The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

May 24, 2013

Old McDonald County Courthouse to hold grand opening celebration this weekend

PINEVILLE, Mo. — As Jean Stratton-Bird made her way into the war memorial room at the Old McDonald County Courthouse on Thursday, she came face to face with the memories of her brother Eldon E. Stratton, who was lost in battle in 1943 during War World II.

“He is finally home,” Stratton-Bird said.

Through countless donations of people like Stratton-Bird, the history of McDonald County now has a permanent residence in the old county courthouse. Though it was once up for consideration to be torn down by city officials a few years ago, the remodeled courthouse will open this weekend as a museum dedicated to the history of the county.

Much of the transitional work fell on the shoulders of Fred Lamb and his wife, Raylene, who is the president of the McDonald County Historical Society. Their restoration efforts that started two years ago have secured the courthouse’s place on the National Register of Historic Places.

The grand opening of the museum, located at 400 N. Main St., will include music, horseshoe tournaments and historical demonstrations Saturday through Monday. Each day’s activities will start at 10 a.m. Admission is free for all events, though Fred Lamb said there will be a silent auction, raffle drawings and giveaways to raise money for the museum’s completion. He expects 400 attendees over the weekend.

“We had an excellent turnout Wednesday for our donors-only reception with almost 200 people coming through,” Lamb said. “We hope that the activities will bring a lot more people from outside of McDonald County this weekend.”

Fred Lamb said the work has been worth the time invested.

“I think I am working harder now as a retiree,” Lamb said. “This is our legacy now for the county.”

For the grand opening, the first floor of the courthouse will be open to the public with three main displays detailing the family histories of McDonald County residents, the Pineville-based filming of the 1939 movie “Jesse James” and a room dedicated to the servicemen of McDonald County from World War II and the Korean War. Lamb said the displays will rotate monthly, though there will be some items that will stay as permanent fixtures.

“We want to keep everything fresh and we have limited space for now,” Lamb said. “We will eventually make our way upstairs to the old courtroom in the remodeling process, but it is going to be one room at a time for now.”

The Memorial Day opening is what encouraged Jean Stratton-Bird to come back to Pineville from her home in Novato, Calif. The 86-year-old had dedicated many years to researching her brother’s military service in addition to that of her husband, Grant. Most of that work now is displayed inside the courthouse. She hopes that her work will inspire others to tell their own family’s history.

“I finally got to see this all on display and I felt that both my family and the other servicemen are honored in the way they should be,” Stratton-Bird said. “This is how we learn where we came from. It is our legacy.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Carthage prepares for Marian Days

    The 37th annual Marian Days celebration will start in two weeks, and planning is well under way for the event that will bring tens of thousands of Catholics of Vietnamese descent to Carthage.

    July 23, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: It’s not Mayberry, but Carthage is close

    When I was a kid, I wanted to live in Mayberry. In a way, I suppose I still want to live in Mayberry, the fictional town featured in the classic Andy Griffith show of the 1960s.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Miami council waives fees for barbecue event

    The Miami City Council voted Tuesday to waive $3,750 in usage fees for Miami Elks Lodge No. 1320 for an upcoming barbecue championship at the Miami Fairgrounds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Joplin couple indicted in child porn case

    A federal grand jury indicted a Joplin couple Wednesday for alleged sexual exploitation of a second child in addition to a girl who was the subject of a preceding indictment of the husband for allegedly producing and distributing child pornography.

    July 23, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

  • Missouri attorney general defends his support of Amendment 1

    With a large cornfield behind him and campaign signs all around, Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster appeared Wednesday at the David Collard farm to tout Amendment 1, an Aug. 5 ballot measure that would make the “right to farm” part of the state constitution.

    July 23, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription

    Starting Friday, those who purchase pseudoephedrine and related products in Pittsburg will need a prescription to do so.

    July 22, 2014

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read


Have you ever served as a volunteer for your state's conservation department?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter