Fire in Oceana

Wyoming Mountaineer
November 29, 1907

An Appeal To The People And Prayer to County Court.

The catastrophe long looked for at Oceana has happened and the damage is far worse than was anticipated.

Had the records been there every vestige of them would today have been a pile of smouldering ashes or carried hither and thither by the four winds of heaven.

Today and by reason of this removal only a few families are homeless. If those records had burned hundreds and hundreds of citizens would have been as practically homeless by the loss of their title papers as any of the citizens of Oceana.

To illustrate: Only a few weeks since an unlooked for and unexpected decree was entered in an old suit in Charleston by which practically a large part of the people of Indian creek would have lost their lands and would have vested the title to them in the Lasher heirs under an old grant in spit of fate, had it not been that the citizens were able to get an abstract of title through the clerk's offices in this county.

Now we ask in all seriousness would not this have been a far greater calamity, ten-fold worse than Oceana? Many more people and hundreds of thousands more property in jeopardy.

This is only one instance in scores we could mention, did not our space forbid.

The county if filled and part of it is covered three or four ply deep with old land grants and titles. The only security to a large majority of the citizens is in the records in the clerk's offices.

They are today just a little more secure than at Oceana, but their location is more dangerous than the cholera in an infected district. To keep them as they are is criminal neglect pure and simple.

How long, we ask in all kinds of seriousness, how long will it take to arouse the people and the county court to a sense of the danger? "You have precept upon precept, line upon line," and now a most vivid object lesson of the danger.

Our county court meets and adjourns to meet again to dicker and dilly dally, while only a benevolent and beneficient [sic] Providence has so far saved us.

There is a place here where the court house should be located. It is the proper place. It is the place agreed upon by consensus of opinion and where 90 per cent of the people of the county want it. We mean the seven lots where H. M. Cline lives. Buy these lots if yon [sic] can buy them at a fair price or a price which you would be willing to take if you owned them. If they cannot be gotten for that price condemn them and pay the award, and submit to the vote of the people the question of bonds to build a court house. If it were voted down, then the county court's skirts will be clear, but they will not, until they have gone as far as they can go. But it will not be voted down. On the contrary it will carry by a sweeping majority.

Do, act, get busy now before we have that irreparable loss.


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