Columbia Parks and Recreation
Creating Community through People, Parks and Programs
501 S. Providence Rd.
MKT Trail Plaza Plan Concept by HDR Engineering
The MKT Trail Plaza was constructed in 2009 and funded by GetAbout Columbia as part of the Stewart and Providence intersection improvement project. The plaza is located in a triangular green space bounded by accesses from Providence Road, Stewart Road, and the MKT Trail. A seating area with a drinking fountain and four benches that face the creek and a commemorative plaque offers an ideal place for trail users to take a rest or meet up with friends.
Members of the Association of Black Graduate and Professional Students solicited donations to have a marker placed in the plaza in memory of James Scott, a 35-year-old black man who was lynched by a mob from the Stewart Road Bridge in 1923. Scott was married at the time and working as a janitor at the MU medical school when he was accused of raping the 14-year-old white daughter of an MU German professor. Mr. Scott proclaimed his innocence to the end and never received his day in court.
On September 30, 2016 over 100 people attended the unveiling of the plaque marking the site of the lynching. Haeny, a speaker at the plaque unveiling and one of the board members of the Association, said, "Let this marker serve as a reminder of the continued work needed to end the racial injustices in our community and beyond."
The inscription on the plaque reads as follows:
LEST WE FORGET:
LYNCHING AT THE STEWART ROAD BRIDGE
Near this place James T. Scott, a Black janitor in the medical school at MU, was killed on April 29th, 1923. A mob brought Mr. Scott to the bridge, placed a noose around his neck, and pushed him over the railing while hundreds of spectators watched. MU's presence and alleged student involvement in Mr. Scott's murder stirred public outrage and made front-page news across the U.S. Although charges were filed against the leaders of the mob, none were convicted. Let this site remind us of the injustices of our historical legacy. As we continue the fight against systems of oppression, let us relfelct on how to better our community for all Columbians. The Lynching at Stewart Road Bridge reminds us of how far we have come and the work we have yet to do.
COMMISSIONED BY MU'S ASSOCIATION OF
BLACK GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL STUDENTS
Dedication Date: April 17, 2009
A nice crowd gathered for the dedication of the MKT Trail Plaza, celebrating the first major GetAbout Columbia construction project to be completed - specifically the pedestrian safety improvements at the Stewart/Providence intersection and the creation of the MKT Trail Plaza. The event was held in conjunction with the Healthy Kids, Healthy Columbia Celebration. U. S. Senator Christopher S. "Kit" Bond was a guest of honor for the event. Prior to the ribbon cutting, Senator Bond and Mayor Darwin Hindman walked with students in the Walking School Bus program at West Boulevard Elementary. Mayor Hindman hosted the dedication program at the plaza with guest speakers Senator Bond and Kevin Mills from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
Mayor Darwin HIndman
Senator Kit Bond
The Columbia Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors and guests participated in the ribbon cutting.
Bond gets on the health bus
Columbia Daily Tribune - April 17, 2009
Columbia, state leaders attend Walking School Bus, ribbon cutting
Columbia Missourian - April 17, 2009