TexasEscapes.comTexas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 1800 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : SITE MAP : : SEARCH SITE
HOME
SEARCH SITE
ARCHIVES
RESERVATIONS
Texas Hotels
Hotels
Cars
Air
Cruises
Huntsville Hotels
Find Hotel Deals in Huntsville, Texas
Book Today
 
Texas Courthouses

WALKER COUNTY COURTHOUSE
County Seat - Huntsville, Texas

Walker County has had five courthouses:
1848, 1853, 1869, 1888 and 1970
See Historical Marker

Book Your Hotel Here & Save
Huntsville Hotels

The 1970 Walker County courthouse, Huntsville Texas
The 1970 Walker County courthouse today.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, March 2005

The Current Walker County Courthouse
-
Huntsville, Texas

Date - 1970
Architect - Joiner, Coburn & King
Style - Modern
Material - Brick & steel
Huntsville TX - Walker CountyCourthouse Hististorical  Marker
Walker County courthouse historical marker
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, March 2005
Historical Marker Text

The Five Courthouses of Walker County

The first Walker County Courthouse was available for county commissioners court meetings in July 1848; the building was finally completed in the center of the Huntsville public square in 1850. Because of a defective foundation, a second courthouse had replaced it by 1853.

Repairs made in 1856 did not hold long. The design for the third county courthouse featured a grand jury house in the southwest corner of the grounds rather than inside the courthouse itself. Dubbed "The Little Courthouse," the grand jury house was completed and in use by 1861. Construction on the main courthouse was interrupted by the Civil War; it was finished in 1869 but major repairs were necessary within a couple of years.

On the first day of 1888 the grand jury house was again called into service after the main courthouse burned. The commissioners court selected Eugene T. Heiner of Houston to design a new building. The construction contract was awarded to D. N. Darling of Palestine. Darling set to work in late spring and erected Heiner's vision, replete with Victorian Gothic, Renaissance revival and Italianate details. That structure, the fourth Walker County Courthouse, gradually welcomed back the social and religious groups of the county. Other uses included the Walker County Fair of 1912 and a lecture series sponsored by Texas A & M University in 1914. The interior of the building burned in 1968. At that time, it was one of the 25 oldest courthouses in the state of Texas.

The fifth Walker County Courthouse, a modern brick and steel structure, was completed in 1970. It remained in service at the dawn of the 21st century.
1888 Walker County courthouse Huntsville Texas old photo
The 1888 (fourth) Walker County Courthouse, burned.
1939 photo courtesy TXDoT
1888 Walker County Courthouse Historical Marker , Huntsville Texas
Historical Marker on the 1888 Walker County courthouse cornerstone.

Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, March 2005
1888 Walker County Courthouse cornerstone, Huntsville Texas
Cornerstone of the 1888 Walker County courthouse, on the grounds of the current courthouse.

Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, March 2005
Former Walker County courthouse Huntsville Texas old photo
A close up of the fourth courthouse, without the trees
Photo courtesy texasoldphotos.com
Historical Marker Text

Walker County

The earliest known inhabitants of this area were the Cenis and Bidai (Bedias) Indians. Spanish explorers began to arrive in 1542, followed by the French in 1687. The area was thinly populated by Spanish and Mexican settlers until the early 1830s when colonists came from the United States. Brothers Pleasant and Ephraim Gray established a trading post near this site about 1835 or 1836, naming it for their home in Huntsville, Alabama.

The region was included in neighboring counties until Walker County was created by the First Legislature of the State of Texas in 1846; it was named for U. S. Senator Robert J. Walker, who introduced legislation for Texas' annexation.

The state penitentiary was established at Huntsville in 1849. Agricultural products, primarily cotton, were shipped out by steamboat from the late 1840s. When the Civil War began, R. J. Walker declined to support the Confederacy. The Texas Legislature renamed the county in 1863 for Texas Ranger Samuel H. Walker. Martial law was declared in the county for 60 days in 1871 because of Reconstruction-era racial violence.

With the arrival of the railroads in the 1870s, depot towns flourished. Huntsville narrowly avoided the fate of other towns bypassed by the railroads when residents hurriedly raised funds to build a spur. Cotton never regained its pre-Civil War stature, and lumber and livestock became important businesses in the 20th century.

The heritage of Walker County, from Native Americans to frontier settlers and U. S. Citizens, is one of independent spirit and determination.

Where to Stay >
Huntsville Hotels

See Huntsville, Texas
More Texas Courthouses

Related Topics:
Texas
Online Magazine
Architecture
Texas Towns
Hotels

Huntsville Hotels
Find Hotel Deals in Huntsville, Texas
Book Here & Save
 
HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | TEXAS HOTELS
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES

Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | MAPS

TEXAS FEATURES
Ghosts | People | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Black History | Rooms with a Past | Music | Animals | Books
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Stores | Banks | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Drive-by Architecture | Old Neon | Murals | Signs | Ghost Signs | Then and Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | HOTELS | USA | MEXICO

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
Website Content Copyright 1998-2008. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: October 25, 2010