165 of 254 Ector County Courthouse, Odessa, Texas. County Population: 137,130
"The county was named for Mathew D. Ector, a Confederate general and Texas jurist.
"Ector County was marked off in 1887 from land previously assigned to Tom Green County, and was attached to Midland, Crane, and Upton counties for judicial purposes. As early as 1881 promoters of the Texas and Pacific Railway encouraged immigration by offering to haul farm machinery and household goods for prospective settlers at no charge; they ignored the limited rainfall [The average annual rainfall is 13.77 inches.] and predicted a splendid agricultural potential for the area. Pointing to the county's supposed resemblance to the steppes of Russia, a railroad official named the first settlement in the county Odessa;
"In fact the region was most suitable for ranching, and for many years Ector
County was known mainly for its fine Hereford cattle.
"During the late 1880s and in the 1890s settlers began to trickle in. In 1890 the census enumerated 224 residents, and in 1891 Ector County was formally organized, with Odessa, the largest town, designated as the county seat.
"The great oil strike made in 1926 on W. E. Connell's ranch, however, marked the beginning of a tremendous boom that fundamentally changed the character of the county's economy and society."
John Leffler, "ECTOR COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online
I visited Ector County and photographed the courthouse in Odessa on July 27, 2012.
Ector County Courthouse 1964
Its economy booming with oil and gas related business, Ector County government spent $1.5 million to expand the 1938 courthouse. Architects Peters and Fields of Odessa designed a new, wrap-around, 3 story addition to the exiting building. Dedicated in April 1964, the "new" Ector County courthouse features a raised cast-concrete sun screen on the second and third floors, supported by a row of columns and a solid, blank wall on the first floor. The result is a building that is essentially an abstract sculptural block, lacking any traditional elements that might identlfy it as a "courthouse."