This was our seventy-seventh Courthouse in Texas to visit. That means we are at 30.3% of our goal with 69.7% left to go.
Hardin County was created in 1858. The first official Hardin County building was probably a two-story log building that burned about 1886. Early county records were destroyed in the conflagration.
In 1887, architect Frank Smith of Beaumont designed a two-story frame structure built in Kountze by local contractor W. B. Pedigo. A safe was positioned inside the structure and the walls were built around it. The building was replaced in 1905. J. B. Hooks moved the old courthouse across the street to become the J. B. Hooks Abstract Company.
A new masonry courthouse was erected in 1905. It was designed by Andrew P. Bryan and built by M. J. Lewman and Company. Domed in the tradition of the nation’s capitol and the Texas State Capitol, the edifice was built of native stone from the Pecos area of West Texas. Salmon-colored brick was imported from the Hydraulic Press Brick Company of St. Louis, and the columns and bases were crafted by Bedford Stone Company. A carbide lighting system was installed in 1918. A three-story colonial-style sandstone building was erected with four 24-foot two-story columns front and back and 16 smaller columns supporting the dome. This building served until 1958.
A modern facility was planned by Dickson-Dickson and Associates and built by Lumbeck Construction Company in 1958. The 1905 edifice was destroyed in 1960. At the end of the 20th century, the 1958 courthouse was still in service and the 1887 building continued to stand, now the home of law offices, near the courthouse square.