Clark County, Missouri
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 40° 25.464 W 091° 43.153
15T E 608648 N 4475650
Quick Description: My courthouse photo is the old courthouse. A Victorian-Italianate Building, which has been razed and replaced with the building shown on Wikipedia.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 9/15/2019 9:02:27 AM
Waymark Code: WM11A5C
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member pmaupin
Views: 1

Long Description:

County of site: Clark County
Location of marker: N. Jackson St. (MO-81), courthouse lawn, Kahoka
Marker Erected by: State Historical Society of Missouri and State Highway Commission
Date Marker Erected: 1953

Marker Text:

Missouri's first northern border county, organized in 1836, is named for explorer William Clark. In 1839, Iowa Territory and the State of Missouri mobilized troops on the nearby border in a boundary dispute called the Honey War for the bee trees in the area. Compromise averted hostilities. In 1851, the Supreme Court finally set the Missouri-Iowa boundary at the old 1824 Iowa, Sauk [Sac] and Fox Indian Purchase Line.

Clark County is distinguished as the site of the Battle of Athens, Aug. 5, 1861, one of two northernmost Civil War Skirmishes. (The other was at Salineville, Ohio, July 26, 1863). At Athens, about 500 Union troops under Col. David Moore routed some 800 pro-Southern guards under Col. M.E. Green to save Iowa from Civil War action.

The famed Anti-Horse Thief Association was first organized by David McKee at Luray, to the west, 1854, to curb frontier banditry by capture and legal prosecution of criminals. Revived in 1863, the society had over 40,000 members in 11 states by the early 1900's. In 1926, the word "Horse" was dropped from the name.

Clark County, with its rolling hills, dense woodland, and rich prairies, lies in a glacial plains region. Near here, at the mouth of the Des Moines, the Mississippi begins its measure of Missouri's eastern boundary.

The first settlers, largely Southerners, located St. Francisville on the Des Moines, 1829. Near here, in the Black Hawk War, 1832, Missouri's troops built Fort Pike when it was feared that the Iowa, Sauk, and Fox Indians might invade this land once theirs.

Kahoka, seat of Clark County since 1872, was laid out in 1856 and named for the Cahokia Indians. Earlier county seats were Waterloo and Alexandria. Near the mouth of the Des Moines, Alexandria once rivaled St. Louis as a pork packing center. In 1870, the peak year, 42,557 hogs were processed.

Among Clark County sites of interest are a monument at Kahoka to David McKee, Anti-Horse Thief Association founder, and, on the Des Moines, Athens, which still has the marks of its famed Civil War battle.1 At. St. Patrick, to the south, is the church of the National Shrine of St. Patrick.

"Clark County moved its county seat three times before permanently establishing it. For the first 10 years the county seat was in Waterloo, an interior location. In 1847 county officials tried a river site at Alexandria, but repeated flooding prompted a move back to Waterloo in 1854. Finally, officials settled permanently at centrally located Kahoka in 1865.

"In Waterloo, the first county seat for Clark County, the court authorized the first courthouse. Joseph McCoy served as treasurer of Clark County, 1837-40, and apparently was the same Joseph McCoy who provided the plan for the first courthouse Oct. 11, 1837. The court rescinded the order due to a minor legal technicality Dec. 12, 1837, but immediately reappointed McCoy commissioner, who again presented a plan. In all probability some minor procedure was not handled properly.

"McCoy's plan of Oct. 11, 1837, for a brick, 43-foot-square building with a stone foundation may be the same as that approved by the court in December. The courtroom was on the first floor, offices on the second. For this construction the court appropriated $4,700 in December. The court accepted the completed courthouse March 13, 1839, and paid McCoy for superintendence. On Aug. 6, 1847, the county seat moved to Alexandria, and Waterloo citizens converted the courthouse for use as a church and school. While at Alexandria, the court appointed Ephraim Warner commissioner to superintend construction of a courthouse donated by citizens of the community. The History of Lewis, Clark, Knox and Scotland Counties, 1887, described it as a plain, inexpensive, two-story, brick building, with county offices on the first floor, the courtroom on the second. Court first convened in the new courthouse June 11, 1849.

"Repeated floods in Alexandria after 1851 caused apprehension about its use as a permanent site. Petitions for moving resulted in an 1854 vote to shift back to the original site at Waterloo. Repairs made by Whiting Johnson on the Waterloo courthouse indicate its revived use on Nov. 5, 1855.

"After a decade, once again the seat of justice was moved. An act of the legislature relocated the county seat on Feb. 20, 1865, in Kahoka, apparently at the instigation of vested real estate interests. Donations of $12,000, supplemented by a court appropriation of $15,000 authorized in 1870, provided funds for a new courthouse.

"In November 1870 the court appointed Peter S. Washburn to act as superintendent. Although the architect has not been identified in Clark County sources, an article in a Sedalia, Missouri, newspaper credited W. B. Larkworthy as architect of the Clark County courthouse. Larkworthy, born in England, is known to have lived in Quincy, Illinois, and Kansas City, Missouri. Plans, with variations A through G filed with the county clerk, were approved Dec. 6, 1870. The court made selections and accepted a bid of $18,985 made by the firm of J.G. Orr and P.H. Conner, Quincy, Illinois, on Dec. 22, 1870. ~ University of Missouri: Extension

Wikipedia Url: [Web Link]

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