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HENDERSON COUNTY COURTHOUSE
County Seat - Athens, Texas
Henderson County

Henderson County has had four courthouses:
1850, 1861, 1887 and 1913


The First Henderson County Seat - Buffalo, Texas
The Second Henderson County Seat - Centerville, Texas

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1913 Henderson County courthouse today, Athens Texas
The 1913 Henderson County courthouse
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December 2011

The Present Henderson County Courthouse
- Athens, Texas

Date - 1913
Architect - L. L. Thurman
Style - Classical Revival
Material - Brick and stone
See Henderson County Courthouse Historical Marker

Photographer's Note:
The 1913 Henderson County courthouse has a unique style, with wings that project at an angle. This design was also used in the razed 1910 Fisher County courthouse and the current 1908 Rains County courthouse. - Terry Jeanson
TX - Henderson County Courthouse Historical Marker
Henderson County Courthouse Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December 2011
Historical Marker:

Henderson County Courthouse

The Texas Legislature created Henderson County in 1846. For the next few years, county commissioners met at various locations, including private homes and the communities of Buffalo and Centerville. Samuel Huffer later determined the center of the county was on the Thomas Parmer survey, and Matthew Cartwright secured 160 acres for the new courthouse. In 1850, the county seat moved to Athens, which was incorporated in 1856.

County commissioners hired John Loop to construct a log courthouse. It served as the court building for 11 years. In 1860, William Warenskjold began construction on a two-story frame courthouse, which burned in 1885, leaving only the district and county clerk buildings standing. C.H. Hawn & Co. constructed the next courthouse, which was used until 1913. That June, with a design by L.L. Thurmon & Company of Dallas, the commissioners court approved the bid of L.R. Wright & Company to build a new courthouse on the square.

Accepted by the court in January 1914, the Henderson County Courthouse exhibits a Classical Revival design. The building is comprised of three floors above a basement, and features a central dome and four three-bay pedimented entries with Tuscan columns. The cross-axial plan is formed from a central block with single bays projecting from each corner. Original detailing includes marble stairways and wainscoting on the interior.

Since becoming the county's public center, the courthouse has been the location of the "Old Fiddlers" contest and other events. Today, memorials and tributes to Henderson County veterans, leaders, residents and history are located on the square.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2002
Athens, Texas - 1913 Henderson County courthouse showing dome
A different side of the courthouse, which enables a view of the low central dome. There is no rotunda on the inside.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December 2011
Henderson County courthouse, Athens,  Texas old photo
Henderson County Courthouse as it appeared in 1939
Photo courtesy of TXDoT
Henderson county courthouse, Athens Texas old post card
Another early view of the 1913 courthouse
Postcard courtesy THC
Athens, TX - Henderson County Courthouse Courtroom
"The district courtroom, subjected to a modern remodeling. The interior of the courthouse was refurbished in 1965 and again in 1986."
- Terry Jeanson, December 2011 photo
Athens, TX - Henderson County Courthouse Dedication
Dedication stone inside the courthouse.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December 2011
Athens, TX - Henderson County Courthouse Dome
The courthouse's dome seen from blocks away.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December 2011
Athens, TX - Henderson County Courthouse Painting
"This watercolor painting of the current courthouse by Laura Potter is near the south entrance."
- Terry Jeanson, December 2011 photo
Athens, TX - Henderson County Courthouse pediment architecutral detail
The decoration on the pediments are repeated on all sides
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December 2011
Henderson County courthouse showing portico entrance, Athens Texas
Courthouse entrance
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, 2006
The 1887 Henderson County Courthouse
Athens, Texas
Athens Texas courthouse square
The courthouse square in Athens, showing the 1887 courthouse
Vintage photo ca. 1911 courtesy THC
See Athens, Texas | Henderson County
More Texas Courthouses

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