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Douglas County

Douglas County is named for Stephen A Douglas, who was a politician from Illinois and Democratic nominee for President in 1860.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Webster CountyWright County and Texas County

E – Howell County

S – Ozark County and Taney County

W – Christian County


Created:  October 24, 1857                    Map of Missouri highlighting Douglas County

County Seat:

Vera Cruz  1857 – 1860

Rome         1860 – 1873

Ava            1873 – present


County Courthouse – Ava


Location:  203 SE 2nd Avenue / SE 2nd Street

Built:  1936 – 1937

Style:  Art Deco

Architect:  Dan R Sanford

Contractor:  Weeks Construction Company of Kansas City.


Description: The building faces north and is a two story red colored brick, concrete and stone structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Ava. The building has a raised concrete basement. The building is trimmed with “cast” stone made with Carthage stone chips, crushed and mixed with cement, cast into blocks and polished. The north front and west side have stone trim around the central entrances. Stone trim also runs along the roof line with vertical ornamentation. The roof line is flat. In the interior, stairs on the north side lead to a lobby and stairs ascend to the second story and is panelled in dark colored wood.. The County Circuit Court courtroom is located on the west side of the second story. There is a large stuffed eagle overlooking the courtroom. There is also a small courtroom on the north side of the second story. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 44th Judicial Circuit.


See:  The 44th Judicial Circuit includes Douglas County, Ozark County and Wright County.


History:  The county was created in 1857 and Vera Cruz was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was a log structure built in Vera Cruz in 1857 by volunteer labor. In 1860, the county seat was moved temporally to Rome and back to Vera Cruz during the Civil War. The second courthouse was a frame structure built in Ava in 1872 at a cost of $350 and the building was burned in July 1872. The county seat was moved to Ava in 1873 and the third courthouse was also a frame structure built in 1873. The courthouse burned on May 2, 1886 and the county moved into a school house. The fourth courthouse was a clap-board structure built in 1888. The fifth and present courthouse was constructed in 1936 to 1937 at a cost of $83,000. 



County Courthouse – Ava



















County Circuit Court courtroom







Photos taken 2009 and 2023