Category Archives: courthouses

Old Red, the Dallas County Courthouse

The building now referred to as “Old Red” served as the Dallas County Courthouse from the late 1800s to the mid 1900s.  It was completed in 1892.  The first contracts were let around 1890.  Robert L. James secured the bid of $365,000 to be the contractor.  The original news release indicated that it was to be built of Little Rock granite and that construction would take two years.

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Posted by on August 20, 2018 in courthouses


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Clyde Barrow, Jailbreak in McLennan County


While living in Waco, I would occasionally drive past the old McLennan County courthouse.  I had seen the feature film Bonnie and Clyde when it was on its first run.  However, I assumed that both Bonnie and Clyde had escaped from the jail at the McLennan County Courthouse in the midst of their short crime spree.  Years later I learned the details about how Bonnie had helped Clyde and two others escape.

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Posted by on September 22, 2016 in bonnie and clyde, courthouses, outlaws and crimes


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Wise County, Texas

Wise County is located in North Texas.  While most counties are named for people with a more direct connection to the history of Texas, Wise County is named for Virginia Governor Henry Wise.  The county was carved out of nearby Cooke County in 1856.

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Posted by on January 21, 2016 in county names, courthouses


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J. Riely Gordon, architect

James Riely Gordon was a practicing architect during what has been called the Golden Age of Texas Courthouses, the 1880s and 1890s.  By then, almost all of the 254 Texas counties now in existence had been established.  The Texas legislature allowed counties to issue bonds for courthouse construction and many counties did, leading to construction projects all over the state.


Pictured: Ellis County Courthouse in Waxahachie (2015)

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Posted by on December 23, 2015 in biography, courthouses


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