068 of 254: Haskell County Courthouse, Haskell, Texas. County Population: 5,899
"In 1858 the Texas legislature formed Haskell County from lands formerly assigned to Milam and Fannin counties. Because of Indian hostility in the area, however, the county remained unsettled for nearly two decades.
"The county was named for Charles R. Haskell, who was killed in the Goliad Massacre.
"By the fall of 1882 the ranching community of Rice Springs had begun to
flourish, and in December its name was changed to Haskell in response to a request from the United States Post Office.
"Haskell County was organized in January 1885, with Haskell designated as the seat of government; Tom Tucker was elected the first county judge. A small, two-story frame structure served as the first courthouse until a larger, native-stone building was completed in 1891.
"About 1905, citizens of Haskell, Munday, and Wichita Falls pooled $120,000 to encourage the Colorado and Southern Railroad to extend the old Wichita Valley Railway line from Seymour to Stamford; the track was completed in 1908. At about the same time, the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient also extended its tracks into the county. By linking county farmers to national markets the railroads helped to develop the area's economy and encouraged immigration."
John Leffler, "HASKELL COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online
I visited Haskell County and photographed the courthouse on July 27, 2010 and again, on May 9, 2014.
Haskell County Courthouse 1892
Image courtesy courthousehistory.com
This grand Renaissance Revival style courthouse is attributed to Jacob Larmour & A.O. Watson, however, the building's cornerstone lists A.O. Watson as the architect and builder. Seen on the right in its 19th century context, the Haskell County courthouse must have been visible for miles across the rolling plains of northwest Texas. Alas, the building was remodeled in 1906 and again in 1931, resulting in the removal of the roofline and tower and the addition of flanking wings on the east and west. The present building is only a ghost of the 1892 original. Compare this to Watson's courthouses in Llano and DeWitt Counties.