082 of 254: Victoria County Courthouse, Victoria, Texas. County Population: 86,793
"Victoria County comprises 887 square miles of nearly level to gently rolling coastal prairie, surfaced primarily with dark clay loams and clays that support bluestems and tall grasses, oak forest, huisache, mesquite, prickly pear, and other vegetation.
"... colonization of the area occurred [began] in 1824 with the establishment of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Jesús Victoria by the empresario Martín De León. The settlement, [was] known as Guadalupe Victoria ...
"De León's colonists were settled in all of the territory of present Victoria and Calhoun counties and in part of that of Lavaca, Jackson, and DeWitt counties as well. Such was the area that constituted Guadalupe Victoria as a district under the Mexican government in 1832 and as a municipality under the legislature of Coahuila and Texas in 1835. The settlement had the distinction of being the only primarily Mexican colony in Texas.
"Victoria was among the original twenty-three counties established by the First Congress of the Republic of Texas on March 17, 1836. Its modern boundaries were defined by the Texas legislature on March 31, 1846. Conflicting claims between Victoria County and Lavaca, Jackson, and Calhoun counties were settled in Victoria's favor on April 23, 1846."
Craig H. Roell, "VICTORIA COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online
Guadalupe Victoria, established in 1824, later became simply Victoria, and has served as the Victoria County seat since the county was established in 1836.
I visited Victoria County and photographed the courthouse in Victoria on September 25, 2010 and on June 6, 2017.
Victoria County Courthouse 1892
Designed by the architectural firm of Gordon & Laub, this classic Texas courthouse was the result of the Victoria County Commissioner's Court decision to replace the old, 1849 courthouse. J. Riely Gordon's firm was awarded the contract and work began in late 1891 by the contractor Martin Byrnes & Johnson. The completed courthouse was inspected by Houston architect Eugene T. Heiner, on behalf of Victoria County. "Heiner declared 'that Victoria county has one of the best court houses in Texas and that Martin, Byrnes & Johnson carried out their contract to the letter - and did even more.' The building was accepted on December 17, 1892." (James Riely Gordon, His Courthouses and Other Public Architecture, Chris Meister, Texas Tech University Press, 2011, page 88.)
The Victoria courthouse is often compared to the Fayette County courthouse of 1890-91 by J. Riely Gordon. "In addition to their designer and builder, the Fayette and Victoria courthouses have a number of properties in common. They share the same hollow square design with interior court and paired pavilion facades with central entrances. Both have a tower designating the eastern facade as the primary one." (ibid, page 84)
The 1892 courthouse is now an annex to the adjacent 1967 courthouse.