A county courthouse stands not only as the center of government, but also as the center of civic pride. Some with stately towers and arched doors or windows, some with high brick chimneys and mansard roofs, some in modern concrete and glass, the 254 courthouses of Texas provide an invitation to public life, a testament to the ideal of justice, and an introduction to period architecture.
It is no wonder, then, that many tourists each year visit these edifices. This new edition of a classic, indispensable, full-color guide—a true collector’s item for Texas history fans—will help travelers choose which courthouses they want to add to their trips and view them knowledgeably. For each county a color photograph pictures the courthouse and an account sketches the sequence of the seats of government, the location and style of the current building, and tidbits of fascinating lore about county and county seat names and history.
Courthouses and the “squares” around many of them offer a bonanza for history buffs, antique collectors, genealogists, architecture enthusiasts, and photographers. Many of them house or are near local history museums, and many display historical markers that introduce the area to visitors. Especially in many smaller county seats, the courthouse square offers a genre scene of a special moment in Texas’ life.
Included in this updated edition are the latest views of some of Texas’ most historic and architecturally significant courthouses, including those restored under the Texas Historical Commission’s Historic Courthouse Preservation Program.
For all those who plan their travels to see courthouses, and all those who in their travels for other reasons enjoy detours into the heritage and pride of a people, this beautiful and informative book opens the way.
About the Author
DR. MAVIS P. KELSEY SR. is founder and former chief of the renowned Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Houston. A graduate and distinguished alumnus of both Texas A&M University and the University of Texas Medical School at Galveston, he is an avid photographer and local history collector. His 2005 book Engraved Prints of Texas, 1554–1900 has received the Philosophical Society of Texas Award of Merit for 2006. He lives in Houston.DONALD H. DYAL is Dean of Libraries at Texas Tech University. He holds a Ph.D. in history from Texas A&M and is a certified archivist.