AUDRAIN COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
County Historical Society is located within the 11-acre
Robert S. Green Park in central Mexico, Missouri. There,
visitors will find the ante-bellum Graceland
Museum (1857), (listed on the National Registry of
Historical Places), the
American Saddlebred Horse Museum (established 1970),
Country School, and
the Country Church.
Graceland was built by John P. Clark, a native Virginian,
as a reminder of the more genteel society he once knew
"back home." The mansion was host to Col. Ulysses
S. Grant during the early days of the Civil War. Nine
of its rooms house displays that permit visitors to experience
the Victorian elegance of the past as well as the rich
history of Audrain County.
The American Saddlebred
Horse Museum, the oldest in the nation, was established
to complement Graceland, while commemorating Mexico's
longtime renown as the Saddle Horse Capital of the World.
There is an extensive collection of saddlehorse memorabilia,
featuring Tom Bass, famous
black horseman; local trainer Arthur Simmons, George Ford
Morris, and Will Shriver. The champion showhorse Rex McDonald
is buried on the grounds. Read about Rex and the American Saddlebred Horse Museum Curator, Jan Nesheim, in this article written by Jane Simmons.
The Country School,
constructed in 1903 as the Botts School, is furnished
with a slate backboard, desks, schoolbooks, photos, and
an extensive collection of rural school histories and
records. The atmosphere immediately transports visitors
to another era.
Originally Prairie View Christian Church, erected in 1889,
the Country Church was
moved to the Society grounds in 1998. A unique feature
is the original theater-style seating. The Country Church
is available for weddings, family and community events.
"Fire Brick" was the most significant industry and employer in Audrain County for the twentieth century. Its contributions to the economic and social health of the county were immeasurable. With the decline in the industry in 2002 the Fire Brick Museum was added to the museum complex in 2008 to honor the significance of the industry and the employees that made it possible.