Hazel Palmer's portrait now has a permanent place at the Pettis County Courthouse, a place where she once served the citizens of Pettis County.

Her portrait was unveiled Saturday morning in front of an audience that included Sedalia and Pettis County leaders as well as state officials.

The event was spearheaded by the Sedalia Business Women organization, which is celebrating its 100th year, and Palmer was a member of that club.

SBW President Robin Balke led the event, while Dianne Simon, an SBW past president, emceed the ceremony.

Sedalia author Dr. Becky Imhauser portrayed Palmer and delivered a speech dressed in character as the late Republican judge, who died in 2002 in Moberly at the age of 98.

“We were very pleased with the turnout, it was nice to have elected officials here to speak a few words, and read proclamations, and now everyone will be able to enjoy Hazel's portrait hanging in the lobby of the Pettis County Courthouse,” Balke commented after the ceremony.

The portrait is hanging just to the left of the west doors inside the main lobby. It is accompanied by a plaque explaining who Judge Palmer was and her accomplishments.

The painting originally hung in the courthouse, but at one point was moved to the Pettis County Museum on Dundee. It was curated by the Pettis County Historical Society during that time. “and in honor of our 100-year anniversary, we brought her back to the courthouse, where she will hang prominently in the lobby,” Balke told KSIS.

“She was a judge for many years, she was the first female assistant prosecuting attorney,” Balke noted.

Palmer was not only president of the local SBW, but also served as state president. She then went on to serve as national president of the Federation of Business and Professional Women (1956-58).

“It's been an interesting journey, learning about her, and all of the remarkable things that she accomplished in her lifetime,” Balke said.

It was not known who the original portrait artist was who created the painting.

Sate Rep. Brad Pollitt, State Sen. Sandy Crawford, Eastern Commissioner Israel Baeza and Sedalia Mayor Andrew Dawson attended the ceremony and delivered remarks.

Current and former judges, county officials and members of the Business Women of Missouri were also in attendance at Saturday morning's event.

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