189 of 254 Hopkins County Courthouse, Sulphur Springs, Texas. County Population: 36,708
"Hopkins County has an area of 789 square miles, divided between Blackland Prairie in its northern half and southwestern quarter and the claypan of the post oak belt in its southeastern quarter. The terrain of Hopkins County is level to rolling, and its elevations range from 350 to 650 feet above mean sea level.
"The area that became Hopkins County was originally occupied by the Caddo Indians, who were later displaced by the Cherokees. Troops dispatched by the Republic of Texas under the command of Gen. Kelsey H. Douglass defeated the Cherokees in 1839. This event encouraged settlers, now relatively free from Indian attacks, to move into what is now Hopkins County.
"Hopkins County was created from parts of Lamar and Nacogdoches counties in March 1846 by the first Texas state legislature. It was named for the David Hopkins family of pioneers. The county seat was established at Tarrant, about five miles north of Sulphur Springs, and remained there until 1870, when the state legislature officially made Sulphur Springs the seat of county government. The territory of the original 1846 Hopkins County was subsequently reduced several times. In 1870 a part of its southwestern corner was given to Rains County, and land north of the South Sulphur River was given to Delta County. In 1871 a small tip of Hopkins County's northeastern corner was given to Lamar County."
Bob and Michelle Gilbert, "HOPKINS COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online
I visited Hopkins County and photographed the courthouse in Sulphur Springs on Friday and Saturday, August 2 and 3, 2013.
Hopkins County Courthouse 1894
Designed by James Riely Gordon of San Antonio.
"... he developed a dis-tinctive Romanesque Revival idiom characterized by use of towers, turrets and similar elements in broken massing, as well as by the use of polychromatic ashlar masonry. In a departure from the traditional cross-axial plan, Gordon developed a cruciform layout of a central space surrounded by a gallery and then by adjoining rooms. Convenient to all of the rooms, the stairway was placed in a central position. Access was effected at the re-entrant angles of the resulting Creek cross plan. The Hopkins County Courthouse while similar in plan to Gordon's other efforts is sited differently from the traditional layout of Texas courthouses. Located across the street from the main square rather than squarely in the middle, as was usual, it lacks the normal quadrilateral symmetry of entrances, substituting a modified plan with entries on the northwest and southwest.
"The third [Hopkins County courthouse], erected in 1882 was destroyed on February 11, 1894, by a fire that also burned the jail and several adjacent structures. On March 24, 1894, the County Commissioners' Court selected J. Riely Gordon of San Antonio as the architect for the new courthouse. The Dallas firm of Sonnafield and Emmins was awarded the contract for construction.
"The building was accepted on August 22, 1895, at a final cost of $75,000.00. A clock for the tower was petitioned for by some citizens, but the County Commissioners refused to provide funds for it."
From the National Register Narrative