| Organized February
25, 1845, from Shannon County and named for Thomas Reynolds, governor of
County Seat: Centerville
|In 1845 when Reynolds County was
organized, Lesterville was designated as the first county seat. Courts
met in the home of Joseph McNails until a small, log courthouse was
built in 1846-47. Fire destroyed this structure and all county records
For the next three years courts met in private homes until the county seat moved to Centerville. The court authorized construction of another small building of logs or rough lumber for court purposes in 1865, but it too burned on November 24th or 25th, 1871. The following day the court met in the courtyard by the ruins and appropriated $10,000 for a new building.
The third and present courthouse, a two-story brick building, originally measuring 50 by 40 feet, reportedly cost $8,000, less than the $10,000 the court had appropriated in 1871. The original specifications, which are on file at the courthouse, called for a dome and lantern, but these apparently were never built
In the 1930s when Work Projects Administration projects helped counties in building new courthouses, it was out of the question for Reynolds since there were insufficient funds to sponsor the county share. Instead, the court bought for $600 a two-story, 24-by-40-foot frame building and moved it to the southwest corner of the square.
The 1871 courthouse continues in use, a typical example of a courthouse design found in Missouri during the 19th century. The Reynolds County courthouse is one of the few in Missouri over 100 years old.
|The courthouse has burned twice. The first time was in
December, 1863, when the confederate army burned it. A new courthouse
was built in the fall of 1867 on the same foundation as the prior one.
This courthouse was burned in late November, 1871. Both times all
records were destroyed. Temporary quarters again burned May 27, 1872,
while a new "fireproof" courthouse was being built.
|Records at Courthouse|
of Deeds: Index
to deeds, 1872-1891; Deed records, 1872-1899; Land assessment record,
1881; Marriage records, 1872-1925.
Clerk of the County Court: Register of births and stillbirths, 1883-1886; Permanent record of births, 1883-1886; Register of deaths, 1883-1886; Permanent record of deaths, 1883-1886; State census, 1876.
of the Circuit Court: Index
to circuit court records, 1872-1910; Circuit court records, 1872-1891.
Clerk of the Probate Court: Probate records, 1872-1889; Administra≠torís/executorís letters, bonds and records, 1872-1930; Inventories, appraisements and sale bills, 1875-1893; Will records, 1908-1943.
& Death Records Database
Local Records Inventory Database