|Johnson County Courthouse, Warrensburg, MO|
Johnson County Courthouse, 1896-. Architect: George E. McDonald (Courtesy: State Historical Society of Missouri)
Apparently satisfied with what they found, they awarded him the commission in March 1896 and approved his plans for an 84-by-104-foot, two-story building, constructed of Warrensburg sandstone. In May, J. M. Anderson, Emporia, Kansas, received the building contract for about $50,000.
Problems arose immediately with the public; there was dissatisfaction about the choice of the architect and the fact that McDonald instead of a county man was appointed supervisor. Some Johnson Countians doubted that the building could be erected for $50,000; further irritation erupted when the court did not require bond from McDonald.
Cornerstone ceremonies took place Aug. 25, 1896, but the project was beset with problems. It became obvious that the construction would not be finished by the estimated date in December 1896, nor was it completed a year later. Not until January 1898 did the court accept the building, but costs ran only $585 above the $50,000 appropriation.
As soon as county officials moved in, the probate judge, who, much to his annoyance, had been assigned space in the basement, itemized 11 protests. He claimed the courthouse was an unfit place to keep records; sandstone had been a poor choice of building material since it admitted moisture; there was inadequate ventilation; his rooms were in inaccessible quarters; the rooms were poorly lighted, et al.
In spite of the judge's objections, Johnson County continues to use this courthouse. Three other Missouri examples of McDonald's courthouse design are in Andrew, Bates and Lawrence counties, all built within a 5-year period. This courthouse, along with the first Johnson County courthouse, is included on the National Register of Historic Places.National Historic Register Link
|Goddess Statue Warrensburg, Johnson County Courthouse|
|Goddess Statue atop the Johnson County Courthouse, Warrensburg, Mo|
|Johnson County Courthouse, Missouri|
Goddess of Liberty Statue
|Johnson County Courthouse, Warrensburg, Mo.|
San Francisco Call, Volume 82, Number 110, 18 September 1897 — THE GODDESS GRINS
2017 Down for Repairs, Goddess of Liberty (Minerva) Warrensburg, MO
2017 Renovation, photo by Marv Buford
Goddess of Liberty, Warrensburg, MO
THE GODDESS GRINS. 1897
New York Sun.
There is peace in Warrensburg, MO., at last, and the Goddess of Liberty on the staff of the new Courthouse there shows a sweet smile as the tender eye-dawn of aurorean love. The ball on the staff, which the goddess amuses herself by holding, used to be "a rich golden color," to the delight of the Republicans and the sorrow and wrath of the Democrats. The Republicans fleered and jeered or til the Democrats couldn't stand it any longer. The member* of the County Court "are all Democrats, and secret orders were given to supplant the golden ball with one of silver." The orders were obeyed. The unhallowed badge of the money power was removed, and now the end of the staff glistens with a bail of silver.The goddess grins radiantly. The Warrensburg Democrats sleep in peace, knowing that the people's metal is enthroned on the new Courthouse.
The evening times., September 06, 1897, Washington, DC
|View From the Top of the Courthouse Looking South, Warrensburg, MO|