Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Columbia (Boone County), Missouri

Here's the fifth card from Frankie on his trip to Kansas City, this time from Columbia in Boone County. I'm curious what it means by the courthouse becoming "unsuitable" by the 1840s.


Anonymous said...

Hi Carey: To answer your question, I did some research and found this info for you. As quoted:

Smithton Company, a real estate enterprise, founded the town of Smithton in 1818, anticipating that it might become the seat of justice for the county of Boone. Located about 1/2 mile west of the present courthouse in Columbia, Smithton did serve as Boone County's first county seat until 1821 when Columbia became the favored site.

Tradition maintains that first Circuit Courts met under an arbor of sugar trees. But in Boone, as most counties, courts met outdoors in pleasant weather and then moved indoors to private homes as winter came.

Three years after the move to Columbia, the court contracted for building a "hull of a courthouse," that is, the shell of the building. Subsequent contracts for interior work and exterior finishing continued into 1828. The 40-foot-square, two-story, brick courthouse with hipped roof featured a cupola-like structure at the apex. The courtroom occupied the first floor. After only 20 years, the building was reported in deplorable condition.

Hope this helps!


Carey said...

Wow, that's really intesresting! Thanks Frankie!