Old Drum monument.

Statue of Old Drum, Unselfish Dog

Field review by the editors.

Warrensburg, Missouri

Died 1869

Pet Cemetery.

Old Drum, a hound dog, was shot dead in 1869 by Samuel "Dick" Ferguson, nephew and ward of Leonidas Hornsby, an irate neighbor who thought Drum had been killing his sheep.

Drum's owner, Charles Burden, sued Hornsby (who also happened to be his brother-in-law), and the case eventually went to the Missouri Supreme Court where Burden won the case. But it was in the courtroom in Warrensburg that Burden's lawyer, future senator George Graham Vest, delivered his famous tribute: "The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world...is his dog."

A statue of Old Drum was erected, and still stands, on the current Johnson County Courthouse lawn (the old courthouse where Vest delivered his famous speech stands about 1/2 mile west, and features its own dog statue and historical marker). Burden was awarded fifty dollars.

Dick Ferguson, the reported shooter of Old Drum, later moved to Oklahoma, where he himself died of gunshot wounds in the town of Anadarko.

The carcass of Old Drum is buried at the corner of Old Drum Rd. and E. 239th St. in Cass County, MO. The more photogenic monument stands in Warrensburg.

In 2017 the Missouri State Senate officially designated Old Drum as, "Missouri's Historical Dog."

Also see: Noble Dogs | Roadside Pet Cemetery

Statue of Old Drum, Unselfish Dog

Johnson County Courthouse

Hout St., Warrensburg, MO
Southeast corner of the Johnson County Courthouse square, at the corner of Hout and N. Holden Sts. Actual trial courthouse is 1/2 mile west on Main and Market Sts.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Blind Boone Statue and ParkBlind Boone Statue and Park, Warrensburg, MO - < 1 mi.
Old Drum, Johnson County Old CourthouseOld Drum, Johnson County Old Courthouse, Warrensburg, MO - < 1 mi.
Strange Steel Drum FamilyStrange Steel Drum Family, Warrensburg, MO - 6 mi.
In the region:
The Hall of Waters, Excelsior Springs, MO - 48 mi.

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September 30, 2020

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