Old Drum - Man's Best Friend - Warrensburg, Missouri
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 38° 45.896 W 093° 44.427
15S E 435671 N 4290951
Quick Description: Old Drum monument is located on the grounds of the Johnson County Courthouse in Warrensburg, Missouri.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 5/20/2007 2:13:28 PM
Waymark Code: WM1JJV
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member robert
Views: 365

Long Description:

Old Drum was a black and tan hound dog belonging to Charles Burden. On the night of October 18, 1869 was shot and killed by Leonidas Hornsby, bother-in-law and neighbor of Burden. Hornsby had many sheep killed and had notified his neighbors that he would kill the next dog caught on his property. The death of Old Drum resulted in three separate jury trials and an appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court. It is third jury trial held in the Old Courthouse in Warrensburg which is the most well known. Each of the parties employed attorneys, Wells H. Blodgett, George G. Vest, and John F. Philips represented Burden and Francis M. Cockrell and Thomas T. Crittenden represented Hornsby. Vest delivered the closing arguments to the jury and during his remarks he made no reference to evidence previously present but instead delivered more of a "Eulogy of the Dog" or "A Tribute to the Dog".  It as from this tribute the saying "Mans best friend" is credited



Eulogy of the Dog

"Gentlemen of the Jury, the best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it the most. A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads. The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.”

Gentleman of the Jury, a man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and the sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert he remains. When riches take wings and reputation fall to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens. If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death.”  </i~ George G. Vest


This trial was won by Burden and awarded $50.  Hornsby appealed to the Missouri Supreme which upheld the lower court's findings.  It should be noted that the attorneys involved in this case became very successful in their careers:  Critterden became Governor of Missouri, Bloddgett became president of Wabash Railroad, Vest served 24 years in the United States Senate,  Phillips who had been a brigadier general during the Civil War, also served in Congress and later a United States District Judge and Cockrell who also served as a brigadier general for the Confederacy during the Civil War  became a United States Senator for 30 years.

The statue of  Old Drum was placed on the grounds of the Johnson County Courthouse Warrensburg on September 23, 1958 by the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce. The sculpture of bronze on a concrete base is by sculptor  Reno Gastaldi.

Breed: Black and tan hound

Date Built: 1958/09/23

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