Texas History, Genealogy, Old Photos, Postcards, Maps, and Information.

Coryell County Courthouses

Coryell County Courthouse, Gatesville, Texas 1930s
Third and Present Coryell County Courthouse Built in 1897-1898
Laying the Cornerstone at the Present Courthouse

Coryell County Courthouses

First Courthouse, Gatesville - The first courthouse was a cheap one-story struc­ture, and was where the old Atkinson Hotel once stood. It was ordered in 1856, and was to be 40x50 feet, and 25 feet high. The state tax for the years 1855-7 inclusive were set aside to defray the expense. R. B. Wells was the contractor. Building committee was J. A. Haynes, D. A. Hammack, C. C. Templeton, L. M. Robinson, and James Hicks. Since the state tax for 1855 was set aside, to­gether with the state tax of '56 and '57, and the Court­house was not ordered until 1856. It appeared there must have been legislative action, 1855 setting aside the state tax for the three years indicated. - History of Coryell County, 1936, by Frank E. Simmons

The first [courthouse] was a wooden structure located on the corner lot where the City Filling Station now stands. It was erected soon after the county was organized and was used until 1872, when the cornerstone laying of the second court­house took place. - History of Coryell County, 1936, by Frank E. Simmons

Second Courthouse, Gatesville -  The second [courthouse] was a rock structure [built in 1872] that served its purpose for twenty-five years, and stood in the public square now occupied by our present substantial county capitol [1898 courthouse].  In the summer of 1897 work of tearing down the old building was started. - History of Coryell County, 1936, by Frank E. Simmons

Third and Present Courthouse, Gatesville  An outstanding example of Second Empire Victorian style, often seen in Texas Courthouse design. Erected in 1897 on land donated by early settler R. G. Grant. Architect for this third Coryell Courthouse was W. C. Dodson; builder,Tom Lovell. Limestone and red sandstone blocks were precut to the exact size at quarry, then hauled here by horse-drawn wagons. At each entrance are columns in Roman Corinthian style; and over the east entrance are columns in Roman Corinthian style; and over the east entrance is builder's mark of an owl. Statues on the roof represent "Justice." Noted trials have been held in this building. - Historical Marker Text.

The central architectural structure is the County Courthouse, built in 1897 of solid native masonry. It has basement with steam heating plant, and accommodations for every unit of county government, a spacious District Court auditorium. Fireproof vaults protect all county records, and on the dome towering high above the city is the "town clock" that has kept watch for the citizenry for nearly forty years. There is a spacious courthouse lawn, enclosed by a substantial rock wall. Upon this lawn there is soon to be erected a granite monument to the memory of James Coryell, for whom the county was named. The shaft of granite will contain a bronze plaque with a brief history of James Coryell. This is authorized by the State Historical Commission. The historical mark­ers for both Fort Gates and James Coryell have had the enthusiastic support of the people at large, and especially the Coryell County Centennial Committee, headed by Mrs. T. R. Mears and including F. W. Straw, Jouett Allen (de­ceased), Mrs. Pearl Brown, Mrs. W. W. Winters of Evant. Later, a Highway Beautification committee was created with the following personnel: Mrs. T. R. Mears, chairman, Mrs. Clyde Bailey, Rev M. T.. Chunn, Judge Floyd Zeigler, C. E. Alvis Jr., Mat Jones, and Mrs. Schloeman. - History of Coryell County, 1936, by Frank E. Simmons

Laying the Cornerstone at the Coryell County Courthouse Courthouse