Henry Renick, who was also the Justice of the Peace, built the first courthouse in 1824-25 on the square. The building was in use until 1832. The second courthouse for the county, also on the square, was built in 1835. The three-story building was regarded as one of the finest in Missouri, as three-story buildings were rare during this time. The building was kept in use until 1849, when the present courthouse was occupied.
The business district of Lexington moved about one mile west after the town incorporated in 1845. The courthouse also moved to a new, more central location at this time. The court appropriated funds for the third and present courthouse and began putting plans for the new structure in March of 1847. The construction was completed in 1849, with the final cost being about $12,000. In 1854, a small annex was built to house the clerk’s office, followed by a two-story annex in the 1880s. At the turn of the 1900s a two story building addition was added on the East side of the Courthouse.
During the Battle of Lexington in 1861, the courthouse was fired upon, leaving a cannonball in one of the columns.
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