166 of 254 Ward County Courthouse, Monahans, Texas. County Population: 10,658
"The area was named for Thomas W. "Peg Leg" Ward. [second commissioner of the General Land Office, three-time mayor of Austin, and United States consul to Panama.]
"In 1881 the Texas and Pacific Railway crossed the region and established stations at Sand Hills, Monahans, Aroya, Pyote, Quito, Quito Quarry, and Barstow. The Texas state legislature carved Ward County from a portion of Tom Green County in 1887, but by 1890 only seventy-five people lived there. The county was organized in 1892, and Barstow became the county seat; a red sandstone courthouse was built in 1893.
"By 1904 Barstow had become a farming and ranching trade center located near numerous vineyards and orchards made possible by irrigation projects on the Pecos River.
"In the 1920s Ward County entered a period of economic prosperity following the opening of the Hendrick oilfield in 1926.
"The 1930s were boom years in Ward County. U.S. Highway 80 was paved from Big Spring to Pecos by 1933.
"On May 10, 1938, Monahans won a contested election to move the county seat from Barstow to Monahans. The election was upheld in 1939, and the county seat moved to Monahans that year."
"Glenn Justice and John Leffler, "WARD COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online
I visited Ward County and photographed the courthouse in Monahans on July 28, 2012.
The Bastow courthouse was demolished in 1939, shortly after the county seat moved to Monahans. The photo on the right above is of the Monahans City Offices. A sign on the building identifies it as the Ward County Court House. This was a temporary location until the new courthouse opened in 1941.