|The 1912 Atascosa
TE Photo, 2002
Atascosa County Courthouse
Date - 1912
Architect - Henry T. Phelps
Style - Mission-style
Material - Brick and stone
County was created from Bexar
County in 1856. The first county seat was at Navatasco, on land
donated by Jose Antonio Navarro, and the county's first
courthouse was a log cabin. The county seat was moved to Pleasanton
in 1858, and a frame courthouse was erected. A second courthouse was
built in 1868, followed by a third, a red
rock structure in 1885. When a special election resulted in the
relocation of the county seat to Jourdanton
in 1910, the county officers were first housed in rented quarters.
The following year the Gordon-Jones Company began construction on
courthouse. Completed in 1912, the building was designed by San
Antonio architect Henry T. Phelps (1881-1945), who would also
design the Atascosa County Jail in 1915. The two-story brick building
has identical entries at each side. Mission Revival-style detail includes
curvilinear parapets and occasional Renaissance motifs, accomplished
with cast-stone highlights, metal balustrades, and tile roofing. The
corners of the building are turned with three-story tower bays, each
topped by an open belvedere. Later alterations to the courthouse replaced
original windows and installed an elevator opposite the original stairwell.
Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986.
Courthouse as it appeared in 1939
Photo courtesy of TXDoT
The 1885 Atascosa
painting of the 1885 Atascosa County courthouse that stood in Pleasanton.
This painting hangs in the Longhorn Museum in Pleasanton,
Jeanson, October 30, 2006
Subject: The 1885 Atascosa County courthouse
"I was pleased to find your page with several renderings of the
court house, past and present. I was rather amused at the "legend"
you repeated about moving the court house from Pleasanton
to Jourdanton. Actually, only the
records were moved (stolen, as I heard it)
and the old court house in Pleasanton
was still in its place when I was a child, serving as the Pleasanton
City Hall. By the time it was demolished to make way for the widening
of US 281 through town in the mid 1950's, the upper floor had been
condemned, as I recall, but the city offices were still housed there.
The present city hall stands on what is left of the old grounds of
the Pleasanton Court House.
That "legend" may be a version of a story a gentleman told on himself
. When he first came to Atascosa
County, it was about the time that the county seat had been moved,
and feelings were still very raw about that event. It so happened
that at least two other county seats were being moved about the same
time, and this hapless gentleman suggested to a group of Pleasanton
citizens at a "friendly" gabfest that perhaps they should just put
all the courthouses on railroad cars and roll them around that way
until they decided for sure where they should go. He said that he
hardly got the words out of his mouth before every man within hearing
of him had drawn their pistols on him. Only after the most abject
and profuse apology was he able to convince those men to holster their
weapons. He never made that mistake again.
to have read this story just today in a book published by the Atascosa
History Committee in 1985. Thanks again for a good page." -
Marcy Porter, May 06, 2008
The 1856 Atascosa
|Across the street
from the current Atascosa County Courthouse in Jourdanton is the replica
of the first Atascosa County Courthouse at Amphion.
Photo courtesy Terry
Jeanson, October 2004
This log cabin
is a replica of first courthouse built 1856 near Amphion
(Navatasco) 9 miles to the northwest, on site given by Jose Antonio
Navarro out of his 1828 grant from Coahuila and Texas. A signer of
the Texas Declaration of Independence, he helped organize this county.
First court term, 1857. First officials: Sheriff, James H. French;
Chief Justice, Marcellus French; District Clerk, Edward Walker; County
Clerk, Daniel Tobin; Tax Assessor-Collector, Thomas R. Brite; County
Treasurer, Baylor Winn; District Attorney, James Paul; District Judge,