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Sweetwater Hotels

Texas | Architecture | Courthouses

NOLAN COUNTY COURTHOUSE
County Seat - Sweetwater, Texas

Nolan County has had four courthouses:
1882, 1888, 1917 and 1977

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The newly renovated Nolan County Courthouse
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, March 2017

The Present Nolan County Courthouse

A 1977 building resembling a fortress - on the square.
Architect: Welch and Hampton
Style: Modern
PHOTOGRAPHER'S NOTE:
The newly renovated courthouse was designed by architects Wiginton Hooker Jeffry with Turner Construction Company serving as contractor.

On Friday, September 9, 2011, one of the courthouse's granite panels, weighing nearly a ton, fell off the building. According to the KTXS website (Channel 12 news in Abilene) the metal connecting the granite panels to the concrete blocks of the courthouse rusted, causing the panel to fall off. This same condition was discovered on the courthouse's other panels. To keep more granite panels from falling off, all of them were removed in 2012. A $4 million renovation was completed in 2014, celebrated by a ceremony held on November 18, 2014. The granite panels have been replaced with white, green and gray limestone panels, completely changing the appearance of the courthouse. - Terry Jeanson, March 16, 2017
TX - Nolan County Courthouse during renovation
The courthouse during renovation
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, July 2013
TX - Nolan County Courthouse  entrance
New south side entrance to the courthouse.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, March 2017
TX - Nolan County historical marker
Nolan County historical marker
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, March 2017

NOLAN COUNTY

Nomadic Indians crossed this region before Anglo-American pioneers arrived here in the 1870s. The first settlers were buffalo hunters such as I. S. (Tuck) Focht, who later became a rancher and businessman, and cattlemen such as Confederate veteran John R. Lewis.

Created in 1876, Nolan County was one of 54 counties carved from Bexar territory. It was named for Philip Nolan (1771 - 1801), an Irish-born adventurer who came to Texas to capture wild horses and was killed in a skirmish with Spanish soldiers.
Sweetwater, a small settlement that had grown up around a general store, was awarded the county's first post office in March 1879. It was also named the county seat when Nolan County was organized in January 1881. Sweetwater moved 2 miles northwest to its present location on the Texas & Pacific rail line in April 1881. It became an important rail center when the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient and later the Santa Fe railroad also routed their track through the town.

The economy of Nolan County is based on cattle and sheep ranching; cotton and feed grain crops; and gypsum, lime and petroleum production. The population of the county increased from 640 in 1880 to 16,220 in the 1970 census.
(1975)
TX - Nolan County Courthouse  cornerstone
A new cornerstone for the Nolan County courthouse was laid after the 2014 renovation.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, March 2017
More Texas Cornerstones
TX - Nolan County Courthouse
Dedication plaque for the 1977 courthouse.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, March 2017
TX - 1977 Nolan County Courthouse, Sweetwater Texas
The present Nolan County Courthouse in 2006
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, August 2006

The 1917 Nolan County Courthouse
Architect: Charles Henry Page
Style: Classical Revival
Demolished
The 1917 Nolan County courthouse, Sweetwater, Texas
The 1917 Nolan County Courthouse as it appeared in 1939
Photo courtesy TXDoT
Nolan County courthouse, Sweetwater, Texas
Another view of the 1917 Nolan County Courthouse
Photo courtesy texasoldphotos.com
The 1917 Nolan County courthouse, Sweetwater, Texas
Nolan County Courthouse as it appearead in 1951
Photo courtesy THC
Nolan County courthouse, Sweetwater, Texas  old postcard
Nolan County Courthouse vintage postcard
Courtesy texasoldphotos.com

The 1888 Nolan County Courthouse
Architect: James Edward Flanders
Style: Italianate
Material: Stone
1888 Nolan County courthouse, Sweetwater, Texas
"Illustration of the first Nolan County courthouse built in 1888. Story goes that to save money the builder used plaster of paris for cement. Within a few years, the building started crumbling and was reinforced and later rebuilt." - Teri Brown
Courtesy texasoldphotos.com
Sweetwater Texas - Nolan County Courthouse and Jail
Nolan County Courthouse and Jail
Photo courtesy THC
Mural of the 1883 Nolan County Courthouse, Sweetwater Texas
"Mural of the 1888 Nolan County courthouse painted on the side of Staton's Pharmacy at Oak and Broadway on the courthouse square." - Terry Jeanson, August 2006 photo

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