Courthouse Burned 40 Years Ago

                       Old Wooden Courthouse Burned                          
                           40 Years Ago Aug. 9                               
             Many Valuable Pike County Papers Have Been Lost.                
August 9th 1935 commemorates the 40th anniversary of the burning of the Old  
Wooden Courthouse at Murfreesboro on the site where the present courthouse   
now stands. Deeds and Mortgages records thru Book "Q" and all court and      
other public records were totally destroyed at that time. Shortly after the  
Courthouse was burned in 1895 Hon. J.C. Pinnix was appointed as Commissioner 
to erect a new courthouse. Under his watchful care and management a new      
Brick courthouse was erected from brick made in a kiln just across Prairie   
Creek East of Murfreesboro near the old ford on the Murfreesboro-Arkadelphia 
road. This courthouse served the county until it was declared unsafe by      
architects and condemned. County Judge W.B. Horton in 1931 appointed A.P.    
Terrell of Murfreesboro, Ed Kirkham of Delight and Dr. J.N. Pate of Glenwood 
as Commissioners who contracted the building of a new Courthouse to May and  
Sharp of Little Rock, who constructed the present courthouse which cost the  
taxpayers of the county about $48,000.00, for which bonds were issued after  
same had been voted at popular election. The first term of Circuit Court was 
held in the present Courthouse in March 1932.                                
Pike county records were also destroyed in 1859 when the first courthouse    
ever to be erected in Pike county was destroyed.                             
The editor of this paper was recently informed by Senator Alfred Featherston 
of Murfreesboro that since the public records were destroyed by fire that he 
experiences little trouble in abstract land titles in Pike county because of 
the burned records. We inspected his abstract plant which he has built by    
his own effort and which he keeps down to date by taking off the records     
onto his books all land transfers as they are made. So far as the present    
records cover he has a complete Abstract already made up on each tract of    
land in Pike county, bound into books containing all transfers on each       
section of lands and each block of towns. His books consist of over 40,000   
separate sheets stored in steel filing cabinets which he keeps in the        
fireproof vault in the Owens building in north side of the square formerly   
occupied by the Farmers and Merchants Bank. His modern books are a valuable  
asset to those needing title information in the county.                      
Pike County Tribune, Volume 14, Number 25, August 2, 1935, page 1, column 3. 
The Pike County clerk's office and court records were first destroyed on     
February 13, 1855. The second courthouse fire and destruction of court       
records occurred in March 1895.                                              
David Kelley 1997