TexasEscapes.com  
HOME : : NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : BUILDINGS : : IMAGES : : ARCHIVE : : SITE MAP
PEOPLE : : PLACES : : THINGS : : HOTELS : : VACATION PACKAGES
TEXAS TOWNS
Texas Escapes
Online Magazine
Texas | Architecture | Courthouses

KENDALL COUNTY COURTHOUSE
County Seat - Boerne, Texas

Kendall County has had two courthouses:
1870 and 1998

See Kendall County Courthouse History

Book Hotel Here > Boerne Hotels

TX - 1998 Kendall Courthouse
View of the 1998 courthouse from the upper balcony of the old courthouse
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April 2010

Current Kendall County Courthouse
Boerne, Texas

Date - 1998
Architect - Rehler Vaughn & Koone, Inc.
Style - Modern
Material - Limestone, steel & concrete

The 1998 Kendall County courthouse is easy to find. It's right across the street from the former courthouse.

See Kendall County Courthouse History

Present Kendall County Courthouse, Boerne, Texas
The 1998 Kendall County Courthouse
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April 2007

KENDALL COUNTY COURTHOUSE HISTORY

Originally part of Bexar County, the area became part of Kerr County in 1856 with the town of Comfort (founded in 1854) selected as the county seat. It served as the county seat for two years before Kerrville became the county seat. In 1859, residents in the eastern part of Kerr County petitioned for the formation of a new county. In 1862, Kendall County was cut from Comal, Kerr and Blanco counties and officially organized. It was named for journalist George Wilkins Kendall, who was a member of the Texas Santa Fe Expedition and a veteran of the Mexican War. His reporting during the war led him to be hailed as the nationís first war correspondent and he was also regarded as the father of the sheep business in Texas. The community of Tusculum (named for Ciceroís home in ancient Rome) founded in 1849 by German immigrants was renamed Boerne in 1852 after German author Ludwig Boerne and Boerne was chosen as the county seat when Kendall County was organized.

Construction on Kendall Countyís first courthouse, which served as the countyís only courthouse for 128 years, didnít begin until 1869 and it was completed in 1870. Designed by Philip Zoeller and J. F. Stendebach and built of limestone, the courthouse was a one-story building two bays deep and four bays wide. In 1885 (some sources say 1886,) a second story was built based on plans by Charles Buckel, which included corner quoining, cut stone lintels and a two-story porch at the front entrance. The building was completed with a Mansard cupola over the front entrance and cast iron cresting on the roof.

The courthouse was altered again in 1909 when a substantial addition was built onto the front entrance, doubling the size of the building. Designed in an Italianate style by noted Texas architect Alfred Giles and built by E. H. Clemens, the addition was built with a combination of smooth and quarry-faced ashlar limestone, contrasting with the smooth stone of the original part of the courthouse. The front of the building is emphasized with a triple arched arcade, a second story porch with a stone balustrade, semi-circular arches over the second story windows and wide, smooth stone stringcourses. Octagonal wings with hipped roofs frame each side of the entrance and the roof is made of standing seam sheet metal. A parapet on the roof in the center of the 1909 addition bears the date of construction. From its original construction date of 1870, the Kendall County courthouse is the second-oldest courthouse in Texas in continuous use. (The Cass County courthouse is the oldest.)

Many interior alterations were made over the years to accommodate the needs of the growing county until a modern courthouse was constructed in 1998, mimicking many of the architectural features of the older courthouse. In 2008, Kendall County was successful in obtaining a $1.285 million grant from the Texas Historical Commissionís historic courthouse preservation program which, not only allowed the county to update the electrical, plumbing and environmental systems and install a new elevator, but enabled them to restore the interior of the old courthouse to its 1909 condition. The restoration was completed in 2010 and the courthouse was rededicated on April 10, 2010.

