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Texas | Architecture | Courthouses

ANDERSON COUNTY COURTHOUSE
County Seat - Palestine, Texas

Anderson County

Anderson County has had four courthouses:
1847, 1856, 1886 and 1914
See Anderson County Courthouse Historical Marker

Book Hotel Here > Palestine Texas

Palestine, Texas, Anderson County courthouse
The 1914 Anderson County Courthouse
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

Photo courtesy Lori Martin, December 2005

The 1914 Anderson County Courthouse
-
Palestine, Texas

The Courthouse is an imposing 1914 structure in the Renaissance Revival Style; somewhat unusual is the choice of brick over stone.
Architect: C. H. Page & Brothers

The 1886 Anderson County Courthouse >
Palestine Texas Anderson County courthouse historical marker.
Anderson County courthouse historical marker
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February 2006
Historical Marker

Anderson County Courthouse

Created by the Texas Legislature on March 24, 1846, Anderson County was named for former Republic of Texas Vice President Kenneth L. Anderson. The first court in the new county was held in a log house at nearby Fort Houston in 1846.

The first Anderson County Courthouse, a one-story frame structure, was built in 1847. Located on the northeast corner of the square, it was replaced by a two-story brick courthouse in 1856. A third courthouse, also brick, was completed in 1886 but was destroyed by fire in 1913.

The fourth and present Anderson County Courthouse was built in 1913-14. Designed by the Austin architectural firm of Charles Page & Bro., it was dedicated on December 20, 1914. The Beaux-Arts style building features giant order Ionic columns and pedimented porticoes on each facade, and is topped by a dome surmounted by a Justice statue.

Still in use as the seat of justice for Anderson County, the courthouse underwent major restoration in 1986. The historically and architecturally significant building serves as a source of pride for county residents.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1988
Anderson County courthouse Palestine Texas old  photo
Anderson County Courthouse as it appeared in 1939
Photo courtesy TXDoT
Anderson County Courthouse glass dome, Palestine, Texas
Anderson County Courthouse dome
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February 2006
Anderson County Courthouse Dome

Photographer's Note:
Of all the courthouses I've photographed, I've been inside 98% of them. ...I try to find interesting things on the inside to photograph, but some of them are just plain boring. I see why people don't go inside, especially if time is their major concern, but I would have missed so many interesting things if I hadn't.

The Anderson County courthouse in Palestine is a good example. There is an amazing spiral staircase in the center of the building with a beautiful stained glass skylight at the bottom of the dome. (See "Dome" photo above) The district courtroom, while modern, has a delicately painted mural at the rear of the two story room and the outside hall is covered with the personal collection of Judge Bascom Bentley, including historical photos, autographs of celebrities and politicians, newspaper clippings and photos of the Judge posing with state and local politicans, community leaders and sports teams. The courthouses with these things on the inside have proven to be some of my favorites even if they weren't so hot on the outside. - Terry Jeanson, San Antonio, Texas, May 24, 2006

Anderson County Courthouse  district courtroom, Palestine, Texas
Anderson County courthouse district courtroom
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February 2006
Anderson County Courthouse courtroom mural, Palestine, Texas

"A mural on the rear wall of the courtroom depicts people and places in Texas history."
- Terry Jeanson, February 2006 photo
See Texas Murals | Texas Post Office Murals

Palestine Anderson County Courthouse, Topographical map of Texas
"A topographical map of Texas along with the state's abundant wildlife has been painted on the floor at the bottom of the spiral staircase."
- Terry Jeanson, February 2006 photo
Anderson County Courthouse glass statue and dome, Palestine, Texas
"The courthouse's central dome with statue of Themis. The architects, C.H. Page and Brother, used the same statue for their courthouses in Fort Bend and Hays counties."
- Terry Jeanson, February 2006 photo
Palestine Texas Anderson County courthouse entrance
Anderson County courthouse entrance
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February 2006
Anderson County Courthouse, Palestine Texas
Another view of the Anderson County Courthouse
TE Photo, 2002
The 1886 Anderson County Courthouse
-
Palestine, Texas
The 1886Courthouse was desigend by W.C. Dodson, one of the more famous and prolific courthouse architects of the age. This building was not razed, but fell to arson.
1885-86 Anderson County courthouse, Palestine TX old photo
"This photo of the 1885-86 Anderson County courthouse is part of a collection of historic photos displayed in the small district courtroom on the fourth floor."
- Terry Jeanson, August 2009
1885-86 Anderson County courthouse cornerstone, Palestine TX
The cornerstone of the 1885-86 Anderson County courthouse sits at the west side entrance.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, August, 2009
More Texas Cornerstones
See Palestine, Texas
Anderson County
More Texas Courthouses

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