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Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce Guidebook

Heritage | The Origin of ‘Man’s Best Friend’ Warrensburg’s exciting future limitations to become a famous remains anchored to its colorful concert pianist. frontier past. The town’s history Another citizen’s group has dates back to 1833 when Martin Warren arrived from Kentucky and School, one of the oldest and THE ORIGIN OF ‘MAN’S BEST FRIEND’formed to preserve Howard settled along the Osage Indian the most historically significant Trail. In 1834, the county of black schools in Missouri. By George Graham Vest master’s side. He will kiss the Johnson was designated, and the These two exciting projects Gentlemen of the jury: The hand that has no food to town of Columbus was the center enhance the work already best friend a man has in this offer, he will lick the wounds of county government until 1836. accomplished by the Johnson world may turn against him and sores that come in In 1838, a group of early Missouri County Historical Society. and become his enemy. His encounters with the commissioned the building of the senator-to-be George Graham us, those whom we trust with desert, he remains.Warrensburg’s past. When U.S.are nearest and dearest toprince. When all other friendscelebrated figures fromprove ungrateful. Those whopauper master as if he were adog mascot, is one of the mostreared with loving care mayguards the sleep of hisOld Drum, our beloved huntingson or daughter that he hasroughness of the world. He leaders, including Daniel Morgan Boone, chose the site for the county courthouse in the growing village that was to become Warrensburg. The county court courthouse in that same year, Vest delivered his eulogy to the our happiness and our good When riches take wings taking four years to complete. dog in 1870 in a Johnson County name, may become traitors and reputation falls to pieces, Incorporation as a city came in courtroom, he had no idea his to their faith. he is as constant in his love 1855, and the railroad arrived in words would make him famous. The money that a man as the sun in its journey 1864. A thriving commercial His words, coining the phrase has, he may lose. It flies through the heavens. If district sprouted along the tracks, “Man’s best friend is his dog,” away from him, perhaps fortune drives the master five blocks southeast of the quickly won him fame across when he needs it the most. A forth an outcast in the world, original town (town square), and Missouri and beyond. man’s reputation may be faithful dog asks no higherfriendless and homeless, the nearby sandstone quarries helped Vest made the speech while sacrificed in a moment of privilege than that of spur growth. arguing in court on behalf of ill-considered action. The accompanying him to guard maintained by the Johnson dog was shot by the ward of on their knees to do us honor against his enemies, andImportant historical sitesagainst danger, to fightCharles Burden, whose favoritepeople who are prone to fall County Historical Society on old Leonidas Hornsby. Burden when success is with us may when the last scene of all Main Street include the 1838 Old sued and the case eventually be the first to throw the stone comes, and death takes the Courthouse, Mary Miller Smiser wound up in the Missouri of malice when failure settles master in its embrace and Heritage Library and Museum, the Supreme Court where the its cloud upon our heads. his body is laid away in the Johnson County Courthouse, and plaintiff was awarded $50. The one absolutely cold ground, no matter if all the restored 1890s. Preserving The trial advanced Vest’s unselfish friend that a man other friends pursue their our past has become a focus for political career, and in 1958 his can have in this selfish world, way, there by his graveside our community and the Johnson Tribute to a Dog was cast in the one that never deserts will the noble dog be found, County Historical Society. bronze beneath the statue of him, and the one that never his head between his paws, historic area has been restored lawn. Vest’s eulogy has won treacherous, is his dog. watchfulness, faithful andOne of the parks in the city’sOld Drum on the courthousehis eyes sad but open in alertproves ungrateful or and is now known as Blind Boone world fame and has been cited Gentlemen of the jury: A true even to death. Park. The completed restoration as one of the greatest speeches man’s dog stands by him in includes a gazebo, picnic areas, given during the 19th-century. prosperity and in poverty, in and a statue of Blind Boone. J.W. The story of Old Drum is known health and in sickness. He will “Blind” Boone was a beloved and loved the world over. sleep on the cold ground, member of our community who, when the wintry winds blow blind and of multi-ethnic heritage, and the snow drives fiercely, if succeeded in working past many only he may be near his physical, cultural and economic 4


Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce Guidebook
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