The original courthouse was the site of Senator George Graham Vest’s famous "Tribute to a Dog" which he used as his closing argument in Burden vs. Hornsby facing the public square. E. W. Berry erected a hotel on the north side of the courthouse square in 1837. The first hotel established in 1837 and a subsequent one in 1841 were log buildings, as were the town’s other early buildings. The city’s first brick building, built in 1842 on the southeast corner of North Main and West Gay Streets, housed a general store. The courthouse served as the initial community focus. Not only was it the physical seat of justice and the county’s administrative headquarters, the grounds hosted political speeches, patriotic celebrations, public lynchings, and sale of property including slave auctions. Prior to the official development of a public school, children received instruction in the courtroom.
|1869 Map, 30 Years after Initial Plat Warrensburg, MO|
The Old Johnson County Courthouse
|Old Town Warrensburg, MO Plat|