Buchanan County Courthouse
The Buchanan County Courthouse was erected in 1873 and holds significance as the only cruciform, Renaissance Revival courthouse in the state. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is also Missouri's second-largest courthouse, after the St. Louis Courthouse. The building features many artistic elements including a dome, large Corinthian columns, and porticos. The courthouse is also notable for being the site of the trial of Robert Ford, the man who killed infamous outlaw, Jesse James in April 1882 (see below for more details).
Backstory and Context
Robert Ford was a member of James' gang and hoped that by killing James, he would receive a reward and forgiveness for past crimes. After the murder, he and his brother, Charles, who was in on the scheme, contacted authorities who immediately arrested them. The next day, they were charged with first-degree murder and sentenced to death by hanging. However, a short time after the trial, the governor at the time, Thomas T. Crittenden, pardoned them. Robert was murdered at age 30 in Colorado.
Weiser, Kathy. "Robert Ford - Jesse James' Killer." Legends of America. Last updated December 2018. https://www.legendsofamerica.com/robert-ford.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons