This series of articles are copied from the Granville Sentinel files from late 1942 and 1943 when the Veterans Memorial Clock first came into being.
Transcribed by Matthew Rice – errors were left in the copy as printed unless otherwise noted
– from Dec. 3, 1942 Granville Sentinel
Former Bank building Swept by Fire Monday
Damage estimated at $30,000 mark
The Granville Sentinel expresses appreciation to the Granville fire department and the Penrhyn Hose company for their efforts in saving its building. Due to the fine work of the men the Sentinel experienced no fire, smoke or water damage.
The former Granville national Bank building and what was known as the Hughes block adjoining it, on the corner of Main street and North street, went up in fire and smoke Monday morning at 8:30 o’clock and within an hour nothing remained of it bit the veneered brick walls of the building.
The block was one of the oldest in this village, having been erected in 1875 by Hugh W. Hughes, “The Slate King of America,” when the Granville National Bank was opened by Daniel Woodard.
The corner block adjoining that of the former Bank building wasn’t quite as old as the bank building. It was erected about 1890, soon after the old wooden building which housed the “Granville Republican,” a local weekly newspapers, was torn down. This block was also erected by the H. W. Hughes slate company.
The fire which was of unknown origin evidently started on the upper floor of the building. Mrs. Anna Labas, who was working in the building on the second floor, heard noises on the third floor and while investigating opened a door into a hall which was all aflame. Before she could turn in the alarm, smoke was seen coming from the building by outsiders who summoned the fire department.
Once the fire did break out it was seen coming out of the dome of the building and the roof caved in in a short time. The Granville fire department responded at once, as did the middle Granville department, but the fire made such headway that it was impossible to save any part of the building except to protect the adjoining buildings from catching fire.
Firemen were stationed on top of the Granville Sentinel office on the north pouring water down into the bank building to keep the fire from igniting the local newspaper office. The property of Mayor Hugh G. Williams, adjoining the burning building on the east, was also under constant guard and neither of the two buildings were affected by the fire, although they were both close to the burning building.
The town clock in the dome fell into the building while bricks and debris were falling towards the sidewalk, compelling the firemen to be constantly on guard against possible injury from bricks and roofing slate.
The building house the following offices which were burned out: The Washington County Welfare Department; Victor Mancini’s shoe shop; George Roberts’ barber shop; the Sussman dry cleaning establishment; the county nurse’s office; child welfare department; old age department; the Sheldon Slate Products company; S. E. Everts’ law office and the apartment of Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Murphy. Mrs. Murphy being confined in the local hospitals with her baby fortunately was not at home when the fire broke out.
All the official records of the Granville Chapter of the American Red Cross were destroyed in the office of Charles R. Barker who is treasurer of the organization.
The building was the property of the Washington County National Bank and the loss is estimated at about $30,000.
As the Sentinel goes to press, the offices which were located in the former Granville National Bank building have located at the following addresses: The Washington County Department of Public Welfare’s several offices are divided between the upstairs rooms in the New York Telephone building on North street and the first floor rooms in the Masonic building, corner of Main and Church streets. It is reported that plans are underway to occupy the former E. E. Paul’s store building of two floors.
Attorney S. E. Everts’ office has been moved to the rooms over the Allen Electrical store, and Vic Mancini has moved his shoe repair equipment to the L.A. Rathbun garage but his permanent location is not known at this time.