Bates County is named for Frederick Bates, who was the second governor of Missouri.
Surrounding County Courthouses:
N – Cass County
S – Vernon County
Created: January 29, 1841
Harmony Mission 1841 – 1847
Papinville 1847 – 1856
Butler 1856 – 1864
Pleasant Gap 1864 – 1865
Butler 1865 – present
County Courthouse – Butler
Location: 1 North Delaware Street / West Ohio Street
Built: 1901 – 1902
Style: Richardsonian Romanesque
Architect: George E McDonald of Omaha, Nebraska
Contractor: Bartlett and Kling of Galesburg, Illinois.
Description: The building faces south and is a two story course gray colored Carthage stone structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds of the Courthouse Square in the center of Butler and is 84 feet by 104 feet. The south front has a projecting center section with arched entrance on the first story and rising to a peak. Above the entrance is a large arched window on the second story. On the center of the roof is a large square stone clock tower with the statue of Justice at the top of the dome. The interior form translates into the cruciform system of hallways. The floor tiles are yellow ocher, burnt umber, terra ctta and tan. There is varnished oak woodwork and an elaborate stairway. The courtroom is located on the second story. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 27th Judicial Circuit.
See: The architect, George E McDonald of Omaha, Nebraska designed courthouses in Kansas in Elk County; in Missouri in Andrew County, Johnson County and Lawrence County; in Nebraska in Fillmore County and Nuckolls County and in Wyoming in Niobrara County.
See: National Register of Historic Places – Bates County Courthouse
History: The county was created in 1841 and Harmony Mission was selected as the county seat. The first court met in a private home, subsequent courts met in the Mission House. In 1847, the county seat was moved to Papinville. The first courthouse was a brick structure designed and built by Fritzpatrck and Hurt in 1853 to 1855 at a cost of $4,200 with Abraham Redfield as the superintendent. In 1856, the county seat was moved to Butler. The second courthouse was a brick structure designed and built by Fritzpatrck and Hurt in 1856 at a cost of $5,000. The courthouse burned in 1861. During the Civil War court was held in different locations. In 1865, the county seat was moved to Pleasant Gap. The county seat returned to Butler 1866 and the third courthouse was a square brick structure designed by P B Leach and constructed by J B Linkenpaugh for in 1869 at a cost of $23,000. The courthouse was condemned in 1899 and the county rented premises. The fourth and present courthouse was constructed in 1901 to 1902 at a cost of $50,000.
County Courthouse – Butler
Photos taken 2009