114 of 254: Hardin County Courthouse, Kountze, Texas. County Population: 54,635
"Hardin County's 897 square miles rise from thirty to 200 feet; the terrain is level in the west and undulating in the east.
"After the revolution of 1836 the area was split between the jurisdictions of Liberty and Jefferson counties. By 1858 the region's population had increased sufficiently to warrant establishment of its own county government. In response, the state legislature established Hardin County, drawing territory from both the parent counties, early in that year. Legislators specified that the county's name honor the Hardin family of Liberty and instructed that the county seat, to be located within five miles of the center, also bear that name.
"Hardin remained the county seat until the mid-1880s. In 1881 the Sabine and East Texas Railroad bypassed that community in favor of its own newly established town, Kountze, two miles east of Hardin. Agitation soon developed for removal of county government to the new site. In the resulting election a majority of voters favored Hardin, but a courthouse fire in August 1886 reopened the issue. A second vote settled the matter permanently in favor of Kountze.
After meeting in other structures, county officers accepted the 1904 offer of
town founders Herman and Augustus Kountze of land for a courthouse site."
Patricia L. Duncan, "HARDIN COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online
I visited Hardin County and photographed the courthouse in Kountze on August 21, 2011, a Sunday.
Hardin County Courthouse 1905
Andrew P. Bryan designed this grand courthouse for Hardin County, built by M. J. Lewman and Company using sandstone from west Texas. The building was replaced in 1959 by the courthouse seen below. Unfortunately it was demolished in 1960.
Hardin County Courthouse 1959
Architects Dickson-Dickson & Associates were responsible for this modern office building/courthouse. Over the years it has been expanded to include a county jail and a replica of the 1905 courthouse dome, sans the court-house it stood atop.