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Architecture | Courthouses

THE MILLS COUNTY COURTHOUSE
County Seat - Goldthwaite, Texas

Mills County has had two courthouses: 1890 and 1913
See Mills County Courthouse Historical Marker

Goldthwaite, Texas Area Hotels:
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Goldthwaite Texas - Mills County Courthouse
The restored Mills County Courthouse
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, August, 2011

The Present Mills County Courthouse -
Goldthwaite, Texas

Completed in 1913 after their first courthouse (c. 1890) burned
Architect - Henry Phelps
Style - Classical Revival
Material - Brick, stone and concrete
Address - 1011 Fourth St

Mills County Courthouse 1939 old photo -  Goldthwaite Texas
The 1913 Mills County courthouse as it appeared in 1939
Photo courtesy TXDoT
Historical Marker Text

Mills County Courthouse

Mills County was formed in 1887, and citizens built a county jail in Goldthwaite the following year. In 1889, Goldthwaite was chosen county seat, and Oscar Ruffini designed the first courthouse; it served at this site from 1890 through 1912, when it was destroyed by fire. The county hired noted San Antonio architect Henry T. Phelps to design this courthouse, completed in 1913 by the Gordon-Jones Construction Company. Phelps chose the Classical Revival style for the three-story structure with basement, using a rectangular form, a central, ornamental pediment and fluted, engaged columns.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2002
Goldthwaite Texas - Mills County Courthouse historical marker
Mills County Courthouse historical marker
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April 2005
Photographer's Notes:
"In January of 2008, Mills County was awarded a grant of $5 million by the Texas Historical Commission for the restoration of their courthouse." - Terry Jeanson

"Mills County Courthouse Rededication -
The ceremony was held in the courtroom. It was a great turnout and a lot more intimate than the one in Houston. I had always said that if this courthouse could get restored someday, it would be beautiful. Turns out, I was right. I didn't hear one complaint. Even the acoustics in the courtroom are good, unlike the echo sometimes found in other restored courtrooms." - Terry Jeanson

Mills County Courthouse Historical Marker
Goldthwaite Texas - Mills County Courthouse
East side entrance to the courthouse
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, August, 2011
Goldthwaite Texas - Mills County Courthouse
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, August, 2011
Goldthwaite Texas - Mills County Courthouse
Mills County Courthouse northwest corner
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, August, 2011
Goldthwaite Texas - Mills County Courthouse interior
Main staircase from the front entrance
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, August, 2011
Goldthwaite Texas - Mills County Courthouse skylight
Looking up into the rotunda at the skylight from the main floor.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, August, 2011
Goldthwaite Texas - Mills County Courthouse rotunda
Looking down into the rotunda from the top floor
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, August, 2011
Goldthwaite Texas - Mills County Courthouse courtroom
The district courtroom from the upper balcony
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, August, 2011
Goldthwaite Texas - Mills County Courthouse courtroom
In the district courtroom looking at the rear balcony
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, August, 2011
Goldthwaite Texas - Mills County Courthouse rotunda
The rotunda outside the courtroom.
The left side is what it looked like on January 5, 2006.
The right side is the day of the rededication, August 27, 2011

Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson
Goldthwaite Texas - Mills County Courthouse courtroom
The district courtroom.
The top is what it looked like on January 26, 2007.
The bottom is the day of the rededication, August 27, 2011.

Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson
Goldthwaite Texas - Mills County Courthouse basement advertisement
"In one of the basement rooms, early advertisements were found on the walls when they were painting and they were preserved. The story I heard is that the advertisements were placed there because of the frequent use of a public bathroom that was in the basement." - Terry Jeanson
Goldthwaite Texas - Mills County Courthouse basement bank advertisement
Bank advertisement preserved on one of the basement walls.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, August, 2011
Goldthwaite TX - Mills County Courthouse under restoration
Mills County Courthouse under restoration
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, October 2010
Goldthwaite Texas - Present Mills County Courthouse
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, January 2007
Goldthwaite Texas - Mills County Courthouse back view
Courthouse back view
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April 2005
Goldthwaite Texas - 1913 Mills County Courthouse cornerstone
1913 Mills County Courthouse cornerstone
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, January 2007
More Texas Cornerstones
Goldthwaite TX - Mills County Courthouse
Another view of the Mills County courthouse
Photo courtesy Jim and Lou Kinsey, 2003
Goldthwaite TX Confederate Statue
Confederate Statue on courthouse grounds
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, October 2010
More Texas Statues

The 1890 Mills County Courthouse
- Goldthwaite, Texas

Burned in 1912
First (1890) Mills County courthouse, Goldthwaite, Texas
The first (1890) Mills County Courthouse and courthouse square
1908 photo courtesy texasoldphotos.com
Goldthwaite, Texas, the first Mills County Courthouse, burned
The 1890 Mills County Courthouse
1907 photo courtesy texasoldphotos.com
Goldthwaite, Texas - 1890 Mills County Courthouse Cornerstone
1890 Mills County Courthouse Cornerstone
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, January 2007
More Texas Cornerstones
"The cornerstone from the 1890 courthouse, which burned in 1912, is sitting in front of the current courthouse. The architect, Oscar Ruffini, used the same plans for the 1891 Sutton County Courthouse. The plans were also previously used by the architect's brother, Frederick Ruffini, to design courthouses in Blanco County, Callahan County and Concho County." - Terry Jeanson, October 2010
Photographer's Note:
"It seems funny that this central Texas county was organized after some of the Panhandle counties. One of my favorite articles on TE is "Sagging Symbols" by Dwight Young. Mr. Young makes a reference to some of the Texas courthouses being "the architectural paperweight that kept the town from blowing away." I think that is certainly true in Goldthwaite." - Terry Jeanson, October 12, 2010
See Goldthwaite, Texas |
Mills County
More Texas Courthouses

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