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 Texas : Architecture : Courthouses :
RAZED IN TEXAS
THE LOVE SONG OF J. RIELY GORDON
A series of photo essays of courthouses designed by J.R.G.

BRAZORIA COUNTY COURTHOUSE
c. 1894

Brazoria, Texas
Architect: J. Riely Gordon
Razed

by John Troesser
Photos by Julie McConnell

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1894 Brazoria County courthouse, Texas , old post card
The Brazoria Courthouse at Brazoria c. 1894

Old Post Card Courtesy Julie McConnell
Former Brazoria County Courthouse cornerstone


The date of the courthouse - A.D. 1894

Photo courtesy Julie McConnell, 2002
Relic of former Brazoria County Courthouse, Brazoria, Texas
All that remains of the 1894 courthouse in Brazoria

Photo courtesy Julie McConnell, 2002
The town of Brazoria dates back to 1828 - the year it was platted. It served briefly as the first Capital of the Republic of Texas - since it was the only town with (barely) sufficient accommodations for the legislators.

The county was organized in 1836 and a wooden building was the first courthouse. The artifacts on this page are from the J. Riely Gordon courthouse of 1894. The postcard above shows similarities to Gordon's Ellis, Wise and Fayette County courthouses.

Angleton was Brazoria's rival for the county seat and Angleton had the advantage of having a railroad. The citizens of Brazoria hired J. Riely Gordon to build a courthouse - which cost a reported $90,000. The idea that was - with such a fine, attention-getting courthouse - Brazoria would retain it's status as county seat.

But, in 1896 Angleton was voted in as county seat and the huge courthouse at Brazoria wasn't needed.
1897 Brazoria County courthouse original condition, Angleton, Texas
The 1897 Brazoria County courthouse in its original condition
This picture is hanging at the entrance to the old courthouse, now serving as the Brazoria County Historical Museum.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2005
A new courthouse was constructed at Angleton in 1897 by another famous courthouse architect - Eugene Heiner. The new courthouse featured a 90 - foot tower that was later removed.

The 1940 building was a WPA courthouse - a rather plain building - but with some nice Art-Deco detail. Designed by Wyatt Hedrick.

See Brazoria County Courthouses, Angleton, Texas

John Troesser
Photographer's Note:
Hard to believe that a structure of this historical and architectural magnitude was reduced to this, merely because of political infighting. I hope that you and your readers (one of which I have definitely become.) find this info useful.

If I can ever help you with anything else, please let me know. There are many topics of interest in Southern Brazoria County that are not only interesting but had a great impact on the history of Texas. ..... Thanks for providing an extremely thoughtful and insightful website.- Julie McConnell, April 22, 2002
Related Topics :
Texas Courthouses | Angleton, Texas |
Texas | Online Magazine | Architecture |


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