Missouri’s History Through Its Courthouses

Missouri Preservation has embarked on a program entitled, “Missouri History Through Its Courthouses.”  The program focuses on a pictorial, social and architectural history of Missouri’s courthouses published in 2007 called Missouri Courthouses: Building Memories on the Square. “Missouri History Through Its Courthouses” is sponsored through a grant from the Missouri Humanities Council/National Endowment for the Humanities. In addition to the book,   the program features exhibitions of a number of courthouse photographs taken by Dennis Weiser, the book’s author.

The primary activity for the new program will be to distribute a hardcover copy of the book to every school district in the State of Missouri. The book provides important information about Missouri’s courthouses, providing students with the history of Missouri’s county courts system and sharing the stories of the people who shaped these events, the buildings that housed them and those who designed and built the courthouses.   To compliment the book distribution component of the project, Missouri Preservation is sponsoring five exhibitions to highlight the photographic images used in the book. The first exhibition was on display at the State Historical Society of Missouri (Columbia), September 2018. A gallery talk featuring architectural historian and University of Missouri Professor of Art History, Dr. Carol Grove and the State Historical Society’s Curator of Art Collections, Dr. Joan Stack launched the exhibit  on June 30, 2018. From Columbia, the exhibit travels to the Monett Historical Museum before heading to Cape Girardeau, St. Joseph and Hannibal.  Presentations at these additional venues will include topics such as the architects who designed Missouri’s courthouses, how to photograph historic buildings and histories about Missouri’s counties, county seats and courthouse squares.


Monett, Missouri
November 11, 2018 to December 31, 2018

The exhibit at the Monett Historical Museum officially opens on Sunday, November 11, 2018 with an exhibit opening which includes a presentation on the architecture of Missouri’s courthouses led by the executive director of Missouri Preservation, Mr. Bill Hart. The event is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at the Museum located at 422 East Broadway in Monett. Light refreshments will be served after the presentation.  The photographic exhibit at the Museum will run through the end of the year.  For more information call Missouri Preservation at (660) 882-5946 or the Monett Historical Museum at (417)235-9030.

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Cape Girardeau


St. Joseph


Hannibal