TexasEscapes.com HOME Welcome to Texas Escapes
A magazine written by Texas
Custom Search
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : COUNTIES : : TOPICS : : HISTORY/OPINION : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : ARCHIVE : : SITE MAP

 TX Parmer County location
Parmer County

Hereford Hotels



Texas | Architecture | Courthouses

PARMER COUNTY COURTHOUSE
County Seat - Farwell, Texas
Parmer County

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
See Parmer County Courthouse History

Farwell, Texas Area Hotels
Hereford Hotels | Amarillo Hotels | Lubbock Hotels
Farwell, Texas - Parmer County Courthouse
Parmer County Courthouse (west view)
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February 2007

Parmer County Courthouse

Parmer County has an interesting history of courthouses. The 1907 courthouse (the first) which was at Parmerton was moved to Friona.
The one standing today in Farwell is the second one and dates from 1916.

Architect: C. Risser
Style: Texas Renaissance
Material: Brick

PARMER COUNTY COURTHOUSES

Although Parmer County was established in 1876, named for Martin Parmer, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, the first settlers didn't arrive until 1882. The area of Parmer County and parts of nine other counties on the western side of the Panhandle came under control of the Capitol Syndicate who organized the area into the XIT Ranch in 1885. The land was payment for the construction of Texas' Capitol building in Austin. At that time, the county was populated solely by the ranch workers. In 1898, the Pecos and Northern Texas Railway was built through the area, establishing the towns of Parmer Switch (later renamed Parmerton,) Black, Friona and Bovina. As the syndicate began selling XIT lands in the late 1890s, smaller ranchers and farmers began to populate the area. In 1904, a lumber company was established by R. H. Kemp near the point where the railroad left Texas and entered New Mexico. A town, founded by the Capitol Syndicate, grew from this location and was named Farwell after brothers Charles and John Farwell, members of the Capitol Syndicate who organized the XIT Ranch. Farwell was surveyed the next year and grew rapidly. Parmer County was officially organized in May of 1907 and an election was held making Parmerton the county seat. A second election was held in December of 1907 and Farwell was made the county seat the following year. Soon afterwards, the town of Parmerton faded away. In 1913, the town of Friona challenged Farwell for the county seat. An election was held, but Friona lost. The election results were contested, but in 1916, the court ruled in favor of Farwell.

Parmer County's first courthouse was a one-story wood frame building built on Parmerton Hill, the halfway mark between Friona and Bovina. When Farwell became the county seat, the first courthouse was towed to Friona but burned in the 1950s.

A second, permanent courthouse was not built in Farwell until 1916 and is still in use today. The current courthouse was constructed of brick in a Classical Revival style. The architects were C. Risser and William C. Townes and the contractor was William M. Rice.

Rice designed the 1916 Lynn County courthouse and his construction company built many other Texas county courthouses. An accompanying one-story brick jail was built behind the courthouse in 1917. The courthouse contains many of the design elements of the Classical Revival style courthouses in Texas at the time, but its most distinguishing feature is the triple arches over the front (west side) entrance. The interior of the courthouse was later modernized and the front entrance was closed for the installation of an elevator. In 1974, the Parmer County Law Enforcement Center was built and attached to the north side of the courthouse.

The 1916 Parmer County courthouse was added to the list of Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks in 1962.

Terry Jeanson, October 25, 2017.

Sources:
The Texas State Historical Association's The Handbook of Texas Online at https://tshaonline.org/handbook,
The Texas Historical Commission's Texas Historic Sites Atlas at https://atlas.thc.state.tx.us and
The Courthouses of Texas by Mavis P.Kelsey Sr. and Donald H. Dyal, 2nd edition, 2007.
Farwell, Texas - Parmer County Courthouse
NW corner of the courthouse showing the 1974 Law Enforcement Center addition.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February 2007
Farwell, Texas - Parmer County Courthouse
The south side entrance is now the main entrance to the courthouse
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February 2007
Farwell, Texas - Parmer County Courthouse
Rear (east side) of the courthouse
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February 2007
Farwell, Texas - Parmer County Courthouse  entrance
Detail of west side entrance. This entrance is no longer accessible due to the installation of the courthouse's elevator.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February 2007
Farwell, Texas - Parmer County Courthouse  cartouche
Cartouche with the initial 'P' in the parapet over the west side entrance. This design element can also be seen in the Dallam, Lynn and Freestone County courthouses.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February 2007
Farwell, Texas - Parmer County Courthouse & Farwell TX Centennial Marker
Farwell 1936 Texas Centennial Marker in front of the courthouse.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February 2007
More Texas Centennials
Farwell, Texas - Parmer County Courthouse  cornerstone
1916 Parmer County courthouse cornerstone
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February 2007
More Texas Cornerstone
Farwell, Texas - Parmer County Courthouse  district courtroom
Parmer County courthouse district courtroom.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February 2007
 Farwell, Texas - Parmer County Courthouse  old photo
Parmer County Courthouse as it appeared in 1939
Photo Courtesy TxDoT

See Texas Vintage Photos
Farwell, Texas - Parmer County Courthouse & Jail
This oil painting of the Parmer County courthouse and jail is hanging in the first floor of the courthouse.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February 2007
Farwell, Texas - Parmer County Courthouse
Same view of Parmer County Courthouse today
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2003
 Farwell, Texas - Parmer County Courthouse & Jail
Parmer County Courthouse and Jail photo circa 1916
Courtesy THC
See Parmer County Jail

See
Farwell, Texas
Parmer County
More Texas Courthouses

Related Topics:
Texas
Texas Towns
Texas Counties
Texas Architecture
Texas Images

Book Hotel Here:
Hereford Hotels
Amarillo Hotels
Lubbock Hotels
More Hotels


All Texas Towns :
Gulf Gulf Coast East East Texas North Central North Central Woutn Central South Panhandle Panhandle
South South Texas Hill Hill Country West West Texas Ghost Ghost Towns counties COUNTIES

TEXAS ESCAPES CONTENTS
HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | SEARCH SITE
TEXAS TOWNS A-Z | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS A-Z | 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 TOPICS
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

USA | MEXICO | HOTELS

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