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I used the Texas Historical Commission Atlas and the following books to research the synopsis of each courthouse.

If you are looking to learn more I hope you find this list helpful .

,
TITLE
AUTHOR
COMMENTS
The Courthouse Square in Texas - 2000 Robert E. Veselka, Kenneth E. Foote This book redefines esoteric in terms of the courthouse. It is written by Robert Veselka but also list the editor Foote. The book is Veselka's doctoral dissertation at UT Austin that has been revised for publication. Veselka classifies every existing plan by type and origin, including patterns and variants not previously identified. If you are really serious about the different courthouse squares and how/why they are laid out, this is the book for you. (or it could be handy if you have trouble sleeping)
The Courthouses of Texas - 1962 Clark Coursey This book contains black and white photographs of all 254 courthouses along with very brief descriptions for each and a state map showing the county location. Many of these have since been refurbished or replaced so this is a great look back. Includes brief comments on each, along with a state map indicating where the county is located. The added bonus in the book was a newspaper article and photo from 1962 of Coursey presenting this copy, No. 1 of 1,000, to previous owner.
The Courthouses of Texas: A Guide - 1993, 2nd edition 2007 Mavis Parrott Kelsey, Donald H. Dyal The go-to book for concise reference on all 254 counties. It gives the county seat town and location, architect, style, and material. If you are driving around Texas this compact book is the best one to take along. There are a few minor errors that you'll discover if you don't check location and whether a new one has been built since the book was published. The new addition of course has many revisions but I was disappointed to find the old Galveston County courthouse still shown. I missed the new courthouse due to this in the first edition even though I later discovered the new one had been built in 2005.
Courtin' Texas: One Candidate's Travels Through Texas 254 Counties & Their Courthouses - 1995 John W. Odam Odam was a candidate for Texas Attorney General in 1995 and traveled to all 254 counties to campaign. This book is a travelogue of his trips. Of the nine black and white pictures only three are of courthouses and two of those are of the same one. To say this book was a disappointment would be a huge understatement, so if you are interested in courthouses you should skip this one. OK, to be fair here's an excerpt. "The tax assessor-collector showed us around and then over to see a good Democrat, who also happened to be the local pawn broker. From there we drove on to Centerville, Leon County, where Dr. Mike McKinney, also a state representative, visited with us between seeing patients." Are you asleep yet?
Gone From Texas; Our Lost Architectural Heritage - 1981 Willard B. Robinson This book documents important works of Texas architecture which have been demolished. While less than 70 of the 296 pages appear to be dedicated to courthouses the black and white photographs have preserved the genius of Dodson, Giles, Gordon, Heiner, Ruffini, and others. From the Italianate style to the Mansard roof this book explains the architectural nuances of the interiors and exteriors of these splendid buildings. As an added bonus you can discover other great structures of Texas’s past that are no longer standing. A tip of the hat to Dave over at the Texas Courthouse Trail for recommending this one.
Historic Texas Courthouses - 2006 Michael Andrews, Paul Hester, and Lisa Hardaway This is without a doubt “THE” book for Texas courthouse photographs. The talents of the great architects of the Victorian era have been captured in the unsurpassed visual impact of these pictures. The accompanying text is well researched and makes this book an excellent choice whether your interest is scholarly or aesthetic.
Old Friends: Great Texas Courthouses - 1999 Bill Morgan and Ernest J. Hammond Bill Morgan is retired Texas newspaperman and artist that has done an outstanding job with this collection of Texas courthouse drawings. He has captured the architectural details of 72 of the 254 Texas courthouses with photographic detail. Even without text this book would be worth adding to your library for its artistic value. But when you discover the stories and Texas folk lore written on the facing pages you will see why this book should be in any Texans library. Bill gives you the details but also provides an anthropological look back into Texas history. He has set up a very nice website at Old Friends - Great Texas Courthouses where you can read some of his stories and purchase "the best of Morgan's best" courthouse illustrations.
The People's Architecture: Texas Courthouses, Jails, and Municipal Buildings - 1983 Willard B. Robinson Published by the Texas State Historical Association this is one of the better references I've seen on the old courthouses. The copious pictures and illustrations are all in black in white but include several of buildings no longer standing. Although this work includes jails and municipal buildings the lions share seems to be devoted to courthouses. Hence it should certainly be on the bookshelf of anyone interested in this somewhat arcane hobby.
Texas Courthouse - 1971 and Revisited - 1984 June Welch For the 1971 book Mr. Welch visited all 254 county courthouses along with photographer Larry Nance. He returned in 1982 without Nance to re-photograph all of them for Revisited. Some of the structures are no longer standing and many have been remodeled so both of these are certainly pertinent books on the subject. The summaries in both books are somewhat brief and inconsistent but you may learn something not written elsewhere. It appears more emphasis was paid to the county history than the courthouse in the summaries at the back of the first book. The Revisited book lists the summaries on each page. There are a few gems amongst the rote descriptions if you pay close attention as Bill Morgan did in his book Old Friends: Great Texas Courthouses (see above) where he quotes Welch's book about the Blanco County courthouse shenanigans. Wondering how smaller Johnson City out voted the larger Blanco the old courthouse's owner was quoted "The dead came out to vote." All of the photographs in both books were captured and published in black and white.
Texas Justice: The Legacy of Historical Courthouses - 2004 Martana With this book Texas writer and publisher, Martana, gives us an insight to some of the landmark cases from 100 of the states courthouses. Brief summaries are given on the courthouse buildings and the accompanying photographs are beautiful. This review states it best; “Both stylish and informative, the book brings together the people, the buildings, and the great stories they both have to tell.”
The Texas Judicial Cookbook - 2007 Dennis R. Mott What a fantastic gift from a friend. What else would you give a guy that loves to eat and has visited over 90 Texas courthouses? This book was prompted by the addition of Texas's courthouses to the 1998 list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It is a compilation of recipes from residing judges and other state and county officials and is enhanced by beautiful interior and exterior photographs of many of the restored structures across the state.
Buck Schiwetz' Texas - 1960 Edward Muegge Schiwetz This one may be a bit of a stretch since it is not strictly limited to courthouses however it does contain many great courthouse drawings through out. Contains 96 monochrome & 16 color plates, in an oblong folio, showing historic architecture & landscapes.
The Golden Age of Texas Courthouses DVD - 2004 Texas Foundation for the Arts in association with Sunset Productions OK, so it's not a book but if you got this far down the list you may be interested enough to check it out. Available for purchase from Houston PBS at their online store - The Golden Age of Texas Courthouses



Excellent Texas Courthouse reference web site

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Last updated: August 22, 2009