Old Drum

Old Drum, a hound dog, was shot dead in 1869 by Samuel “Dick” Ferguson, nephew and ward of Leonidas Hornsby, an irate neighbor who thought Drum had been killing his sheep.
Drum’s owner, Charles Burden, sued Hornsby (who also happened to be his brother-in-law), and the case eventually went to the Missouri Supreme Court where Burden won the case. But it was in the courtroom in Warrensburg that Burden’s lawyer, future senator George Graham Vest, delivered his famous tribute: “The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world…is his dog.”
A statue of Old Drum was erected, and still stands, on the current Johnson County Courthouse lawn (the old courthouse where Vest delivered his famous speech still stands elsewhere in town). Burden was awarded fifty dollars.
Dick Ferguson, the reported shooter of Old Drum, later moved to Oklahoma, where he himself died of gunshot wounds in the town of Anadarko.
The carcass of Old Drum is still buried at the corner of Old Drum Rd. and E. 239th St. in Cass County, MO. The more photogenic monument stands in Warrensburg.  HIS EULOGY TO FOLLOW TOMORROW.

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