African Americans contributed much to the founding and continuing progress of Clay County. This mural depicts selected early 19th and 20th Century African American pioneers, businesses, churches and schools, including White Oak Chapel and Cemetery from the Fountain Waller Plantation (1836); Dr. D. A. Ellett's Sulpho Saline Bath House and Swimming Pool (1880); First Baptist Church (1843); and the first African American School in Missouri City (1877).
About the artist . . .
Local artist David McClain is a Liberty, MO resident who began drawing as a child. David has painted four murals depicting the history of Clay County on the third floor of the old courthouse in Liberty, Missouri. His fourth mural spotlights and links Clay County African American historic places and people of the past, as well as current figures, to the other murals.
A realistic, historical artist, David likes to depict periods of history in his work. His most recent project for the city of Liberty is a mural featuring Lewis and Clark that is located on the wall of the Clay County Jail.
David Began his professional career at Worlds of Fun in 1985, where he painted theatre stage backdrops during the winter for the upcoming spring seasons: a psychedelic van, Elvis sign, Chicago playbill, and a Moulin Rouge scene. David completed many of his paintings for the Oak Park and Ward Parkway Malls. One of his favorites was a scenic wall for Ace Sports at Oak Park Mall.
In 1993, David was invited to do paintings for the World Expo in Seville, Spain. Country and Western singer Dolly Parton commissioned him to do a series of rearing stallions on canvas, which are on display at the Dixie Stampede at Branson, Missouri.
David painted the north wall entrance to the Fork and Spoon Café, once located on the historic old square, in Liberty and was later commissioned by the Clay County Fine Arts Council to paint the murals now displayed on the third floor of the old courthouse.
The first courthouse mural was done in 1993 and is the 28’ x 8’ mural, which hangs in the center of the wall. It depicts the history of Clay County. The second mural shows the POW camp in Liberty, which occupied a 650 ft. building on a former turkey farm along old 291 Highway. The third mural is the Multnomah Plantation scene at dusk, with a party in progress.