206 of 254 Schleicher County Courthouse, Eldorado, Texas. County Population: 3,461
"Schleicher County is in west central Texas 290 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico and ninety miles northeast of the Texas-Mexico boundary. It is bordered by Tom Green, Concho, Menard, Kimble, Sutton, Crockett, and Irion counties. Situated in the Edwards Plateau, the county comprises roughly 1,309 square miles of rolling to hilly terrain at elevations ranging from 2,100 to 2,400 feet above sea level.
"Eldorado, the county seat, is at the intersection of U.S. highways 190 and 277, forty-five miles south of San Angelo.
"Settlement of Schleicher County occurred well after the annexation of Texas to the United States. The Texas legislature established Schleicher County from Crockett County in April 1887 and named it in honor of Gustav Schleicher, an early surveyor, engineer, and politician. It is not clear why the legislature decided to form the county at that time; there is no evidence available to suggest any lobbying efforts by local residents. In fact, because the county had such a small population, it was attached first to Kimble County and later to Menard County for judicial purposes. It was not until July 1901 that Schleicher County residents elected their first county officials."
Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, "SCHLEICHER COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online
I visited Schleicher County and photographed the courthouse in Eldorado on Saturday, May 10, 2014.
Schleicher County Courthouse 1902
According to Michael Andrews, in his book "Historic Texas Courthouses," the original Schleicher County courthouse was a wood frame structure that, by 1917, was in poor condition and too small for the growing county government. "...county leaders urged citizens to support a bond election in 1917 to pay for a new stone courthouse. When the votes were counted at the courthouse, the proposal failed. That night, the old building mysteriously caught fire and burned to the ground, making a new courthouse a necessity." What a coincidence! Fortunately, a subsequent bond election passed and the current stone courthouse, designed in a classical revival style by San Antonio architect Henry Phelps, opened in 1924. The new courthouse was built to last, using limestone quarried nearby. The courthouse occupies a rather large square in the center of Eldorado, and aligned with Main Street. The principal street grid of Eldorado is at 45 degrees to true north-south. Therefore, the primary axis of the courthouse is southwest-northeast.