© Terry Jeanson, January 15, 2015

Sources: County history from The Handbook of Texas Online. Courthouse history from the Texas Historical Commission at http://www.thc.state.tx.us/, the Texas Historical Commissionís Texas Historic Sites Atlas at http://atlas.thc.state.tx.us/shell-county.htm, the Texas National Register Program Narrative Kendall County Courthouse and Jail at http://atlas.thc.state.tx.us/shell-desig.htm, and The Courthouses of Texas by Mavis P.Kelsey Sr. and Donald H. Dyal, 2nd edition, 2007.
Boerne, Texas - old Kendall County Courthouse
The former Kendall County Courthouse as it appeared in 1939
Photo courtesy TXDoT

The Former Kendall County Courthouse

Date - 1870, with 1885 & 1909 additions
Architect - Philip Zoeller and J. F. Stendebach (1870), Charles Buckel (1885 addition), Alfred Giles (1909 addition)
Style - Italianate
Material - Limestone

The former Kendall County Courthouse is the second oldest in the state. See History
More views of the former Kendall County Courthouse:
Boerne, Texas - old Kendall County Courthouse
The front of the old Kendall County courthouse
on the day of its rededication

Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April 2010
Boerne, Texas - old Kendall County Courthouse front
Front entrance to the old Kendall County courthouse
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April 2010
Boerne, Texas - old Kendall County Courthouse

"1909" set in stone
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April 2010
More Pitted Dates

Boerne, Texas - old Kendall County Courthouse
SE corner of the old Kendall County Courthouse
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April 2010
Boerne, Texas - old Kendall County Courthouse
East side of the old courthouse showing the obvious division from the 1909 section (left) and the original section (right.)
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April 2010
Boerne, Texas - old Kendall County Courthouse cornerstone
Cornerstone on the 1909 addition to the old courthouse.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April 2010
More Texas Cornerstones
Boerne, Texas - old Kendall County Courthouse curtroom before restoration
Courtroom before the restoration.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, January 2008
Boerne, Texas - old Kendall County Courthouse curtroom after  restoration
Courtroom after the restoration
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April 2010
Boerne, Texas - old Kendall County Courthouse curtroom after  restoration
The restored courtroom bead-board ceiling with finials.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April 2010
Texas - old Kendall County Courthouse checkerboard floor
A portion of the original 1909 checkerboard floor
in the courtroom next to the restored section.

Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April 2010
Boerne, Texas - old Kendall County Courthouse stairwell before restoration
Stairwell before the restoration
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, January 2008
Texas - old Kendall County Courthouse stairwell after restoration
Stairwell after the restoration.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April 2010
Former Kendall County Courthouse, Boerne, Texas
The former Kendall County Courthouse as it appeared in 2003
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, January, 2003
Kendall County former  Courthouse, Boerne, Texas
Another vintage photo of the former courthouse
Postcard courtesy rootsweb.com/%7Etxpstcrd/
Kendall County Courthouse in Boerne
Photo courtesy texasoldphotos.com
Kendall County marker in Boerne, Texas  on George Wilkins Kendall

Kendall County marker in Boerne
Photo courtesy Sarah Reveley

George Kendall by Clay Coppedge
The man for whom Kendall County is named is credited with being Americaís first war correspondent and the father of the sheep business in Texas....
See Boerne, Texas
More Texas Courthouses

Related Topics:

Texas
Texas Town List
Texas Counties
TE Online Magazine
Texas Architecture
Texas Images

Book Hotel Here
Boerne Hotels
More Hotels
Custom Search
Boerne Hotels
Find Hotel Deals in Boerne. Texas
Book Here
TEXAS ESCAPES CONTENTS
HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | HOTELS | SEARCH SITE
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 | FORTS | MAPS

Texas Attractions
TEXAS FEATURES
People | Ghosts | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Texas Centennial | Black History | Art | Music | Animals | Books | Food
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 | Rooms with a Past | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Stores | Banks | Drive-by Architecture | Signs | Ghost Signs | Old Neon | Murals | Then & Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | USA | MEXICO

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
Website Content Copyright Texas Escapes. All Rights Reserved