061 of 254: Stephens County Courthouse, Breckenridge, Texas. County Population: 9,630
"Originally named Buchanan County after President James Buchanan, the county was renamed in 1861 to honor Alexander H. Stephens, the vice president of the Confederate States of America.
"The Texas legislature established Stephens County in 1858 from lands formerly assigned to Bosque County.
"In 1861, after Texas had left the Union, the small town of Picketville was
designated the temporary county seat, and the county was renamed to honor the vice president of the Confederacy.
"The county was organized in 1876, and Breckenridge became the seat of
"Wildcatters first drilled for oil in Stephens County land in 1911. A terrific boom centering around Breckinridge took off in 1921, when drillers brought in Stoker No. 1 just outside of town. Breckenridge became a forest of wooden derricks; over 200 wells were drilled within the city limits.
"The Breckenridge oilfield was prodigious. In one year it produced 15 percent of all the oil produced in the United States.
"Breckenridge grew quickly, as thousands moved into the area; by the early 1920s the town had two daily newspapers, ten theaters, eighty-nine oil companies, and seventy-nine eating places."
John Leffler, "STEPHENS COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online
I visited Stephens County and photographed the courthouse in Breckenridge on July 25, 2010 and on October 19, 2014.
Stephens County Courthouse 1883
Designed by Dallas architect James Edward Flanders. Demolished in 1927 after construction of the current courthouse.
Stephens County Courthouse 1926
"The Stephens County Courthouse, designed in 1925 with construction spanning through 1926, creates a dramatic governmental landmark for both Stephens County and the city of Breckenridge. The courthouse occupies the public square central to the town's gridiron street system.
"Abilene architect David Castle finished this efficient composition in a sophisticated Classical Revival styling, rendered in light gray limestone throughout. The 1926 courthouse, the third courthouse built in Stephens County, symbolizes the prosperity that developed in the town and county during the 1920's oil boom." From the National Register listing narrative