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Texas | Architecture | Courthouses

COOKE COUNTY COURTHOUSE
Cooke County Seat - Gainesville, Texas

Cooke County has had four courthouses:
1911
1878
1853
1850

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Gainesville TX - Restored 1911 Cooke County Courthouse SE corner
The restored Cooke County Courthouse
Texas Historic Landmark

Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, November 2011

The Present Cooke County Courthouse
- Gainesville, Texas

Date - 1911
Architect - Lang & Witchell
Style - Beaux-Arts
Material - Brick and stone
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1988.
Location - Dixon Street, between California and Main Streets

Photographer's Note:
"The current 1911 Cooke County courthouse replaced the 1878 courthouse which burned in 1909. The chief architects, Lang and Witchell, designed similar looking courthouses in Johnson County and Scurry County (later remodeled) around the same time. According to legend, the first Cooke County courthouse, a log structure built in 1850, was destroyed by a steer trying to escape a swarm of flies." - Terry Jeanson, June 27, 2009


Cooke County Courthouse Historical Marker
1911 Cooke County Courthouse - Photos
1878 Cooke County Courthouse - Photos
Gainesville Hotels
Cooke County Courthouse, Gainesville, Texas 1939 photo
Cooke County courthouse as it appeared in 1939
Photo courtesy TXDoT
Historical Marker Text

Cooke County Courthouse

Settlement of the area now known as Cooke County began in late 1845. The county was created by the State Legislature in 1848 and named for William G. Cooke, Republic of Texas Quartermaster General and a participant in the Battle of San Jacinto. Land for a county seat was donated by Mary E. Clark, and the new town was Gainesville in honor of U.S. Army General Edmund Pendleton Gaines.

There have been four courthouses located on this site. The first, a small log structure, was erected in 1850. It was replaced in 1853 by a one-story frame building which was later destroyed by fire. The third courthouse, a two-story limestone structure, was completed in 1880 and destroyed by fire in 1909.

Designed by the Dallas architectural firm of Lang and Witchell, construction of this Beaux Arts style courthouse began in 1910. The Gainesville firm of Garrett and Collins served as supervising architects, and M. P. Kelly of Gainesville was the contractor. The impressive brick and limestone building features terra cotta ornamentation, eagle brackets, and a copper-clad dome. Clocks were added to the dome in 1920 as a World War I memorial. The courthouse is an important North Texas Landmark.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1988.
TX - Cooke County Courthouse historical marker
Cooke County Courthouse Historical Marker
on courthouse square

Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April, 2006
Gainesville Texas Cooke county Courthouse today
Cooke County Courthouse as it appeared in 2003
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson
Gainesville TX - Restored 1911 Cooke County Courthouse
The 1911 Cooke County Courthouse Southwest corner
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, November 2011
Gainesville TX Cooke County Courthouse
"The courthouse during the exterior restoration. The exterior was completed and the courthouse rededicated in October of 2006. The interior is also being restored."
- Terry Jeanson, April, 2006 photo
Gainesville TX Cooke County Courthouse Eagle
Courthouse Eagle
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April, 2006
See Eagle Eyes of Texas
Gainesville TX Cooke County Courthouse Clock and architectural detail
Cooke County Courthouse
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April, 2006
Gainesville TX Cooke County Courthouse Clock tower with copper dome
The central clock tower with copper-clad dome
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April, 2006
According to the historical marker, the clocks were not installed until 1920 as a memorial to the first World War. - Terry Jeanson
Skylight of Cooke CountyCourthouse, Gainesville, Texas
Cooke County Courthouse skylight,
all cleaned up with new paint on the walls.

Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, November 2011
Gainesville TX - 1911 Cooke County Courthouse district courtroom
"The district courtroom has been restored to its original size and two story height. The stained glass windows and most of the plaster molding on the walls were still intact, just covered up by the previous false ceiling."
- Terry Jeanson
, November 2011 photo
Gainesville TX - 1911 Cooke County Courthouse district courtroom
"Rear of the district courtroom. This courtroom never had a second story balcony but the upper windows used to swivel open. They have been sealed shut for security and safety reasons."
- Terry Jeanson,
November 2011 photo
Gainesville TX - 1911 Cooke County Courthouse rotunda
Looking down at the rotunda staircase from the fourth floor
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, November 2011
Gainesville TX - 1911 Cooke County Courthouse staircase
On second floor west side staircase looking east
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, November 2011
1911 Cooke County Courthouse, Gainesville, Texas 1920s photo
1911 Cooke County courthouse with large clock tower & undersized clocks
1920s Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
Cooke County Courthouse, Gainesville, Texas 1930s photo
Cooke County courthouse in the 1930s
Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
Cooke County Courthouse, Gainesville, Texas late 1930s photo
Cooke County courthouse in the late 1930s
Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
1911 Gainesville, Texas Cooke County courthouse old postcard
Another view of the 1911 Cooke County Courthouse
Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
Gainesville Tx Civil War Statue
Civil War Memorial on the courthouse lawn
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
More Texas Monuments & Statues

The 1878 Cooke County Courthouse -
Gainesville, Texas

1878 Cooke County Courthouse, Gainesville, Texas
The 1878 Cooke County Courthouse
1908 Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/

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