The Old Drum Statue in front of the Warrensburg Courthouse memorializes the dog George Vest eulogized.
September 23, 1870: Warrensburg trial lawyer and Senator George Vest delivered his closing argument in a case where one man shot another’s valuable hunting dog. The statement became famous as the “Eulogy on a Dog.” The heart-stirring argument won the case.
Lawyers in this case included David Nation, husband of Carrie Nation; Tom Crittenden, later Missouri’s Governor; and Francis Cockrell, later a US Senator. Also appearing at the trial was John Phillips, later a US Congressman. It was in this trial that the saying was born, “A man’s best friend is his dog.”
This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.