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Clay County, Oak Ridge Manor and Justice Statue
Clay County, Oak Ridge Manor and Justice Statue
TitleClay County, Oak Ridge Manor and Justice Statue
DescriptionPostcard of Oakridge Manor and Justice Statue, Clay County, MO
Historical ArticleSandy's Oak Ridge Manor, specializing in German and American Dishes is the legend on an old Clay County postcard in color. The card also pictures the statue Justice, which Mrs. Sandstrom had lighted and installed in front of her popular country chicken dinner restaurant.

Both the house and statue are historically important to Clay Countians. The charming old pre-Cvil War farm house was once owned by James Howard Compton, who came to the county in 1839 and purchased the farm in 1844. The house had been built years earlier.

The Compton family is remembered for their big house parties, especially the annual Christmas party. Young friends gathered, and friends from as far away as Kansas City crossed the Missouri River by ferryboat and spent a week.

Many years later, in 1954, the aged daughter Emma Compton sold the place to the German born Louise Sandstrom and her husband Darwin. The Sandstrom's had successfully operated two restaurants north of the river. They needed space to expand. It was a successful purchase. The good cooking of Louise Sandstrom kept the old house filed to capacity, especially on Sundays and holidays.

Ernest Davidson, a restaurant devotee, gave the statue to the Sandstrom's. It had topped the 1859 Clay County courthouse since arriving from St. Louis on the Tom Larkin steamboat to Baxter's Landing. Davidson had salvaged the statue when the old courthouse in Liberty was razed and paid a workman $10 to put it in his truck. It stayed in Davidson's garage for 20 years before becoming the logo for Sandy's.

Today the statue, time-worn after a century, abused by swarms of bees, squirrels and woodpeckers, is new again. Louise Sandstrom (now in a nursing home) and her daughter Maria Holden, gave the landmark back to the Clay County Court.

A committee headed by Van O. Williams, Liberty banker, initiated the funds for repairs. Joe Keeling contracted to restore the wooden statue for $8,000 and worked two years on the project. Joe's hobby is wood carving. He has a degree in art. He recently retired as maintenance manager of the Ford plant in Claycomo and said he was inspired and honored by the task of restoration.

Today Justice can be seen at the Clay County Museum, west side of the square, Liberty.

Stroud's Oakridge Manor today occupies the old home, where fried chicken and hospitality still prevail.

Kansas City Times
October 24, 1986

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectSandy's Oak Ridge Manor
Clay County, Missouri
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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