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  Texas : Central Texas North / Trips : Trip to Palo Pinto County
Palo Pinto Courthouse
DALLAS/FT. WORTH  to  PALO PINTO COUNTY via Weatherford and Mineral Wells
continued

Palo Pinto, Texas
and Scenic FM 4

< Back to Page 2 - Mineral Wells

It is unusual for the county seat to be smaller than other towns in the county, but at one time, before the golden age of Mineral Wells, this was the dominant population center. The city of Palo Pinto during the oil boom of 1915 reached a peak population of 23,000.

Though not grandiose like the Romanesque courthouses built in the 1890s, this 1940 building has its own understated charm. It is an excellent example of a pre-War rural courthouse. With its brass doorknobs and eagle-encrusted light fixtures, if one was to imagine a young lawyer in a seersucker suit named Huey Piece Long defending an overall-clad client, then one would be horribly wrong. Huey Long never set foot in Palo Pinto County and besides he was killed before this courthouse was built.

Clarence Darrow wasn't here or Gregory Peck or Perry Mason, but when John Grisham gets around to writing a lawyer story circa 1940 (which should be in six weeks), I'm predicting the movie will be filmed here.

A local rancher named Jim Sowell is spearheading a movement of restoration and rejuvenation for Palo Pinto. One of the few buildings that remain "on the square" is the Auction House (below, middle) which holds auctions twice a month. One block south is the old jail (1881) (below, right) which is the cornerstone of the museum area where contributors and members have several historic structures and other relics of Palo Pinto's past. Noteworthy are the bell and a wonderful hitching post (below,left) of stone and iron that is perfect in its utilitarian design. Jean and Charles Price keep Key to the museum at 940-659-2805.

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Palo Pinto architecture
 
Palo Pinto cemetery
 
Two blocks south on Hwy 4 is a well-kept and picturesque cemetery complete with a stone step-stile.

Leaving Palo Pinto on scenic FM 4 South you'll see why this is called the North Texas Hill Country.

Palo Pinto County - Trip continued, next page

Palo Pinto Texas Forum

  • FM 4 from I-20 (just west of New Salem) to the village of Palo Pinto was the first scenic roadway designated as such by the State. -- Arnold Ziffel

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