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 Franklin County TX
Franklin County

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Texas | Architecture | Courthouses

FRANKLIN COUNTY COURTHOUSE
County Seat - Mount Vernon, Texas

Franklin County has had two courthouses:
1875 and 1912


See Franklin County Courthouse Historical Marker

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Restored 1912 Franklin County Courthouse, Mount Vernon, Texas
The restored Franklin County Courthouse
Photo courtesy William Deneke, September 2014

The Present Franklin County Courthouse
- Mount Vernon, Texas

Date - 1912
Architect - L. L. Thurman, Dallas
Style - Classical Revival


Photographer's Note:
"The 1909 Carson County courthouse in Panhandle, Texas was similar to the current 1912 Franklin County courthouse.

The exterior of this courthouse has been restored after receiving a grant for over $2,000,000 from the Texas Historical Commission in 2010. A grant for over $3,000,000 in 2012 went to interior restoration work which should be completed by 2013." - Terry Jeanson

Update:
"The newly restored Franklin County courthouse was rededicated on September 20, 2014" - Terry Jeanson
Mount Vernon Texas - Franklin County courthouse
Franklin County Courthouse with a chiming clock as it appeared in 1939
Photo courtesy of TXDoT

TX - Franklin County Courthouse Historical Marker
Franklin County Courthouse Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December 2006
Historical Marker

Franklin County Courthouse

Mt. Vernon was established in 1849 on land donated by Stephen and Rebecca Keith, and a public square was surveyed in the 24-acre plat. When Franklin County was created in 1875, Mt. Vernon was voted county seat, and a wooden building northeast of the square was used as the first courthouse. Lots on the block north of the square were soon purchased for $150 for a 2-story wooden jail costing $1,600. In 1878 a brick courthouse was built on the square at a cost of $5,500.

In 1910 county commissioners ordered an election to decide the building of a new courthouse and jail. The commissioners' court then rescinded that order, called for construction warrants to be issued without election, and levied a property tax to pay for the new buildings. Citizens filed suit against the county, and in January, 1911, the district court prevented construction from proceeding.

An appellate court overturned the decision and by December, 1911, the Texas Supreme Court had affirmed this method of financing county buildings. Within days of the landmark decision, Franklin County commissioners awarded a contract to L. R. Wright & Co. to construct this courthouse and adjacent jail. The buildings were completed in 1912 at a cost of $55,000.
Texas Sesquicentennial 1836 - 1986

TX - The restored Franklin County Courthouse Clock Tower Dome
"The restored courthouse clock tower dome."
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2014
TX - Franklin County Courthouse Clock Tower Dome
The dome in 2006
The date of county organization, 1875, which is etched into the window, is correct. The time on the clock faces during my visit, was not." -

Terry Jeanson, December 2006 photo
Franklin County Courthouse, Mount Vernon, Texas
Franklin County Courthouse in 2005 before restoration
Photo courtesy Lori Martin, December 2005

 Mount Vernon Texas - Restored  Restored Franklin County courthouse, west view
West view of the restored Franklin County Courthouse
Photo courtesy William Deneke, September 2014
Franklin County courthouse, Mount Vernon Texas
Same view of the courthouse in 2002
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2002

TX - Franklin County Courthouse district courtroom restored
Looking towards the balcony in the restored district courtroom.
"One of the contractors that I talked to said the official colors of the courtroom were Odessa Pink and Kind Green."
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson , September 2014
TX - Franklin County Courthouse district courtroom restored
Restored district courtroom seen from the balcony.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson , September 2014
TX - Franklin County Courthouse district courtroom
The district courtroom in 2006, seen from the upper gallery.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December 2006

TX - Franklin County Courthouse cornerstone
The courthouse's cornerstone is on the inside.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December 2006
More Texas cornerstones

Mount Vernon , TX - Restored  Restored Franklin County courthouse
View of Franklin County Courthouse from across the square
Photo courtesy William Deneke, September 2014

The 1875 First Franklin County Courthouse
Mount Vernon, Texas

Mount Vernon, Texas - 1875 First  Franklin County Courthouse,
"During the rededication ceremony, I came across this photo of Franklin County's first courthouse which was built in 1875."
-
Terry Jeanson, September 2014

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