About halfway between Sedalia and Lee’s Summit, the city of Warrensburg is probably best known as the home to the University of Central Missouri. For people who consider themselves Missouri history buffs, it’s also the home of Old Drum.
The university’s connection to the city needs no explanation, but perhaps Old Drum does. More on that later.
Along with the lodging and dining options you find in many college towns, Warrensburg has an interesting collection of antique stores, including one billed as Missouri’s second-largest (Those Were the Days Antique Mall).
You find furniture, clothing, home décor items, toys and more when you shop for antiques in Warrensburg.
Among the options are:
- Burg Dog Antiques and Collectibles
- Highway 13 Antiques and Collectibles
- Those Were the Days Antique Mall
Now, back to Old Drum.
Old Drum was a hunting dog that, in 1869, was shot and killed by his owner’s neighbor. The matter went to trial and an attorney named George Graham Vest (who later served in the U.S. Senate) gave a rousing closing argument during a trial in Johnson County. That closing argument is said to be the origin of the phrase “a dog is a man’s best friend.”
A monument to Old Drum – whose case found its way to the Missouri Supreme Court, by the way – stands outside the Johnson County Courthouse in Warrensburg. The monument includes the text of Vest’s speech.
The Missouri Secretary of State’s Office has a recap of the court proceedings if you’d like to learn more.