Franklin County Courthouse, Ottawa
Opened in 1893, it was designed by George P. Washburn, one of the best known 19th Century Kansas Architects.
John F. Javens was born in Virginia in 1820, died in Kansas in 1897 and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Ottawa. Arriving in Kansas Territory in February 1854 before it was open for settlement, he built the first cabin on Eight Mile Creek near the future town of Centropolis in Franklin County. A Missourian, but not pro-slavery, he was a delegate to the Big Springs meeting. [Cutler, History, Franklin County, Part 2]
As a former Missourian, Javens knew many of the men who came to vote in the March 1855 election. He told the Howard Committee he saw Missourians he knew, "stationed along the road in sight of the [polling place] threatening to shoot every free state man, abolitionist, or Yankee who should come there to vote." Javens became president of group of citizens who held a meeting on the site to protest the election to the governor. After the election Javens examined the voting record and found not more than 20 legal voters but found many more he knew to be Missourians, among them "some [he] had known as boys" back in Missouri. [Howard Report, 220]