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 Texas : Architecture : Courthouses : Groesbeck

LIMESTONE COUNTY COURTHOUSE
County Seat - Groesbeck, Texas

Limestone County has had 5 courthouses:
1847 - County seat - Springfield
1856
1878 - County seat - Groesbeck
1892
1924

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Limestone County courthouse, Groesbeck Texas
Limestone County courthouse
Texas Historic Landmark
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February, 2009

The Present Limestone County Courthouse - Groesbeck, Texas

Date - 1924
Architect - R.H. Stuckey of Midwest Engineering Company
Style - Classical Revival
Texas Historic Landmark

The formidable 1924 Limestone County Courthouse was built of brick, concrete, marble and tile (you were expecting limestone?) The impressive courthouse is unusual in that there are practically no buildings facing it. Groesbeck has no "Courthouse Square" per se.


Originally the settlement of Springfield (five miles north of town on Hwy 14) was the county seat. It had to be - for years it was the only town in the county. It died shortly after the Houston and Texas Central railroad came through and bypassed the town in favor of Groesbeck.

Today a cemetery alongside the road to Fort Parker State Park is all that remains of Springfield.


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Limestone County courthouse, Groesbeck Texas
The 1924 Limestone County Courthouse
TE Photo, 2001
Limestone County courthouse historical marker, Groesbeck Texas
The courthouse historical marker
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February, 2009
Historical Marker Text

Limestone County Courthouse

Limestone County was established in 1846. Springfield served as the first county seat, but geographic boundary changes and the burning of the Springfield Courthouse led to the designation of Groesbeck as the county seat in December 1873. Three more official courthouses served the county before the early 1920s.

The county employed the midwest engineering company of Amarillo to draw up plans for a new structure in 1923. The William Rice Construction Company, also of Amarillo, received a contract for $300,000 to erect this structure. Rice had been the contractor for both the Lipscomb and Lynn County courthouses.

A fine example of a classical revival building with beaux arts influences, the 1924 Limestone County Courthouse is a variation on the most common themes of early 20th century courthouses. Then-modern construction methods, such as reinforced concrete structural systems covered in brick and terra cotta, were employed. The elevations -- classical columns flanking the windows, upper floors adorned with balustrades and elaborate cornucopia moldings -- indicate that the edifice is intended to be viewed from all sides.

The Limestone County Courthouse functions as the heart of Limestone County and it continues to be used for daily county governmental business.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1998
Limestone County courthouse, Groesbeck , Texas old photo
The courthouse as it appeared in 1939
Photo courtesy TXDoT
Limestone County courthouse entrance details, Groesbeck Texas
Detail of the north side entrance
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February, 2009
Limestone County courthouse crnucopia, Groesbeck Texas
Cornucopia molding decorates each corner of the courthouse roof.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February, 2009
Limestone County courthouse bell, Groesbeck Texas
Courthouse bell at the north side entrance
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February, 2009
Photographer's Note:
Courthouse Bell
"This bell at the north side entrance was manufactured by the Buckeye Bell Foundry in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1908 and placed in the clock tower of the old 1878 Limestone County courthouse. When the current courthouse was built, it was given to the Blake Smith family who donated it back to the county in 2002." - Terry Jeanson, February, 2009
Limestone County courthouse decorative capital, Groesbeck Texas
One of the decorative molded capitals on top of the pilasters inside the courthouse. Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February, 2009
Limestone County courthouse chair decorative details, Groesbeck Texas
Detail on one of the folding chairs in the courtroom gallery. Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, 2009
Limestone County courthouse district courtroom, Groesbeck Texas
One of the two district courtrooms which occupy the east and west wings of the courthouse on the upper floors. This is the courtroom in the east wing. Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February, 2009
Limestone County courthouse courtroom balcony, Groesbeck Texas
Balcony in the east wing courtroom. The upper balconies in both courtrooms are still intact. Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February, 2009
The 1892 Limestone County Courthouse
Groesbeck, Texas
1892 Limestone county Courthouse, Groesbeck Texas
The 1892 Limestone County Courthouse
1914 Photo courtesy texasoldphotos.com
1891-1892 Limestone county Courthouse cornerstone, Groesbeck Texas
The cornerstone of the 1891-92 Limestone County courthouse
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February, 2009
Photographer's Note:
Courthouse Cornerstone
"The cornerstone of the 1891-92 Limestone County courthouse sits by the west side entrance. The plaque on top says "Original Cornerstone Of The Limestone County Courthouse Built In 1891." The architect's name listed on the cornerstone is Albert Ullrich." - Terry Jeanson, February, 2009

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