escape from the burning building, saving no clothing or furniture.
The Keller building, 25 feet distant, was also burned. J. B. Giles occupied this with a general store. Many of his goods on the ground floor were saved, but of the large quantity kept in the cellar, none were taken out. His stock was valued at $4,500 on which he had an insurance of $2,000. Mr. Giles was also postmaster, and the office was in this building. About all connected with this was saved, as also the books and papers of the Town Clerk's office, located there. The building was owned by Cleo B. Keller and was worth about S1,200, insured for $800.
The Peckham hotel opposite was considerably scorched and goods were removed in the expectation that it would barn.
Mr. Giles has secured the Sherer building next to the Wilkinson hotel, and will continue business there.
Mr. Cullen endeavored to secure the Mohan saloon building, but found it had been leased at the earliest moment after the blaze, by a Mr. Shoff, who will see that Clarksville is not wholly without saloon facilities.
The destitute condition in which the fire left the Plattner family was appreciated by the generous hearted people of Clarksville, and about $100 was raised by subscription there for their relief. A subscription paper was also circulated in this village Tuesday. Certainly their condition was deserving of this attention.