043 of 254: Fort Bend County Courthouse, Richmond, Texas. County Population: 585,375
"The settlement of Fort Bend County began in the early 1820s as part of the Anglo-American colonization of Texas under the auspices of the Spanish government. Authorization to settle 300 families in the valleys of the Brazos and Colorado rivers was initially granted to Moses Austin, but plans were delayed by his death in June 1821 and Mexican independence from Spain. Stephen F. Austin assumed the responsibility of leadership from his father and gained confirmation of the original Spanish grants from the newly established Mexican government in 1823.
"In 1822 a small party of men ... traveled inland some ninety miles and, on a bluff near a deep bend in the river, built a two-room cabin. As the settlement grew, the cabin became known as both Fort Settlement and Fort Bend; the latter name, in time, prevailed.
"In May 1837 the Congress of the Republic of Texas passed an act incorporating nineteen towns, including Richmond. Robert Eden Handy of Pennsylvania and William Lusk of Richmond, Virginia, both of whom had arrived in Texas shortly before the war for independence from Mexico, founded and named the town with eight other proprietors. An act establishing Fort Bend County and fixing its boundaries was passed on December 29, 1837."
Virginia Laird Ott, "FORT BEND COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online
I visited Fort Bend County and photographed the courthouses on March 28, 2010, January 1, 2012, and September 9, 2012.
Fort Bend County Courthouse 1908
"Erected in 1908, the Fort Bend County Courthouse is one of the fine examples of classical revival architecture found in Texas Courthouses of this period.
"Designed by C.H. Page and Brothers of Austin, the original building is a three-story masonry load bearing structure with a raised concrete foundation. It has had two major additions, the first in 1935, the second in 1957."
From the National Register listing narrative
In 1909 the architects used this design for the Hays County courthouse in San Marcos; a virtually identical building to the Fort Bend courthouse,save for the clock tower.
Fort Bend County is a suburb of Houston (Harris County) and is urbanizing rapidly as a result. In recent years addition county buildings had been constructed to accomodate the growing population, including a new jail, and, most recently, a justice center.