The Fires of Paris
Paris was founded in the mid-1980’s but many of its historic buildings were lost in a fire that destroyed almost half of the town in 1916. The blaze started at a warehouse near the southwest city limits and the cause is unknown. One theory is that a spark from a switch engine ignited dry grass near the warehouse. 50 mph winds blew the fire out of control in a path to the northeast edge of Paris.
Firemen from Bonham, Cooper, Dallas, Honey Grove and Hugo (Oklahoma) came to help the local fire department battle the flames. The fire destroyed most of the central business district and also swept through a residential area before it was finally brought under control the following day.
Damage from the fire was substantial and was estimated at around $11,000,000. Several churches were burned along with the Federal building, Post Office, Lamar County Courthouse and Jail and City Hall. The townspeople began the rebuilding almost immediately from relief funds that were collected. The former prosperity of Paris was quickly restored.