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August 1, 2015 / Joanne Yeck

Extra! Tobacco Factory Fire! Henrico County Jail Evacuated!

Buckingham_Stewart Murder_Fire

Tobacco Factory Fire, Courtesy The Times-Dispatch

On February 25, 1911, the front page of Richmond’s Times-Dispatch featured the photo above adjacent these dramatic headlines:

STUBBORN BLAZE DESTROYS PLANT

Williams’s Tobacco Stemmery Consumed in Spectacular Fire.

LARUS’S FACTORY BADLY DAMAGED

Loss May Reach $100,000, Protected by Insurance –

Prisoners in Henrico Jail Removed as Precaution –

Fireman Overcome, but Serious Injury Is Averted.

Among the prisoners held in the Henrico County Jail were Dallas Wright, Edward Jones, and Richard Perkins.  The front page article included general comments about the situation at the jail:

Part of the burned buildings adjoin, in almost actual contact, the Henrico county jail, which soon became surcharged with suffocating smoke.  Sheriff L. H. Kepm called on the city police force to aid him in removing the prisoners to a place of safety. . . thirty-three prisoners, among them being three men convicted of murder, brought here from Buckingham county, were transported to the City Jail.  Fireman fought to prevent the fire from spreading to the jail and courthouse.

A second story on page two, detailed the evacuation of the jail, including “Negroes Rescued From Roof.” The article went on to note that “W. Dallas Wright and the two negroes, Richard Perkins and Ed. Jones, convicted murderers of Buckingham county, who are awaiting a new trial, were sent to the city lock-up in charge of W. N. Grubbs.”

What more could happen to these men?  Flood?  A plague of locusts?

Need to catch up on The 1909 Buckingham Murders? Part I: June 1, 2015

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