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  • Texas | Buildings | Courthouses

    HARDIN COUNTY COURTHOUSE
    County Seat - Kountze, Texas

    Hardin County has had four courthouses:
    1858, 1887, 1905, 1958

    Book Hotel
    Kountze Hotels

    Historical Marker Text

    Courthouses of Hardin County

    Hardin County was created in 1858. The first official Hardin County building was probably a two-story log building that burned about 1886. Early county records were destroyed in the conflagration.

    In 1887, architect Frank Smith of Beaumont designed a two-story frame structure built in Kountze by local contractor W. B. Pedigo. A safe was positioned inside the structure and the walls were built around it. The building was replaced in 1905. J. B. Hooks moved the old courthouse across the street to become the J. B. Hooks Abstract Company.

    A new masonry courthouse was erected in 1905. It was designed by Andrew P. Bryan and built by M. J. Lewman and Company. Domed in the tradition of the nation's capitol and the Texas State Capitol, the edifice was built of native stone from the Pecos area of West Texas. Salmon-colored brick was imported from the Hydraulic Press Brick Company of St. Louis, and the columns and bases were crafted by Bedford Stone Company. A carbide lighting system was installed in 1918. A three-story colonial-style sandstone building was erected with four 24-foot two-story columns front and back and 16 smaller columns supporting the dome. This building served until 1958.

    A modern facility was planned by Dickson-Dickson and Associates and built by Lumbeck Construction Company in 1958. The 1905 edifice was destroyed in 1960. At the end of the 20th century, the 1958 courthouse was still in service and the 1887 building continued to stand, now the home of law offices, near the courthouse square.
    (2000)
    Hardin County Courthouse Historical Marker
    SH 326 & Redwood St.

    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December 2007

    The Present Hardin County Courthouse
    - Kountze, Texas

    Date - 1958
    Architect - Dickson, Dickson & Associates
    Style - Modern
    Present Hardin County courthouse, Kountze TX
    1958 Hardin County courthouse - "Another example of a modern style courthouse that was dead on arrival" - Terry Jeanson
    Kountze Texas -  1958 Hardin County courthouse
    The 1958 Hardin County Courthouse
    1965 photo courtesy of THC

    The Third Hardin County Courthouse
    - Kountze, Texas

    "Hardin County's third courthouse was completed in 1905. Built of brick and stone in a colonial style, it was designed by architect Andrew P. Bryan. It served until the current courthouse was constructed and it was demolished in 1960." - Terry Jeanson
    Painting of third Hardin County Courthouse, Kountze, Texas
    Painting of 1905 Hardin County Courthouse in courthouse lobby today
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December 2007
    1905 Hardin County Courthouse, Kountze, Texas
    The 1905 Hardin County Courthouse
    1911 Postcard courtesy of THC
    The 1911 Hardin County Courthouse
    Another view of the 1905 Hardin County Courthouse
    Photo courtesy texasoldphotos.com
    1905 courthouse bell on display in the lobby of the current courthouse.
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December 2007
    1905 courthouse cornerstone on display in the lobby of the current courthouse.
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December 2007
    The Second Hardin County Courthouse
    - Kountze, Texas
    "The 1887 two-story frame courthouse built in Kountze was designed by Beaumont architect Frank Smith. It was used until 1905 when it was moved across the street to become the J.B. Hooks Abstract Company. According to the historical marker, the building is still supposed to be on the square in use as a law office. However, could not find the 1887 building on the square." - Terry Jeanson, December 2007
    Painting of 1887 Hardin County 2 Story Frame Courthouse, Kountze Texas
    Painting of 1887 Hardin County Courthouse in courthouse lobby today
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December 2007
    The First Hardin County Courthouse
    "The 1858 log courthouse in the first county seat of Hardin burned in a suspicious fire on August 8, 1886. The following year, the county seat was moved to Kountze." - Terry Jeanson
    Kountze Texas - 1858 Hardin County Log Courthouse Painting
    Painting of 1858 Hardin County Courthouse in courthouse lobby today
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December 2007
    Hardin County courthouse Garzebo, Kountze TX
    "A gazebo on the northeast corner of the courthouse square. (Made from some of the columns of the 1905 courthouse?)

    A replica of the clock tower dome from the 1905 Hardin County courthouse was completed in December of 2008 and sits on the northwest corner of the courthouse grounds." - Terry Jeanson
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