182 of 254 Terrell County Courthouse, Sanderson, Texas. County Population: 984
"Terrell County comprises 2,357 square miles of rocky terrain with elevations ranging from 1,300 to 4,000 feet above sea level. Most of the county is situated in the Stockton Plateau, a part of the Western Mountain region.
"Between 1871 and 1905 the area was part of Pecos County. The region was opened for settlement in the early 1880s in anticipation of the arrival of the Texas and New Orleans Railroad, which had surveyed a route through the region. Cyrus W. (Charley) Wilson developed a townsite called Strawbridge at a designated stop along the railroad, where he bought the land and laid out streets and lots. In May 1882, when the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railroad reached the site, the town was renamed Sanderson after a railroad engineer.
"Terrell County was formed by an act of the Texas legislature on April 8, 1905, and organized on July 27 of that year. The county was named for Alexander Watkins Terrell.
"Sanderson became the county seat. Sanderson is about halfway between San Antonio and El Paso.
"Cattle and sheep ranching have dominated the county's economy since its beginnings."
Walter G. Downie, "TERRELL COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online
I visited Terrell County and photographed the courthouse in Sanderson on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
Terrell County Courthouse 1906
The Terrell County courthouse, like the several others in Texas, has undergone some "alterations" over the years. The original, historic 1906 courthouse remains but has been absorbed into subsequent versions of the courthouse. The 1906 courthouse was apparently the work of San Antonio architect Henry T. Phelps. This would have been one of his earliest courthouse projects. In 1930 the courthouse was significantly enlarged and completely transformed. The 1930 cornerstone (visible today) credits Henry Phelps as the architect. If Phelps designed the original courthouse, it makes sense that he would have been hired to design the enlargement of the 1906 building.
Look at the two photographs on the left and you can see where the 1906 building fits into the 1930 structure: there are two crawlspace vents visible on the side of each building. These vents are below the paired windows on the original west elevation and the current building. The front of the 1906 courthouse was demolished and a new front façade added.
In 1983 the Terrell County courthouse was once again altered. Unfortunately, Henry Phelps died in 1944, so he was unavailable. The county hired Huckabee and Donham Architects from Andrews, Texas to design a new tile roof for the courthouse and a single story addition on the back.