Continuation of article "Happy Birthday Cole County" written by Presiding Commissioner Sam Bushman and featured in the News Tribune on January 19, 2020.
Our celebration will kick off June 5 in Marion with a historic tour and a program by Bob Priddy. Since Marion was the original seat of Cole County government in 1820, it is fitting to begin our observance here.
Cole, Boone, and Callaway counties are doing join bicentennial events as well, and one of those is a contest we conducted among our fourth grade classes using the theme, “Look Back, Looking Forward.” Winners from each county will be special guests of honor April 16 at the Capitol and Governor’s Mansion.
As part of our celebration, we will be visiting our Cole County communities during their parish picnics or at City Council meetings to present them with a commemorative proclamation.
We will also be selling bicentennial coins and 200 chances to win the proof Cole County Bicentennial Henry Golden Boy rifle from Historical Armory. These beautiful rifles are made in the USA with Missouri walnut, and only 200 total rifles are being made. Our Bicentennial Committee is raffling off the first rifle of this series.
Our committee has also commissioned a special numbered small batch of “Cole County 200 Missouri Bourbon Whiskey” from Blacksmith Artisanal Spirits of Lohman. Prison Brews Microbrewery is also doing a special beer made with centennial hops to honor our bicentennial. A reception will be held sometime this spring to sample and purchase our Cole County elixirs.
St. Margaret’s Parish in Osage Bend is quilting a special Cole County Bicentennial quilt that will be presented to the county and hung in the courthouse to remember this anniversary. The Cole County Historical Society’s ornament is a bicentennial ornament of our beautify courthouse and is dated 1820-2020. These can be purchased tat the Cole County Historical Society, Samuel’s Tuxedos, or Carrie’s Hallmark.
Cole, Callaway, and Boone Counties are also planning a special monument that will be placed at the trailhead of the Katy Trail and will be dedicated Nov. 16. Smaller bicentennial monuments will be in each county. We will then turn over the baton to Gov. Mike Parson to begin the State of Missouri’s Bicentennial in 2021.
Join us in celebrating Cole County’s 200th birthday!
Sources: “History of Jefferson City”, 1821-1928, by James E. Ford; “Explore Missouri’s German Heritage,” by W. Arthur Mehrhoff; “Across Our Wide Missouri: Volume 3,” by Robert Priddy