The Stoddard County Courthouse
The first courthouse in Stoddard County was built in 1835, it was a small brick house located on the present site of the courthouse. A log jail house was erected nearby. In 1856, $10,000 was set aside for a new courthouse to built under the supervision of Solomon G. Kitchen and built by Daniel Kitchen. This courthouse was burned in the fall of 1864. It is unclear who burned the courthouse. Union authorities said the courthouse was burned by Confederate General Sterling Price's men when they entered the town in September 1864. Members of the 8th Missouri Confederate Cavalry entered Bloomfield to chase Union general, John McNeil out of the town. Three companies of the 8th Missouri were from Stoddard County, many of those men lived in and around Bloomfield. It seems plausible that those men would not burn down the courthouse located in a town many of them were from. Confederate sources blame McNeil for torching the courthouse on his evacuation of the town. No known photographs of the original courthouse made of brick or the later one built in 1856, are known to exist. According to Goodspeed's History of Southeast Missouri, the records housed in the courthouse were saved by Maj. H. H. Bedford, a former Missouri State Guard officer from Bloomfield (Goodspeed 358).
The courthouse square in Bloomfield was designed after "Lancaster Square," a layout style modeled after that of Lancaster, Pennsylvania where four roads joined a common square around the courthouse with one road on each side of the square (The Bloomfield Vindicator, October 26, 1977).
In 1909 the original 1870 courthouse was remodeled and enlarged at a cost of $30,000. P. H. Weathers was hired as the architect to design the changes and the Manhattan Construction Company out of Guthrie, Oklahoma was contracted to make the changes. Wings were added to the east and west sides and the steeple was replaced by a clock tower with bell. A blonde brick veneer was added around the courthouse.