Courthouse Cornerstone

Laid on July 19, 1892

Source: Osceola Centennial Issue...1851 to 1951, Osceola Sentinel, August 2, 1951, Section 7, p. 6.

Park Filled to Hear Proceedings

Justice and Liberty Guarded Entrances; Million Bricks Used in Building, Archives in Cornerstone

Cornerstone for the Clarke county courthouse was laid on Saturday, July 9, 1892, with the park filled with citizens to see and hear the proceedings.

The courthouse, which cost $47,892, required over one million brick in construction. It was faced with St. Joseph, Mo., brick and trimmed with Warrensburg sandstone. The roof was of slate, and the gutters were copper.

Two statues of hammered zinc were placed over the east and west doorways. The east was Justice, and over the west door was Liberty.

The cornerstone proper was 30 inches square, 14 inches high, and had a cavity 8 inches square and 6 inches deep to contain the copper box holding archives to be thus saved for the future. Contained in the cornerstone were:

A Bible donated by Dr. E. H. Wilson who ran a book store here at that time, the latest bar docket, city ordinances of Murray and Osceola, a transcript of the proceedings of the Board of Supervisors in relation to building the court house, also blank bond and warrant.

The Normal Course of Study, the Osceola School course of study, all current silver, copper and nickle coins and postage stamps of all different values, a copy of the official register of Iowa, rosters of the Masonic Lodge, the K of P, Odd Fellows, G.A.R., W.C.T U., P.E.O., Daughters of Rebekah, Relief Corps, and other secret and fraternal societies and the constitutions of a number of them.

A list of the old settlers of Clarke county, a record of the county officers and circuit and district judges from the organization of the county to the present date, current copies of the Osceola Sentinel, the Osceola Democrat and the Murray News, a letter to posterity by Mrs. Cora Humeston and Mrs. Lora Cooley, copies of newspapers formerly published in Osceola, a "boom" edition of the Sentinel Redpaths Lyceum presented by Dr. T. M. Wall, bank checks and personal and business cards of bystanders.

The box is of solid copper and bears the name of Geo. C. Dare a local tinsmith who made the box and soldered the lid in place.

The day's program began with music by the Murray Band playing in the park at one o'clock, Civic and other bodies gathered together and were marshalled into a parade at the Masonic hall by M. F. Redman and J. B. Wells who acted as marshal of the day. When the parade filed into the park every available inch of space was occupied by the various bodies. Then came the invocation by Rev. A. T. Stodgell of the M. P. church.

Music by the Murray Band

Address of Welcome, H. L. Karr

Response, O. E. Garrett

Address, M. L. Temple, chairman

Address, Judge H. M. Towner

Address, Judge W. H. Tedford

Then Builder Anderson, under the direction of Master Mason R. G. Phelps, spread the mortar on the foundation and the heavy stone was lowered into its position. The officers of the Blue Lodge of Osceola in full regalia and jewels surrounded a table on which were placed the silver vessels, candle sticks and various implements of the craft and Treasurer Julius Goldsmith holding the box of archives stepped forward and deposited it in the cavity in the stone.

F. M. Kyte, Deputy Grand Master, being commanded by the master lifted a silver ram's horn and poured wheat over the stone while repeating a part of the ceremony. In the same way Senior Grand Warden I. N. Beard poured wine and Junior Grand Warden L. W. London poured the oil.

Next the covering stone was placed in position and the ceremony was ended.

Drawing of the original courthouse

County History