The Douglas County Courthouse (which was housed at the time in a temporary building) was destroyed by fire. The original courthouse had been destroyed by fire in 1872, and the 1886 fire was set by the county assessor, who was trying to destroy incriminating evidence of his embezzlement.

This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.