Old Drum’s story was a sad one. He is a black and tan hound from Missouri.
On October 18, 1869, he was shot and killed after wandering onto a neighboring farmer’s property. The shot was heard in 1869 and impacted dog lovers all over the world.
When Charles Burden discovered his favorite dog, Old Drum, dead, he vowed that someone should be liable and pay for the death of his beloved dog.
Leonidas Hornsby, his neighbor, and brother-in-law was that “someone.” After the dog killed many of his sheep, he vowed to kill the first dog found on his property. That dog was Old Drum.
Charles could not let Old Drum’s death go unpunished, so the case went to court. Charles Burden, his bereaved owner, filed a lawsuit against the neighbor. Several courts heard the case, including the Missouri Supreme Court.
The case was heard three times before its final trial on September 23, 1870, in Warrensburg, Missouri. Hornsby took the case to the Warrensburg Court of Common Pleas, claimed that the evidence against him was circumstantial.
George Graham Vest’s legal expertise helps Charles Burden by delivering his famous speech. While one of the hearings was undergone, Burden’s lawyer George Vest provided a heartfelt summary known as “Eulogy of the Dog” and widely circulated and appealed to the jury and dog lovers worldwide.
Burden won the case thanks to his speech, and he was awarded $50 in damages for the loss of Old Drum. Hornsby appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court, which upheld the verdict.
The phrase “man’s best friend” was first used in this speech. In Warrensburg, Missouri, a monument to Old Drum stood alongside the words of Vest’s eulogy. Reno Gastaldi, a sculptor, immortalized Old Drum in a statue on September 23, 1958.
The town celebrates an annual festival known as the “Home of Man’s Best Friend.” Fred Ford of Blue Springs, Missouri, built a monument of Old Drum on December 12, 1947. Ford constructed the memorial on the banks of Big Creek near where they discovered old Drum after being shot.
A bronze statue of the much-loved black and tan hound, Old Drum, stands at the lawn of Johnson County Courthouse. Vest famous words, which convince the jury to side in Burden side and inspired the saying “A man’s best friend is his dog,” appear on the front of the trapezoid concrete base on a plaque in raised letters.
Source: Dogs Love To Know