Adair County's New Court House
12 Apr 1865 Adair County Court House, built 1852- 55, destroyed by fire
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6 Jul 1897 Citizens petition County Court for special bond election to build a Court House on the public square
3 Aug 1897 Voters pass $50,000 bond election with 75% in favor (four previous bonds issues had failed in Nov 1872, June 1892, Nov 1892 & Nov 1896)
6 Nov 1897 Plans & specifications by Kirsch & Co of Milwaukee accepted by County Court and $46,675 construction contract let to Anderson & Menke
2 May 1898 Corner stone laying - parades, special trains, elaborate ceremonies and large crowds
31 Mar 1899 County offices move in to newly completed building
The oration of Rev. Briggs was a gem
in literature and was relayed with great satisfaction.
The elements were not the most favorable for Corner Stone Day in
Kirksville. The rain the night previous and the lowering clouds of
that day, doubtless kept many away, but the cooled air and cloudy sky
made it all the more pleasant for the thousands who attended.
The city was elaborately decorated, with American and Cuban flags, bunting, mottoes, etc.
People began coming in early in vehicles and on horseback.
The First train in, was from Milan bringing 256, the second from Quincy, bringing 261, 137 of which came from Brashear. The third, from Glenwood Junct. bringing 200 and the fourth, a special from Moberly bringing upwards of 500.
Besides many came in the day before and during the night, so that it seems safe to estimate the number present, including our own citizenship, at 15000. It was a great big crowd sure enough, such as Kirksville can draw.
The parade under chief marshal Butler, was the largest every seen in the city and was in the following order. Kirksville cornet band, Masonic order, County officials, City officials, Knights of Pythias, Odd Fellows, Lincoln Legion of Honor, G.A.R. Posts, Woodman order, American School of Osteopathy, Columbian School of Osteopathy, State Normal School, Adair county volunteers, Old Settlers – other citizens, Macon Brass band.
The parade halted at the grand stand where the address of welcome was delivered by Mayor Dockery.
After music by the band, the laying of the corner stone occurred with Masonic rites. This beautiful service was performed by D.D.G.M. Andrew Fisher, Acting Grand Master, of La Belle; S.G.W., G.M. McGuire; J.G.W. Richard C. Norton; G. Tr. Thos. Baum, G. Sec. Richard M. Ringo, G.S.D. Nat M. Shelton, G.J.D. J. Marion Long, G. Ty___ Thos. J Craig, G.S.B. Jas. G. Bell, G. Pursuivant, J.T. Hannah, The oration was by C.H. Briggs S.G.W. Grand Lodge of Missouri.
The shape and finish of the corner stone is the handiwork of Chas. H. Lee, this city. On the south face it bears the inscription, “Laid by A. Fisher, D.D.G. A.F. and A.M., May 2, A.L. 1898.”
Monday the laying of the corner stone of Adair County’s new court house was celebrated. At an early hour people began to arrive from the country and excursion trains were loaded with people. The last train to arrive was from Moberly, Bucklin and Macon, and had on board 500 persons. By 10 o’clock the city was crowded but the different committees had done their work with such care that the great crowd was easily handled. All the towns on the Wabash from Moberly to Glenwood, and on the Port Arthur from LaBelle to Milan furnished large visiting delegations. It had been arranged with hotels, restaurants and eating halls to furnish dinner at 11 o’clock so all could be ready for the parade at 12.
Formed on High street at 12 o’clock under the direction of Col. H.A. Butler, chief marshal, in the following order:
Kirksville Cornet band, Knight Templars, Masonic Lodges, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Woodmen, Lincoln Legion of Honor, G.A.R., American school of Osteopathy, Columbian school of Osteopathy, Medicine and Surgery; State Normal school, Adair county volunteers.
The parade moved promptly at 12 o’clock west on McPherson to Franklin, south to Jefferson to Harrison, east to Franklin, south to grand stand on Washington.
AT THE GRAND STAND
Mayor Dockery delivered the address of welcome, and Rev. Briggs of
Fayette, pronounced the invocation.
Remember the Maine when the big guns rear,
Against the guns of Spain;
Referring to the future of Adair county, he said: “No one could portray it. Could we draw aside the veil of the ‘is to be,’ and take a peep no doubt the view would be one of dazzling splendor and magnificence. Very likely the counties of Schuyler, Sullivan, Macon and Knox would all show annexation to Adair in order to give our people room in which to spread themselves. Brashear would be within the corporate limits of a Greater Kirksville, as also would be Millard, Sublette, Novinger, Camp Collett and the surrounding country. The pleasure yachts and beautiful gondolas repassing swan like on the placid waters of a reconstructed Chariton and a beautiful Salt River, would glide responsive to the gentle Zephyrs ladened with the perfume of rare exotics, fruits and flowers. The bountiful fields with their ripening harvests and the grassy picturesque landscape with its herds and flocks of fat, sleek kine will outrival the land of the Pharoahs in its palmiest days. But language fails, prophecy is at fault and speculation drifts on an unknown sea in attempting to depict our county’s future development.
O Adair, proud, bright Adair
The Kirksville Weekly Graphic
of the most interesting events of the winter occurred at the Central
Hotel on Friday night last. It was the third annual banquet of the
Commercial Club of this city and was given in honor of the County Court,
and to celebrate the opening of the new Court House. Promptly at eight
o’clock the guests began to arrive and soon filled the parlors and halls
of the hotel with a brilliant company. After a half hour of social
conversation, President Dobson, the Master of Ceremonies, called the
company to order and announced the first number on the program, a valse
caprice, which was beautifully rendered by Miss Pauline Dobson, a recall
was responded to by the fair musician with a brilliant little
selection. Mr. C.H. Payson then sang in his delightful manner “Gipsy
John” adapting it to the occasion, the C.C.K. He was called back but
simply bowed this thanks. Miss Alta Baird then sang a touching love
song and in response to a recall sang a beautiful selection, then the
company marched to the spacious dining room and gathered around the
beautifully decorated tables. There were roses and carnations for every
guest, and the cheerful clatter of knives and forks, the brilliant
conversation and the delightful strains of Scott’s Orchestra filled the
room with melody.
Expansion” since 1896. Mr. A.N. Seaber responded in a fitting manner
showing briefly the advancement materially, morally, and intellectually.
The Kirksville Journal
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1890s Kirksville | Special Collections | Pickler Memorial Library
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Last Modified 22 September 2009