Pettis County's splendid court house in Sedalia was destroyed by fire late Wednesday afternoon. The blaze was discovered at about 3:30 o'clock and a few moments later the large dome was enveloped in flames. The dome fell a few minutes later.

As the blaze had gained great headway, it was impossible for the fire fighters to check the flames which quickly ate downward to the main structure.

No sooner had the blaze been discovered than court house officials, with their deputies and clerks, grabbed up all records and papers, placed them in the vaults and then quickly left the building for their own safety.

The furniture, fixtures and office supplies on the upper floor were destroyed in the fire. The magnificent library of the Pettis County Bar association, one of the finest in the state, was completely destroyed. The beautiful Pettis county service flag, containing stars for the number of Pettis county boys who served in the world war and gold stars for those who died was also destroyed.

The fire fighters prevented the flames from destroying the contents of the offices on the first floor of the building, and so far as is known, all of the valuable records in the offices of the recorder of deeds, circuit clerk, county clerk, probate court, sheriff, collector and assessor are safe.

The fire was discovered by three tinners who were replacing the tin sheeting on the main roof just below the dome. They managed to escape without difficulty. "The fire to all appearances started just below the court house clock," said one of the tinners.

The court house was erected in 1884 at a cost of about $100,000. It was constructed of Carthage stone and [at this point the article becomes difficult to read]

Source: La Monte Record, 18 June 1920
Submitter: Justin Watkins who notes: Pictures of the courthouse as it appeared before the fire and while the fire was still smoldering appear on page 20 of Images of America: Sedalia by Rebecca Carr Imhauser. The statement in the above article concerning the records being safe appears to be correct.