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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 Hotels

    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 >
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    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.
    Cooke County Courthouse Historical Marker
    on courthouse square

    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April, 2006
    Cooke County Courthouse, Gainesville, Texas 1939 photo
    Cooke County courthouse as it appeared in 1939
    Photo courtesy TXDoT
    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/
    Cooke County Towns & Ghost Towns
    Cooke County Seat - Gainesville
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