of Hays County
County originated in 1848, its one public building was a log
church-schoolhouse that had to serve as the courthouse, along with
its other uses.
Although the San
townsite, platted in 1851, contained a court square donated to the
county, the forfeiture of a $2,000.00 criminal bond later gave the
county funds for building, and in 1861 officials employed contractor
C. F. Millett to erect on the Square a 36 x 40-foot, 2-story frame
courthouse with a hearing room, jury rooms, and 4 offices. That
pine building burned in 1868, and county officials operated from
rented quarters until a courthouse of soft, locally quarried limestone
was completed in 1871. Damaged by earth shiftings, that 2-story,
45 x 53-foot building was razed (1881) and replaced by a 50 x 60-foot,
2-story building of harder limestone designed by F. E. Ruffini,
architect for University of Texas buildings and for courthouses
in several other counties. After that 1882-83 structure lost its
top story in a fire on Feb. 28, 1908, it also was razed.
and present courthouse, in eclectic style, was designed by C. H.
Page & Brother, of Austin.
Completed and accepted by the county court on Dec. 13, 1909, it
has had interior alterations; it was restored in 1972.