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Texas | Courthouses

The Hays County Courthouse
Hays County Seat - San Marcos, Texas

Hays County has had four courthouses:
1908
1882
1869
1861
See Historical Marker

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Hays County 1908 Courthouse San Marcos TX
The 1908 Hays County Courthouse
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, June 2007

The Current Hays County Courthouse - San Marcos, Texas

Date - 1908
Architect - C.H. Page & Bros.
Style - Beaux-Arts
Material - Elgin buff and gray brick with limestone stringcourses.

On the eastside entrance to the building is a beautiful 1907 fountain that includes an ankle-height trough for dogs.
Historical Marker Text

The Courthouses of Hays County

When Hays 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 Marcos 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. The fourth 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.
1974
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, Texas  old post card
Hand-tinted postcard of the 1908 Hays County Courthouse.
Postcard courtesy of Phyllis C. Rummel

1908 was a good year for architect C.H. Page and Brother (the way the company name appears on the cornerstone). Their design was used for two nearly identical courthouses - one here and one for Ft. Bend County (Richmond). The primary difference is that Hays County declined the clocks. Sometime after 1908 the company name was changed to the more traditional "Page Brothers."

Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, Texas old photo
The 1908 Hays County Courthouse as it appeared in 1939
Photo courtesy TXDoT
Fort Bend County courthouse Texas
The 1908 Fort Bend County Courthouse in Richmond
1939 photo courtesy TXDoT
Statue of justice Hays County courthouse San Marcos Texas
Statue of justice atop the Hays County courthouse.
Photo courtsy Terry Jeanson, June 2007
The 1908 re-building retained the cornerstone from the 1882 F.E. Ruffini courthouse and positioned it in the foundation near the new cornerstone.
Cornerstone of the 1882 Hays County Courthouse by architect Ruffini
The 1882 Cornerstone
F.E. Ruffini, Architect

Photo by John Troesser, 9-01
Cornerstone of Hays County Courthouse
The 1908 cornerstone.
"C.H. Page and Bro." Architects

Photo by John Troesser, 9-01
Corinthian column of Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, Texas
A Corinthian Capital
Photo by John Troesser, 9-01
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, Texas , sideview
Southside Entrance of the Hays County Courthouse
Photo by John Troesser, 9-01
Hays County Courthouse side view
Southside entrance looking west.
Photo by John Troesser, 9-01
Hays County Courthouse annex in San Marcos, Texas
The courthouse annex.
The side with awnings faces the courthouse.
Photo by John Troesser, 9-01
Hays County Courthouse aerial view, San Marcos TX
Hays County Courthouse aerial view
Photo courtesy of Paul Turner

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The 1882 Hays County Courthouse
-
San Marcos, Texas
Architect - F.E. Ruffini
The 1882 Hays County Courthouse by architect Ruffini , San Marcos, Texas postcard
The 1882 Hays County Courthouse
1900 post card courtesy THC
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