Category Archives: Fires in Jacksonville

Fires in Jacksonville

April 7, 2020
Fire was a significant hazard in early Jacksonville with major fires destroying portions of the town in 1867, 1873, 1874, 1884, and 1888. The town’s volunteer fire department, Engine Company #1, responded to the call of the Applebaker Fire Hall bell well into the 1950s. Fire was the impetus for most of the brick construction that now comprises Jacksonville’s historic commercial district. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say “fire insurance.” The City Fathers did not mandate brick commercial buildings until 1878. However, very early on, insurance companies penalized owners of wooden structures—and buildings adjacent to wooden structures!