083 of 254: McLennan County Courthouse, Waco, Texas. County Population: 234,906
"Situated partially in the Grand Prairie and partially in the Blackland Prairie, McLennan County comprises 1,031 square miles of flat to rolling terrain at elevations ranging from 400 to 850 feet above sea level.
"McLennan County was part of the colonization grant obtained by Robert Leftwich from the Mexican government in 1825 and was later part of Robertson's colony.
"Although several surveying expeditions ventured into the county district through the 1830s, permanent settlement was delayed until the 1840s by the threat of Indian raids.
"The Republic of Texas tried to establish local government in the region in 1842 by establishing a judicial district known as Waco County, but later that year the Texas Supreme Court declared such counties unconstitutional.
"Following the annexation of Texas by the United States, settlement of the area proceeded rapidly. Plans for a permanent townsite at the former Waco Indian village were made in 1848 ...The townsite was laid out in 1849, and George B. Erath, one of the surveyors for the project, suggested Waco Village as the name of the settlement, in honor of the previous inhabitants.
"McLennan County was established by the Texas legislature on January 22, 1850, and named for Neil McLennan, one of the early settlers. The
county government was organized in August 1850 with Waco as its county seat.
Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, "MCLENNAN COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online
I visited McLennan County and photographed the courthouse in Waco on October 1, 2010, December 7, 2011, May 8, 2015, and April 9, 2016.
"In 1900, county commissioners submitted a $250,000 bond proposal to the electors. This was passed and plans and specifications were invited for a courthouse to be located on a new site. Upon the recommendation of W.C. Dodson, the plans of J. Riely Gordon, of San Antonio, were adopted. The contract was awarded to Tom Lovell of Denton, Texas. On November 3, 1902, the new temple of justice was accepted.
"The courthouse is on a cruciform plan with corridors extending lengthwise
through each arm. On the upper two levels, several courtrooms are located at ends of the cross. A rotunda extends up through the crossing.
The exterior is distinguished by Beaux Arts Classical style on a mon-umental scale. The concept of composition of the building with its wings, dome and dominant entrance is similar to that employed in the Texas Capitol.
"Surmounting the lantern of the dome is a statue of Themis, the Greek
personification of justice." From the National Register narrative