Last Updated August 6, 2015

The Boone County Courthouse in Columbia, Missouri, is located at 705 East Walnut in downtown Columbia. Photo of Boone County Courthouse

Columbia became the county seat of Boone County in 1821.  The first courthouse was constructed seven years later in 1828.  The 40-foot-square, two-story, brick courthouse with hipped roof featured a cupola-like structure at the apex.  That courthouse was the first of three to be built in Columbia.  The second courthouse was built in 1847 for $15,000 by W.M. Winter.  This building measured 84 by 51 feet and faced south.  The four 30-foot columns that stand alone near the courthouse on Walnut and 8th street are all that remain of Boone County’s second courthouse.  Those columns align perfectly with those fronting the academic hall of the University of Missouri, several blocks south of the courthouse.  This courthouse, which housed a studio of George Caleb Bingham, appears as the courthouse in both versions of Bingham’s 1855 painting Verdict of the People.

The third and present courthouse was built in 1909 and its location was moved to the center of the square.  Twenty-two architects visited with the court before the court commissioned John H. Felt to draw plans for the new building.  The court requested that Felt design a building conforming to their wishes for a restrained classic design.  J.A. McCarter from Macon, Missouri, was the contractor and the cost came to about $100,000.  The front of the building has remained unchanged since the original construction.  The north side of the building, however, has had several phases of updates.  On May 2, 1992, a $7 million dollar addition and renovation was completed including construction of a courthouse annex connected to the original courthouse via a glass walkway.  In 2008, the courthouse was again expanded and renovated, adding two additional floors and a state-of-the-art technology courtroom.