Saturday morning. I left Houston at 8:00 AM. North on I-45 160 miles to Fairfield, seat of Freestone County. I photographed the Freestone County courthouse (later that day I accidently erased all of the Fairfield photos from my camera) and then continued north to Corsicana, seat of Navarro County. It was Derrick Days in Corsicana! The downtown streets were closed to traffic and thousands of people gathered to eat, drink and enjoy a beautiful spring day. There was some mighty nice people watching! Oh, and more food this way...
I spent some time walking around downtown, photographing the people and the architecture. The Navarro County courthouse is a few blocks removed from the city center and the Derrick Days crowds. The courthouse is an imposing structure from 1905. J.E. Flanders was the architect.
Leaving Corsciana I drove west to Hillsboro, seat of Hill County. The Hill County courthouse is visible for miles across the rolling farmland.
The courthouse was designed by W.C. Dodson and dates from 1890. The building was destroyed by fire in 1993 but was restored in 1999. It's a beauty!
From Hillsboro I drove north on I-35E to Waxahachie, seat of Ellis County. I'd photographed this iconic Texas courthouse in December 2009, on my way with Hilary to the Big XII championship football game in Arlington (Texas defeated Nebraska at the last second!). I wanted to visit Waxahachie on a warmer day, so here I was again. The James Riely Gordon courthouse is lovely. The building's tower is unequaled in Texas courthouses. Here's a view as I approached from the south.
I finished the day with a nice drive to Cleburne, via Midlothian. Arriving in Cleburne, I drove up and over the Santa Fe railroad tracks, with a spectacular view of downtown and the tower of the Johnson County courthouse. The photograph below was taken the next morning, but you get the idea.
The 1912 Johnson County courthouse by architects Lang and Witchell is a curious mix of Beaux Arts massing with details inspired by Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. Interesting...
I spent Saturday night at the 1924 Liberty Hotel, a block from the courthouse square. This 4 story hotel has been fully restored and updated. I highly recommend this hotel if you're in the Cleburne area. And, the cost is reasonable.
Other than deleting all of my photographs of the Freestone County courthouse, it had been a great day. I slept very well in the Liberty Hotel, dreaming of courthouses and listening to the sounds of trains passing through Cleburne.
Leonard G. Lane, Jr., AIA
- Chronological Order (of my visits)
- County List (alphabetical)
- County Seat List (alphabetical)
- Texas Courthouse Blog
- James Riely Gordon, Architect
- Eugene T. Heiner, Architect
- Henry T. Phelps, Architect
- Alfred Giles, Architect
- Corneil G. Curtis, Architect
- Wesley Clark Dodson, Architect
- Lang & Witchell Architects
- Voelcker & Dixon, Architects
- Wyatt C. Hedrick, Architect
- David S. Castle, Architect
- Page Brothers, Architects
- James Edward Flanders, Architect
- Pierce, Norris, Pace & Associates, Architects & Engineers