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Texas | Architecture | Courthouses

SAN AUGUSTINE COUNTY COURTHOUSE
County Seat - San Augustine, Texas

San Augustine County has had three courthouses:
1840, 1855 and 1927

Book Hotel Here > San Augustine Hotels

San Augustine Texas - 1927 San Augustine County courthouse
San Augustine County Courthouse
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2001

Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December 2007

The 1927 San Augustine County Courthouse

The 1927 Classical Revival Courthouse is the county's third. You can't miss it, but the address is a memorable one - Main and Broadway. It's constructed of limestone and concrete according to The Courthouses of Texas by Mavis Kelsey Sr. and Donald Dyal.


San Augustine County Courthouse History:
See San Augustine County Courthouse Historical Marker >

Photograher's Note: In January of 2008, San Augustine County was awarded a grant of $3,727,131.00 by the Texas Historical Commission towards the restoration of their county courthouse. - Terry Jeanson, August 9, 2008


San Augustine County Courthouse Today >

San Augustine Texas - 1927 San Augustine County courthouse old photo
San Augustine County Courthouse as it appeared in 1939
Photo courtesy of TXDoT

Historical Marker Text

San Augustine County Courthouse

When the town of San Augustine was platted in 1834, this property was reserved for the public square, but it was another 20 years before the first courthouse was constructed here.

San Augustine was one of the 23 original counties established after Texas won independence from Mexico in 1836. Early courts were held in the Mansion Hotel, and by 1840 the county government operated out of the federal custom house. In 1854, San Augustine County built its first courthouse on the public square. The subsequent courthouse, an 1890 Italianate structure, was razed to make room for the current building.

Completed in 1927, the third San Augustine County Courthouse is constructed of Texas lueders stone. It is symmetrical in plan with a prominent central entry bay and exhibits influences of the Classical Revival style of architecture. The County Commissioners Court, with county judge Ed Kennon presiding, selected East Texas architect Shirley Simons as the designer and the firm of Campbell and White as the builders.

Over the years, the square has been a gathering place for community and county events. Monuments placed on the grounds include a bronze statue of
James Pinckney Henderson, first governor of the state of Texas and a resident of San Augustine; and a veterans memorial erected in 1951. The 1927 courthouse stands as a center of politics and government for the people of San Augustine County and an important part of the city's 20th-century architectural heritage.

Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2001

San Augustine Texas - San Augustine County courthouse historical marker
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December 2007

TX - San Augustine County Courthouse
San Augustine County Courthouse
Photos courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2010
TX - San Augustine County Courthouse courtroom
San Augustine County Courthouse Courtroom
Photos courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2010
San Augustine Texas - 1927 San Augustine County courthouse district courtroom
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December 2007
San Augustine Texas - 1927 San Augustine County courthouse cornerstone
1927 San Augustine County courthouse cornerstone
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December 2007
More Texas Cornerstones
1927 San Augustine County Courthouse Cornerstone
Photograher's Note: "This stone on the left side of the front entrance lists the building's architect as Shirley Simons and the builders as Campbell & White. A stone on the right side of the front entrance lists the names of the county commissioners and the county judge at the time of the courthouse's construction." - Terry Jeanson
San AugustineTX - James Pinckney Henderson Statue
James Pinckney Henderson
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December 2007
More Texas Monuments & Statues
San Augustine Texas - San Augustine County tapestry
Tapestry hanging in the courthouse stairwell
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, December 2007

Scrolling Through History by Bob Bowman

"The search system -- which has brought unbridled joy to genealogists and historians -- is believed to be the most comprehensive county archive system in Texas.

It took two years for Murphy and three employees to feed every county document into the $450,000 system that holds everything from slave sale records to current court cases." ... more

San Augustine County Forum

  • Shooting of Rangers in San Augustine County
    In July 1918, a squad of Texas Rangers was sent to San Augustine County to round up deserters from the army. Two Rangers went to the farm house of Samuel Williams to recover his son Sam Williams and Daniel Evans. In a gun fight early in the morning, Ranger White was killed and the other Ranger wounded. A massive manhunt pursued in the coming days lead by twenty Rangers and more than a hundred volunteers from surrounding cities. The two deserters were surrounded and turned themselves in after four days. The two were taken to Camp Travis and tried in a military court. They were both found guilty and sentenced to death. Their sentences were later commuted to life in prison and eventually they were released from Fort Leavenworth in the Thirties, I believe.

    I have been researching this account and would like to know if [anyone has] information on this case and the reasons surrounding the commuting of sentence and release of the two men. In interviews with family members of the young men I have unconfirmed tales of presidential pardons resulting from the actions of the fallen Texas Ranger and his partner.

    This is a very interesting part of the history of San Augustine County and is a reflection of the attitude toward the Great War among Southern families whom felt no connection with the U.S. Government.
    Any information anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated. - John D Carrell, Mesquite, Texas, October 25, 2006
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