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Blanchester Area Historical Society

1912. Westboro I.O.O.F. Fire-Arson.

1912. Westboro I.O.O.F. Fire-Arson.

On October 27, 1912 the Westboro I.O.O.F. Hall burned to the ground. The building was owned by local store owner Cecil J. Uible. The State Fire Marshal's office had determined that three attempts had been made to burn the building down before it was accomplished.

For months the investigation was at a stand still. Then on February 11, 1913, Westboro resident Joe Burger walked into the county prosecutor's office and confessed to starting the fire. He also told them that he had been hired by C.J. Uible to commit the crime so Cecil could collect the insurance money on the building.

Uible was indicted and convicted. A second trial was ordered after the Ohio Supreme Court found issues with the first trial. Uible was again found guilty and sentenced to prison.

Joe Burger, having confessed, was also given a jail sentence. He ended up serving about a year.

Cecil was released from prison in December 1916 after about 2 years of incarceration.


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