2, 1835, from New Madrid County and named for Amos Stoddard, first
American Civil Commandant of Upper Louisiana.
County Seat: Bloomfield
|Fifty acres donated in
Bloomfield provided the site for Stoddard's county seat. First courts of
Stoddard County met at the home of H. B. Bailey in February 1835. Within
a short time a small, two-story, brick building, 40 by 30 feet, was
constructed on the square and continued in use until 1856. Cost of the
building was $2,500.
In 1856 the court appropriated $10,000 for a courthouse reported to be a two-story, brick building, almost square. Solomon G. Kitchen supervised the construction, which was done by William Ringer. Final costs amounted to about $12,000. Less than 10 years later this building was burned in Price's raid during the Civil War.
Construction on the next courthouse began in 1867 and was completed in 1870; W. B. Phelan supervised construction. George Miller and Sam Henson contracted the almost-square building for $14,800; final costs ran to approximately $18,000.
On the first floor a hall ran through the center of the building from north to south, with three rooms on each side. A double stairway led to the courtroom and jury room on the second floor. Various repairs were made through the years before part of this structure was included in an extensive remodeling during 1909.
Long rivalry between Bloomfield and Dexter for the county seat culminated in Dexter securing enactment of a law permitting four terms of Circuit Court to be held in Dexter. A two-story, brick courthouse was built in Dexter, but the arrangement was unsatisfactory and terminated within a few years.
P. H. Weathers prepared a design to enlarge and repair the 1867 Bloomfield courthouse, and the court adopted it May 22, 1909. T. P. Milner, Atlanta, Georgia, supervised the work, which was constructed for $28,325 by the Manhattan Construction Co., Guthrie, Oklahoma. The foundations were reinforced, new brick wings were added, and old walls were covered with brick veneer. Weathers used a similar design in stone for Daviess and Cape Girardeau counties about this time.Copyright 2002 University of Missouri. Published by University Extension, University of Missouri-Columbia.
|A small brick courthouse
was erected upon the public square, and a log jail southeast of the
square. These buildings were used until 1856, when $10,000 was
appropriated for the erection of a new courthouse, and Solomon G.
Kitchen appointed as superintendent. At the same time a new jail was
built by Daniel Kitchen. During Price's raid in September 1864, the
courthouse was burned by some stragglers, but fortunately the records
had been removed. At the beginning of the war Maj. H.H. Bedford took the
records into Arkansas, and concealed them, and after the close of the
war, returned them without the loss of a single book.
In 1867 the county court made an order for the rebuilding of the courthouse, and appointed William G. Phelan to superintend the work. The contract was let to George F. Miller and Samuel D. Henson, and the building was completed for occupancy in 1870. During that year the contract for a new jail was let to P. J. Pauley & Bro., for $8,000, and an order made for the issuance of 6 per cent county bonds to the amount of $10,000.
|Records at Courthouse|