Mid-Missouri town tries to save old courthouse

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

STURGEON, Mo. -- Few buildings are left from the beginnings of this mid-Missouri town's history, so residents are trying to hang on to one: a plain building that was once a courthouse.

"It's one of the oldest buildings in Sturgeon," said Sid Seymour, a retired railroad worker and longtime resident who is part of the town's recently formed historical preservation committee. "It's just kind of been overlooked for the past few generations."

Sturgeon began as a railroad stop in 1856, but its depot was demolished several decades ago and its grain elevator removed by the 1970s, said real estate agent Jeff Stephens. The town now has about 800 residents.

The old courthouse is a two-story brick building that stands in the city park near a playground. Until 1921, it housed the Court of Common Pleas.

For years, Sturgeon has used the building for storage, and Boy Scouts meet periodically on the second floor. Now, the preservation committee wants to clean it up and make it into a museum.

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